COLLEGE football is taken seriously in some places. Last week Ohio State held their “Spring Game.” They set a new national record for a spring game with 100,189 fans showing up. Oh yes, those were fans who paid for a ticket to be there! That scene is repeated at Alabama, Florida State, Tennessee, Michigan and many other places. Meanwhile a few more than 1,200 showed up in Lawrence to watch the struggling Jayhawks. There was no admission charge. It hasn’t been determined if those 1,200 were paid to be there! Kansas State holds their Spring Game this Saturday but it is doubtful that they will threaten the Buckeyes’ record.
THE softball ladies of Great Bend High School are right back to where they finished last year, atop the WAC league standings after a 2-game sweep of Hays High. Great Bend and Hays were tied for the league lead before this series. The Black Panthers improved to 8-0 on the season.
DID the signing of Josh Jackson by Kansas just assure the 13th consecutive Big 12 basketball title for the Jayhawks? Many “experts” think so. Jackson is a 6’8”, 203-pound wing player that is a stronger, bigger version of Andrew Wiggins. He loves to play defense which will endear him to Bill Self. Something missed in all the hoopla of his signing is that he is a bit older than the rest of his peers in the class of 2016. He’s already 19 years old so he is more mature than was Wiggins or the young Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (bet you didn’t think I could spell that) who was only 17 when he started playing for the Jayhawks.
THE NCAA Tournament will be broadcast on CBS/TURNER through 2032. The companies signed an eight-year, $8.8 billion extension with the NCAA for the broadcast rights to March Madness, putting the tournament’s yearly TV value at over a billion dollars for the first time. This again brings up the question, should the NCAA allow colleges to pay the athletes, or at least to significantly increase the value of their scholarships? The NCAA says they don’t have the money. HUH?
AGAIN, it’s all about the money! Last year Texas A&M led the nation’s universities in total revenue raised by their athletic department when they banked $192,608,876. The usual leader, Texas, raised only $183,521,028. The Kansas Jayhawks ranked 28th, raking in $91,860,673. Kansas State was 46th with $75,323,278. Wichita State was an afterthought in 106th place with $26,682,738. Now you can see why it would be a struggle for the Shockers to bring back football though there are those that would argue that you will never have a big-time athletic program without football on the campus.
GOING into Friday’s doubleheader with Nickerson, the Larned Indians baseball team is 8-0 and, though they lead the baseball-tough Central Kansas League standings are nowhere to be mentioned in the state rankings of Kansas Baseball Coaches. Meanwhile, two teams that trail the Indians in the standings, Pratt and Nickerson, are ranked 3rd and 5th, respectively, in 4A Div. II. Kind of makes you scratch your head doesn’t it?
THE Kansas City Chiefs lost their appeal of anti-tampering violations with the NFL this week. It will cost them a third-round pick in the 2016 draft and a sixth-round pick next year plus $200,000. Still, it is a small price to pay for Jeremy Maclin. Maclin’s presence and pass-catching abilities were invaluable to a playoff-bound Chiefs team last year.
HOW things have changed in just a couple of years. It wasn’t long ago that we all hoped the Royals would win any given game. Now we expect them to win and they usually do. Off to a good start, the Boys in Blue are still living on a solid pitching staff, especially relief pitching.
HEED the words of former New York Yankee manager Casey Stengel: “Never make predictions. Especially about the future!”