News Items In Category XSports

A Leadership Change in Kansas Athletics

Posted on May 21, 2018 in Campus News

Strong Hal | Chancellor Doug Girod fall 2017 semester message
Chancellor Douglas A. Girod sent the following message to all University of Kansas faculty and staff members on Monday, May 21, 2018. The message was also posted on the chancellor’s website.

Colleagues,

I am writing to inform you of a leadership change in Kansas Athletics.

This morning I met with Director of Athletics Sheahon Zenger and informed him that I am relieving him of his duties, effective immediately.

Sheahon has been a loyal Jayhawk, and our athletics department has improved in many areas under his leadership. But Athletics continues to face a number of challenges, and progress in key areas has been elusive. To achieve the level of success we need and expect, I have determined a change in leadership is necessary.

Sean Lester, our deputy athletics director, will serve as interim director. I have spoken with Sean about my expectations for the coming months, and I am confident he will provide sound leadership and stability during this transition.

I have begun the process of identifying a permanent athletics director. To lead this process, I have enlisted Drue Jennings, one of our most respected and accomplished alumni. Many of you know Drue as our interim athletics director in 2003 and for his role in leading the search processes that brought Chancellor Gray-Little and Coach Self to KU. Jed Hughes, a consultant with the Korn Ferry executive search firm, will assist Drue.

Some of you may have questions about our football program. I spoke with Coach Beaty earlier today and shared my expectation that he will continue recruiting hard and getting his team ready for the season.

Since becoming chancellor, I have spent countless hours with higher education peers and Jayhawks to hear their perspective on KU. A common thread in these conversations is that, as a major public university with national aspirations, we must continue to strive for excellence in all areas — including athletics. As I have said many times, a successful athletics department is inextricably linked to our broader mission as a flagship research university.

The other common thread in these conversations is optimism for Kansas Athletics. Across the country, we are recognized as having elite programs, a proud tradition, and a loyal fan base. These assets will serve us well as we identify a new leader for Kansas Athletics.

I want to thank Sheahon for his service during the past seven years. Under his leadership, student-athlete GPAs reached an all-time high. Rock Chalk Park, McCarthy Hall, and the DeBruce Center are lasting tributes to his efforts. Most importantly, he prioritized our student-athletes and represented KU with integrity and class.

Thank you for your support in moving KU forward.

Respectfully,

Doug

Douglas A. Girod
Chancellor
University of Kansas

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A walk to remember: Greg and Dorie Dalzell

Posted on May 16, 2018 in Alumni News

Greg and Dorie Dalzell
 

Competing with Commencement

The walk down the Hill is a cherished tradition for most KU graduates. However, some student-athletes have never known the thrill of walking down the Hill due to competition conflicts. KU baseball players, for instance, are often battling in-state rival K-State as graduates gather on Mount Oread.

Meantime, track and field Jayhawks are typically engaged in the conference championship while classmates are popping champagne in Lawrence. Fortunately, one Jayhawk track family made up for lost time and made the most of their KU Commencement experience.

Crossing the finish line

Greg Dalzell, b’86, followed in his father’s footsteps by running for the KU track team. His father, Art Dalzell, d’55, g’64, helped KU win numerous conference championships and a cross country national title (’53) in addition to earning his two KU degrees. Greg followed suit, contributing to a Big 8 conference indoor title (’83) while pursuing his business degree at KU. Unfortunately, the mid-May timing of the 1986 conference outdoor championship meet cost him his opportunity to participate in KU’s time-honored Commencement tradition of walking down the Hill.

Fast forward to 2018, when Greg’s daughter Dorie–a third-generation Jayhawk track team member–was ready to walk, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make it a family affair. While many of her Jayhawk teammates were still competing in the Big 12 outdoor track & field championships in Waco, Dorie was able to cross a more meaningful finish line with her father by her side.

“Dorie’s time in Lawrence has been a great experience for both of us, and I cannot believe how fast it went,” Greg shared. “Commencement was so much fun. I can’t imagine I would have had a better time 32 years ago.”

A family affair

The Dalzells share a rare distinction of having three generations of KU track & field captains in the family. When Dorie was awarded the honor for the 2017 season, joining her father and grandfather in holding the title of KU track captain, it was one of the highlights of her KU career.

