Archive for Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Statehouse Live: Bill would require KU to play Wichita State University in basketball

February 5, 2013


On the street

Members of the Kansas Legislature want to make Kansas University legally obligated to play Wichita State University in basketball. Do you think the Legislature should determine whom KU plays in basketball?

No, I don’t think so. I just feel like they should be focusing on prime government functions like improving infrastructure and education and jobs and not worrying about basketball.

More responses

Reader poll
Should KU be forced to play Wichita State?

or See the results without voting


— This week, the state of Kansas has three college men’s basketball teams ranked in the Top 25 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

But one of those teams, Wichita State University, doesn’t play the other two, Kansas University and Kansas State University.

That would change under legislation introduced Tuesday by state Sen. Michael O’Donnell, R-Wichita.

Starting in the 2014-15 academic year, KU and K-State would each have to schedule a nonconference game with Wichita State.

“These are absolutely going to be sellout games,” O’Donnell said.

O’Donnell said the matchups would be a hit with basketball fans and promote the state. He said the games would also decrease travel time for the teams.

Similar legislation has been filed before and clanked off the rim.

But O’Donnell noted he has a powerful teammate running the floor. Senate President Susan Wagle, a Republican, is from Wichita.

O’Donnell originally proposed making state funding to KU contingent on playing Wichita State.

But he removed that provision before officially introducing the measure, saying he didn’t want his proposal to be confrontational.

He said that the measure was not a top priority of his but that he wanted legislators to at least discuss the idea. Other states have passed similar bills to create in-state rivalries.

KU and Wichita State have not played since 1993 when KU defeated the Shockers, 103-54.

Tim Caboni, KU’s vice chancellor for public affairs, said he appreciated O’Donnell’s “excitement and support of Jayhawk basketball, and his enthusiasm expressed through this bill.” But, he added, “It would be our great preference that Coach (Bill) Self along with the staff in Kansas Athletics craft the annual basketball schedule for KU.”

In a recent interview with ESPN, Self was asked why KU won’t play Wichita State.

Here was his answer: “Kansas hasn’t played Wichita State for years, way before I was the coach at Kansas. … Iowa plays Northern Iowa because the state Legislature says you have to. If someone were to come and say something that it’s law, then we would have to. But you schedule to benefit your own school, not to benefit others. You have to benefit your own school. I want to play games that benefit us, and, from a financial standpoint, it’s hard to play games away from Allen Fieldhouse since that’s our main source of budget every year.”

O’Donnell said that under his proposal, he would let the schools figure out where to play the games.


ATR920 5 years, 3 months ago

In the short time our legislature has to complete important issues facing our state so far we have decided to use that time to create laws that will:

  1. Make KU play WSU in basketball
  2. Make it so teachers have to pay the KNEA directly instead of through a paycheck deduction.
  3. Make it so a small KS town can put up its nativity decorations.

Im glad our leaders are trying to solve such critical issues as these!

What a waste of taxpayer time and money!!!

3up3down 5 years, 3 months ago

No wonder why we have financial issues in this State and the country. We pay our elected officials a nice salary to make our lives easier and basketball is all they can think about, waste their time, my time, your time, my money, your money. I just had to get that off my chest. I love college sports, but come on????? These yo-yo's need to be removed ASAP!!!

Pepe 5 years, 3 months ago

I agree with removing the yo-yos, but I am not sure about the "nice salary". From what I understood, legislators don't get very much, but I am not sure about that. Anyone know what these yo-yo legislators are paid to come up with dumb ideas like this?

UneasyRider 5 years, 3 months ago

Think whatever they're paid, far too many, if not all are totally over paid/

repaste 5 years, 3 months ago

About $210. per day, insurance?, and a retirement plan based on working about 380 days per year. They get something like $140k for staff and expenses.

inquire 5 years, 3 months ago

Wow, that's a really long work year! A full 15 days than the rest of us get.

kujayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

Paying them anything should be considered a nice salary.

xyz 5 years, 3 months ago

$1 per dumb idea would be way too much pay!!

