October 10, 2011
A message from President Schulz
First off, congratulations to Coach Snyder and the football team on their 5-0 start and win over Missouri on Saturday. Having a football program ranked 17th in the country for its efforts on the field while maintaining the No. 1 graduation rate in the Big 12 Conference four years running is the perfect example of the commitment all of our student athletes and coaches make in representing Kansas State University at the highest level.
As conference realignment and expansion continues to be a hot topic, I wanted to take a few moments to update you on the latest developments. You probably have heard that the Big 12 is looking toward Texas Christian University as the next prospective member of the Big 12 Conference, and Athletics Director John Currie and I think TCU would be a wonderful addition to our league.
It's a big plus that they are within our geographic footprint, and its addition to the league would be most beneficial to our student athletes, fans and alumni. Our student athletes would miss less class time because transportation is easy in and out of the Dallas Fort-Worth area and of course Manhattan has three nonstop daily American Airlines flights into Dallas. We need to remember intercollegiate athletics is not just football. It’s women’s golf, volleyball, track and field and all the other sports we offer, and we think that is a critical factor. Also, the largest alumni base for K-State outside the state of Kansas (more than 5,000) is in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
TCU has great athletic and academic traditions and a rising academic profile. They do a wonderful job graduating their student athletes, and we think institutionally they would bring a lot to the Big 12 brand and be a great colleague in the Midwest.
We continue to have conversations with the University of Missouri and to work hard to keep Missouri as a member of the Big 12 Conference. The actions we took in terms of conference expansion and our continued deliberations on equal revenue sharing and stabilizing our rights for a minimum of six years are positives for all conference members.
Additional expansion of the Big 12 is always possible. The expansion subcommittee will continue to evaluate other potential schools; we will watch the conference landscape and see how that changes. No decision has been made about whether to add two schools, four schools or any schools. I think we’re going to continue to evaluate, discuss and debate and make sure we are doing everything we can to make the Big 12 Conference the best in the country.
If we are going to expand, we will go out and seek those schools that really will make a positive difference to our conference in the long run.
If you have any questions or concerns about what is occurring within intercollegiate athletics or the Big 12 Conference, please feel free to contact John Currie or me at anytime.