Under the heading of “surely Kansas legislators have something better to do,” state lawmakers should spend no more time on legislation that would require Kansas University and Kansas State University to play basketball with Wichita State University every year.
The bill proposed by Sen. Michael O’Donnell, R-Wichita, would force the scheduling of both men’s and women’s games. His initial proposal applied only to KU-WSU, but he later added KSU to the mix. He also decided to drop the provision that would have stripped state funding for the universities if they refused to play each other because “I don’t want it to come across as punitive.”
Perhaps Wichita legislators can be excused for becoming so excited about their WSU Shockers, who carried a 19-2 record and joined KU and KSU among the top 25 teams in both the Associated Press and the USA Today coaches polls. However, WSU was dropped from the AP poll this week after two losses and likely will fall off the coaches poll next week after a third straight loss on Tuesday. O’Donnell said the games required in his legislation would be certain sellouts. That may be true, but only as long as they are competitive.
Is it ungracious to remind O’Donnell that the last time KU played WSU was in 1993, when KU defeated the Shockers 103-54?
Intrastate rivalries are great, but state legislators should leave the scheduling to athletic officials, not try to write it into the statute books.