Pepe--I don't have actual salary numbers at my fingertips, but legislative salaries and benefits are decent. Besides a salary, they get paid for expenses and are eligible for the state retirement plan and they can also use camapign funds to reimburse themselves for related legislative expenses.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 5 years, 3 months ago

Is THIS why we elected them? No bigger fish to fry than THIS?? GET TO WORK.

riverdrifter 5 years, 3 months ago

They've been frying fish. Or trying to. They can't cook.

somebodynew 5 years, 3 months ago

And they are going to get done in 80 days ????? That is what the leader said. So far they have not gotten ANY of the main neccessary items done, which is just like all the other years they have had to go into extra session (can you say extra $$$?).

What a bunch of _.

billbodiggens 5 years, 3 months ago

Just as I suspected. The clowns in the legislature have absolutely nothing to do. Nobody has sent them their program for the week, apparently. They ought to be ashamed to cash their pay checks.

bevy 5 years, 3 months ago

Be nice to Washburn! We gave KU a run for their money a few years back.

Paul Geisler 5 years, 3 months ago

ESU & Washburn played exhibition/pre-season games against KU this year so if anything that's all that WSU should receive for a match-up with KU. And did you see the score the last time the two teams met? I don't think that would make for a very exciting basketball game.......especially for the WSU fans!

Bob Forer 5 years, 3 months ago

In response to Original_Bob and with all due respect:

Wichita State is hardly a "quality program." One needs to merely look at their NCAA Tournament appearance history to glean that fact:

1964, 1965, 1976, 1981. 1985, 1987, 1988, 2006, 2012.

Only nine appearances in nearly fifty years, and only three in the last twenty five years.

Here is how the Shockers rank in NCAA appearances with similarly situated schools since 1986.

Indiana State: 2

Wichita State: 3

Northern Iowa: 4

Illinois State: 4

Missouri State: 6

Southern Illinois: 9

Southern Illinois is the only school that even remotely approaches being a "quality program" and they have not made an NCAA appearance since 2007.

Where is the quality?

msezdsit 5 years, 3 months ago

Earth to sychycophant: Could you list how many times the Missouri Valley only got one team into the tournament? They only get the automatic bid and no matter how quatlified the second place team might be or how much better they might be, they don't get invited. You see , that word invited plays a bigger part than actually how deserving they are to get in. VCU beat WSU by one point on a bad call at the buzzer and that same team handled KU in the final four. In their only appearance against KU in the Ncaa, Wichita State won the game. Bradley, Northern Iowa, and Bucknell also sent KU home from the tourney. You are mistaken if you don't think WSU is a quality program. Just think how much harder it is for them to be a quality program than for KU. That speaks a lot for quality.

jesse499 5 years, 3 months ago

First I don't think with the other problems this sate has it should even be talked about.But if this is your argument how many time has Fort Scott and Pittsburg State made the NCAA .Yes I know they can't but why play some Kansas schools and not others is all I'm saying

jesse499 5 years, 3 months ago

Sorry Fort Hays State not Fort Scott.

JayCat_67 5 years, 3 months ago

Because the games against Fort Hays and Fort Pitt State are exhibition games that do not count against either team's regular season record, but is a nice cash influx for the smaller schools.

msezdsit 5 years, 3 months ago

Years ago ksu and wsu did a back to back sunflower classic where they played each other on their home court. Ku put wsu on probation with a whisper campaign of fabricated improprieties years ago when they were good enough to compete with KU. (IE, the battle of New Orleans when wsu sent ku packing home from the Ncaa tourney). Now days, KU will play emporia and washburn as a token to their financial coffers. KU doesn't want to contribute a nickle to WSU since they could be considered in competition for recruits. On a given night WSU could beat KU but not on 10 given nights. It would be very lopsided series.

I think our legislature should devote full time to this bill until it is passed. Then they would be distracted from the medieval legislation they currently are ramming down our throats.

akuna 5 years, 3 months ago

Hey Kansas Congress Persons,

Stop being idiots.

Much obliged.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

These phony republicans have lost their minds.

How is legislating basketball games less government?

The party of very large government is Brownback and Associates

optimist 5 years, 3 months ago

Are you kidding? Is there nothing better to do Mr. O'Donnell? While I personally wish both KU and KSU would schedule with WSU at least every other year I don't think we need some politician interfering and worse mandating they play. Mr. O'Donnell should have gone into coaching or athletics administration if he wanted to get involved in these types of decisions. Utterly silly.

dwendel 5 years, 3 months ago

O'Donnel should write a law that Bruce Springsteen has to play a concert at Sandstone Amphitheater every year. That would be awesome because I've never seen Springsteen live. And it would bring in more money to the state coffers than another bball game. This legislating thing is fun!!!

tomatogrower 5 years, 3 months ago

Now I could get behind a law like this. Too funny.

tomatogrower 5 years, 3 months ago

A law!! Really!? There aren't anymore pressing issues, like how are you going to make up this boon you gave to people with money?

