Kansas State University

Kansas State notes: Football considers playing spring game at KC’s Sporting Park

Kansas State wide receiver Judah Jones returns a kick during last April’s spring game in Manhattan.
Kansas State wide receiver Judah Jones returns a kick during last April’s spring game in Manhattan. AP

MANHATTAN – Kansas State is considering playing its spring football game off-campus this year at Kansas City’s Sporting Park, according to sources.

The home soccer venue of Sporting Kansas City could replace Snyder Family Stadium as the host of K-State’s annual spring scrimmage while the Wildcats’ normal home undergoes construction.

“With construction of the new Vanier Football Complex presenting logistical and safety issues for both our football team and fans, we have been exploring possible options and locations away from Bill Snyder Family Stadium for this year’s spring football game,” K-State athletic director John Currie told the Eagle in a written statement. “We can confirm that we have reached out to Sporting KC and have had preliminary discussions about bringing the spring game to Kansas City tentatively on the afternoon of April 25. We will make an announcement with full details once the process has been completed.”

The Wildcats are exploring possibilities while the north end of their stadium undergoes renovations. K-State began demolishing its football complex, where the team’s locker room, weight room and coaching offices were located on the north end of the stadium, at the conclusion of the 2014 season. Construction crews have been working since.

The project is scheduled to be completed in time for the start of the 2015 season. Until then, the football team will operate out of the West Stadium Center.

K-State hosted its spring game in the presence of construction two years ago, while the West Stadium Center was being built. But that construction was located away from the field. The current construction on the north end stretches to stadium’s artificial playing surface.

K-State assistant athletic director for communications Kenny Lannou did not have an immediate comment when asked about the possible venue change.

Athletic director John Currie did not respond to a message seeking comment. But he hinted at upcoming news on the subject in his latest letter to fans, writing “stay tuned in the next week or two for an exciting announcement surrounding the 2015 Purple/White Spring football game!”

Schulz named to NCAA post – Kansas State president Kirk Schulz is ready to take on a larger leadership role as the new chair of the NCAA board of governors, the highest-ranking committee in the organization.

Schulz accepted the position on Friday during the NCAA’s national convention. He will serve as chair until January 2017.

“I am honored with the appointment to chair the board of governors and I look forward to bringing together athletics and academics in this leadership role,” Schulz said in a statement released by K-State. “The opportunity to serve as chair is an opportunity to strengthen the interconnectivity between intercollegiate athletics and the campus community, which is key as K-State becomes a Top 50 public research university by 2025.”

The board of governors includes 20 presidents and chancellors from all three of the NCAA’s athletic divisions. Schulz replaces Lou Anna Simon, the president of Michigan State University. She chaired the committee since 2012.

Schulz has previously held leadership positions within the Big 12, serving on the conference’s expansion committee, as well as the Division I board of directors.

Winter to be honored – Kansas State will unveil “Tex Winter Drive” on Saturday, a road on campus that honors the former K-State basketball coach and Naismith Hall of Fame inductee.

The drive runs from Kimball Avenue to Bramlage Coliseum and the basketball training facility.

A 9 a.m. ceremony Saturday will include words from former K-State All-American Ernie Barrett and athletic director John Currie. K-State plays host to Oklahoma State at 11.

Winter, 92, was 261-118 in from 1954-68. He’s second in school wins behind Jack Hartman and won eight conference championships.

Reach Kellis Robinett at krobinett@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @kellisrobinett.