Sound Off

If Dog Days was kicked off the KU practice fields and out of the stadium because of Coach Mangino’s privacy issues, why are they still not allowed on? Who is really keeping them off the field?

“We appreciate the positive impact that the Dog Days program has on this community,” said Jim Marchiony, an associate athletics director for KU Athletics Inc. “KU has recognized that impact by providing its participants an on-campus location at which to conduct the program — adjacent to Robinson Gymnasium. “Coach Mangino had nothing to do with Dog Days’ presence in Memorial Stadium or on the practice fields. In 2008 the football program moved into the $31 million Anderson Family Football Complex, funded entirely by private revenue sources. As a result, the football program now competes and practices on new, state-of-the-art fields. “These facilities are some of the best in the country; we need to preserve them in that condition for as long as possible. These fields are made of a synthetic material, engineered for highly trained athletes who deserve the best conditions when competing on behalf of the university. “Use of these fields by hundreds of people multiple times per week will produce tremendous wear and tear, compromising their quality in a shortened amount of time. “Scheduling is also a factor. Kansas Athletics’ number one priority remains our student-athletes. The KU track program also practices in the stadium, meaning that during the summer, between football and track, workouts are often conducted at 6 a.m., during the lunch hours and at 6 p.m. “In order to compete on a national level and within the Big 12 Conference — something that has been emphasized even more in recent weeks — KU student-athletes must be able to train when they need to train and on facilities that are the best we can provide. “Two years ago Kansas Athletics discussed with Dog Days coordinator Don Gardner the scheduling challenges we have with the facilities. At the time Don was good enough to say he understood that our programs had a priority of the use of the stadium and the practice fields, and we appreciate his understanding. Likewise, we appreciate the understanding of numerous others throughout the community who, when we explain our facilities and scheduling issues, have acknowledged that it is in the best interest of the athletics department for the (Dog Days) program to continue in a different venue. “We appreciate the Dog Days program and are very pleased that KU has provided it with a venue that permits it to continue its positive impact.”

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