Graczyk 5 years, 3 months ago

When WSU joins the Big XII then KU will play them home and home every year.

blindrabbit 5 years, 3 months ago

Don't force KU and KSU to play a regular scheduled game with Wichita, maybe should/could play an exibition every few years. Years ago Wichita State decided to go small-time when it dropped it's football program; this is especiallt evident when the other 3 smaller State schools, Emporia, Hays and Pittsburgh all have successful football programs. This does not even include many private 4-year schools in Kansas that play football including Washburn, Ottawa, Baker, Benedictine, not to mention the many JUCO's. How this all relates to requiring the WSU/KU/KSU basketball match-up can be debated. but it seems to me that Wichita State is the one "in need". Yes, I know about the unfortunate WSU football airplane crash in the late 1960's.

Bob Forer 5 years, 3 months ago

“These are absolutely going to be sellout games,” O’Donnell said.

O'Donnell needs to realize two things:

1) Every game at the Phog is a sellout. We don't need Wichita State to sell tickets.

2) Since the renovation and renaming of the Shocker area from Leavit to Charles Koch arena in 2003, the Shockers have yet to have a sellout crowd for one of their home basketball games. In fact, in 2006, the year of Wichita State's first Sweet 16 appearance since 1981, they were barely able to half fill their arena for a big game against their conference rival, Missouri State. And BTW, the attendance for that game--slightly more than 5,000, ranks as the fourth biggest crowd in the history of Koch Arena.

A sellout, even with the Jayhawks visiting, is hardly guaranteed, unless, of course, many KU faithful make the trip to Wichita.

I understand O'Donnell's desire to upgrade his hometown's basketball program. But before he puts a gun to KU's head, he should find a more civil method of improving Shocker basketball instead of attempting to issue legislative pronouncements.

jayhawkjohn71 5 years, 3 months ago

O'Donnell, go back and serve on the Wichita City Council and stay out of sports.

Bob Forer 5 years, 3 months ago

Whoops. My bad. I googled "Charles Koch Arena" and found an official Wichita State web site with an article on the area which included attendance records. Apparently, they choose to list attendance records for women's basketball. i didn't notice the W in parentheses and wrongly concluded it was for the men's program. Sorry.

Here is the link:

Austin Bergstrom 5 years, 3 months ago

Isn't it about time for another government holiday? Poor people...this will be the 2nd 5 day work week in a row!

riverdrifter 5 years, 3 months ago

Just another teabagger loon. O'Donnell ran on a platform that less government is good and then he trots this crap out there. Hypocrite. Get lost, dude.

verity 5 years, 3 months ago

On the one hand, I don't know why I keep being surprised that they can keep coming up with something even more obviously stupid than the last thing. On the other hand, they just keep making the really important things worse, so maybe it's better that they occupy themselves with relatively innocuous crap.

Perhaps somebody is burning "hemp" to heat the the statehouse?

friendlyjhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

Sanity has completed by passed the Kansas legislature and Governor. Kansas is running on madness.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 3 months ago

I have lots of Shockers in my family. This would make for some uncomfortable discussions when we all get together. This is clearly an anti-(my)-family proposal.

JackMcKee 5 years, 3 months ago

Wheat, open spaces, clean air and lunatics in Topeka

Sarah St. John 5 years, 3 months ago

Historical perspective:

"A bill that would require the University of Kansas and Kansas State University to schedule athletic contests with Wichita State University in major sports was introduced in the state legislature today by Rep. Eugene Anderson, D-Wichita, and Loyd Andrews, D-Wichita. Kansas State had been scheduling basketball games with Wichita State and had scheduled football games with them in upcoming seasons. However, KU had published complete schedules through 1980 without Wichita State appearing on any of them." Lawrence Journal-World, Jan. 23, 1973.

So, certainly not the first time they'd tried to do this sort of thing in the state legislature.

