Dave Dahl will sit in a paid seat in Koch Arena for the first time in 31 years this season at Wichita State men's basketball games.
Dahl's entrance into politics is trumping his love for Shocker basketball. His usual seat on press row will be filled by someone else.
"I'm very sad," Dahl said. "It will be a different perspective."
Dahl cannot do color commentary on WSU radio broadcasts because he is running for Sedgwick County judge. To appear on the air, he would need a waiver of equal access to public airways from his opponent. Faith Maughan, his opponent, declined to grant the waiver which would allow KNSS to put Dahl on the air for basketball games.
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"Ultimately, KNSS has the decision," Maughan campaign chairman Dennis Wetta said. "KNSS would otherwise have to give Faith equal time on the air, and we presume that's why they need the waiver."
Dahl said he hopes Maughan will change her mind and sign the waiver, which he said gives her the right to revoke 48 hours before a game.
"Running for judge was important enough that I thought it was worth the possibility this might happen," Dahl said.
The primary election is Aug. 7.
The Shockers played Emporia State in an exhibition game at Koch Arena on Tuesday night. Their first regular-season game is Sunday.
Dahl started alongside play-by-play man Mike Kennedy for the 1980-81 season. He cut road games from his schedule in the early 1990s and said he has missed one home game during that time.
Bob Hull, who worked with Kennedy on road games in recent seasons, will add home games to his duties.
Dahl said he wants to return to WSU broadcasts in future seasons, if possible.