Politics & Government

Senator: KSU’s Snyder ‘doing fine’ in cancer battle

In this July 19, 2016, file photo, Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder listens to a question during Big 12 college football media days in Dallas. Snyder has been diagnosed with throat cancer, though treatments are going well and he says he expects to be on the field for spring practice in March.
In this July 19, 2016, file photo, Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder listens to a question during Big 12 college football media days in Dallas. Snyder has been diagnosed with throat cancer, though treatments are going well and he says he expects to be on the field for spring practice in March. File photo

Sen. Pat Roberts said Wednesday that Kansas State University football coach Bill Snyder is “doing fine” in his treatment to fight throat cancer.

“I think he’s going to be fine,” said Roberts, a KSU alumnus who is a friend of Snyder and his family. “The coach is doing fine. He’s very determined. I talk to his son a lot, Sean.”

Roberts said Snyder is being treated by the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Texas.

“They’re pretty confident,” Roberts said. “He’s gone to M.D. Anderson and I think he’s going to be fine.”

Snyder, 77, announced earlier this month that he will continue coaching the Wildcats after being diagnosed with throat cancer.

“Coach is amazing,” Roberts said. “He is a great man, a great philanthropist. He’s just a wonderful person. I think he’s going to whip this cancer, which is not on his throat now, it’s on the side (of his neck) over here.”

Roberts provided that update on the coach’s condition during a speech to the Wichita East Rotary Club.

Roberts joked that he has assumed the title of “assistant tight end coach” for the Wildcats, since Snyder seldom calls plays to throw to the tight end.

He said he advises the tight ends to run crisp routes and stay alert in case they get a chance to catch a pass that’s tipped by a defensive lineman at the line of scrimmage.

He also joked that he’ll ask Snyder if he can be promoted to “liaison on the field with the zebras.”

“Just to negotiate a little bit,” Roberts said. “He (Snyder) has a soft voice anyway and he doesn’t give the referees hell, pardon me.”

Roberts said he has extensive experience officiating games from “up in the very top of the stadium.”

Dion Lefler: 316-268-6527, @DionKansas

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