Budgets_Smudgets 5 years, 3 months ago

This idea has gone up the flag pole several times in the past few decades. The Wichita legislators involved get lots of free publicity. Newspaper reporters write lots of stories. Everyone has angst and opinions. The idea goes nowhere. A win-win-win situation.

TNPlates 5 years, 3 months ago

You have to love Small Government version R.0, who love the government small only when it comes to helping "others".

JackMcKee 5 years, 3 months ago

Do a search on michael o'donnell wichita, he had quite the show as a Wichifa City Councilman. Look for his Twitter page, too. This is quite the guy.

John Hamm 5 years, 3 months ago

I'm against this silly "law" but at one time under one of our recent coaches (Larry Brown or Roy Williams) there was a policy to play at least one game a year against another Kansas in-state team. It worked fairly well but that policy was discontinued. As far as I'm concerned it's up to the coach and Athletic Director to schedule games but it's still not a bad idea. "sill" to "silly"

kujayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

That was for exhibition games so the smaller schools (fort hays st, pitt state, esu, washburn, etc.) can make some money. We still play those schools.

notaubermime 5 years, 3 months ago

As per my understanding, the NCAA changed their rules on playing non-Div I schools. Because of this rule change, KU's only option to continue playing these instate schools was to move them to the exhibition games rather than being in the regular season. If you look at this year's schedule, you will see that KU played Emporia State and Washburn in exhibition games.

kujayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

No mention of K-State having to play WSU in the bill? I'd like to see her cut funding to KU for not playing WSU.

JayCat_67 5 years, 3 months ago

"No mention of K-State having to play WSU in the bill? ". Read the article again.

webmocker 5 years, 3 months ago

Why doesn't O'Donnell just introduce a bill saying KU Athletics must cut a very large check to WSU Athletics every other year? Or perhaps someone could introduce a bill saying that O'Donnell should be sent to prison for criminal waste of taxpayer time and money?

sciencegeek 5 years, 3 months ago

Apparently, there is nothing in this state that the majority in the legislature thinks they shouldn't be able to control. Kansas isn't a nany-state, it's a "mommy Dearest" state.

House Speaker Merrick said that the Chief Justice couldn't give his traditional state-of-the-Judiciary speak to the legislature because there wasn't enough time because of all the work that had to be done. Like dictating university basketball schedules. As it is, the legislators don't put in any where near a 40-hour week any way.

The lying and hypocrisy of this crowd is unbelievable.

riverdrifter 5 years, 3 months ago

Since the days of James Naismith and then Forrest Allen (inotherwords, since the game was invented), Kansas University has managed its basketball program pretty darn well. It doesn't need any assistance from the hayseeds that currently dominate the Kansas statehouse nor anyone else. Go away.

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 3 months ago

Wichita has always felt unloved in this state because they want to be the leader but they never will be. It is a classic tale.

Susan Wagle, the first Wichitan elected Senate President is bound to want to shake some trees. This might be about somebody trying to impress Suzi more than anything else.

Given her shallow intellectual depth, I imagine she is enjoying this.

George_Braziller 5 years, 3 months ago

The legislature has more pressing issues where they should be focusing their attention. Are you serious? A Bill about requiring a basketball game?

This should either be in "News of the Weird" or "News of the Moronic."

Liberty275 5 years, 3 months ago

"But you schedule to benefit your own school, not to benefit others."

The bill is dumb and politicians need to stay out of sports, but I would think one of the greatest basketball schools in the nation could find one day to play another well-ranked team from the state.

Do something for free once in a while.

Yogi 5 years, 3 months ago

I still have such a foul taste in my mouth from the last time WSU got lucky and beat us, aka "The battle of New Orleans".I was a semi-WSU fan until that game. My blood boils every time I think of those damned billboards the small minded fools in Wichita erected . They still blow and crow about that game and its been almost 30 years ago. I hope KU never stoops to play them and if our idiot politicians have nothing better to do than push an idea like that they should be ashamed of themselves. However, if you look at the record of the clown that introduced this "bill" you'll see he's one of the GOP's brightest lunatics. WSU is not anywhere close to being in a league with the Jayhawks and their fans rank right along side Mizzou's for a total lack of class.

fiddleback 5 years, 3 months ago

O'Donnell must be able to smell KU's weakness and sense an opportunity for WSU to finally win again-- that or the stench from the way the Jayhawks are playing can be smelled all across the state...

Commenting has been disabled for this item.