“It was really overwhelming,” she admitted in an interview for KU Athletics’ Rock Chalk Weekly. “I knew my grandpa and dad had both been captains, so I always kind of wanted to be one, but I didn’t want to express it outwardly. To be a captain, and know that I had kept that going in our family, it felt amazing.”

Dorie had planned to be competing with her teammates in Waco on Sunday during Commencement. However, fate intervened, and a graduation celebration that was thought to be put off for a later date suddenly became possible.

“After Dorie’s track career ended prematurely, the Commencement walk was a great way for the two of us to cap off our shared KU experience,” Greg reflected after a memorable weekend. “Neither of us will ever forget walking through the Campanile together.”

–David Johnston

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Women’s Athletics at KU

Posted on May 15, 2018 in News

KU Women's letter sweater

The Kenneth Spencer Research Library on KU’s campus features seasonal exhibits curated by the library’s archivists. From Jan. 30 to Apr. 30, the library showcased the athletic achievements of KU women through their exhibit “Women’s Athletics at KU: From Physical Education to Recognized Athletic Program.” The display celebrated the strides the University has made in giving women the opportunity to exceed outside of the classroom.

Formation of the Women’s Athletic Association

Marian Washington

Women’s Athletic Director Marian Washington

Before the creation of university-sponsored teams, women at KU could only participate in club sports. The first documented sport for KU women was the Tennis Club in 1892. A few years later, women’s basketball was added in 1897.

In 1912, the students and faculty of the Women’s Department of Physical Education established the Women’s Athletic Association, or WAA. The first three sports under the WAA were hockey, tennis and basketball.

While women could now compete in intercollegiate competitions, funding was very limited. Students were expected to supply their own equipment and transportation, so individual sports held fundraisers to cover the cost, such as the gymnastics team who held an annual carnival so they could afford traveling to competitions.

Earning a letter sweater

How to earn a WAA letter sweaterThroughout this ever-changing landscape of women athletics, the letter sweater served as a literal badge of honor. The WAA awards these letter sweaters to athletes based on criteria outlined in the 1925 Jayhawker yearbook. Each woman had to accumulate 75 points to earn their sweater.

Women could earn points from excelling in their sport, as well as from more obscure ideas of success such as good posture and maintaining grades.

Impact of Title IX

By the 1960s, club teams received funding from the Student Senate, yet not enough to cover all of the costs. Although Title IX was passed in 1972, changes were not immediate.

According to KU’s Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, Title IX’s purpose is “to end discrimination on the basis of sex in education and applies to all programs and activities that receive federal funding.” However, Title IX’s passage in 1972 had no immediate effects on the WAA.

The WAA won a victory in 1974 when the state and the Student Senate allocated a combined $122,435 for women student-athletes. Women’s Athletic Director Marian Washington was able to completely fund all nine sports, covering the costs of coaching staff, equipment, transportation and lodging. It was not until 1979 that the men’s and women’s athletic departments merged to meet the federal funding requirements.

Today Title IX plays an active role in providing equity for male and female student-athletes. Under Title IX, three key principles apply to men’s and women’s athletics: equitable opportunity to participate; equal proportion of scholarships; and equal treatment and benefits.

–Brianna Mears

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Memories of “the Miracles”: 30th anniversary of the 1988 title

Posted on Apr 4, 2018 in News

1988 National Championship

The KU men’s basketball team won the 1988 NCAA Divison I Men’s Basketball Tournament on April 4, 1988. The Jayhawks defeated Big 8 foe Oklahoma 83-79 in Kansas City’s Kemper Arena.  To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the 1988 National Champions, we collected everything we’ve ever written about that season: the players, the fans, the students, and the history of one of the greatest runs the NCAA tournament has ever seen.

‘It’s Over:’ Manning shares memories of ’88

Jayhawk legend Danny Manning shares a first-person view of what it means to become a champion.

Where were you on April 4, 1988?

Five years ago, we asked alumni and fans to share their experiences of the 1988 championship, and did they ever deliver.

KU Alumni staff remember the ’88 championship game

We asked our staff for their memories, too. Some of which were even at the game that night in Kansas City’s Kemper Arena.

Pay Heed: ‘Beware of the Phog’ banner turns 30

A piece of KU history began 30 years ago when a group of students were bored in class. Watch the video on the origins of the banner, and read on for a behind-the-scenes look at the filming.

NPR recalls ‘Danny and the Miracles’

NPR’s “Weekend Edition” recalls the rare time when Kansas was the true underdog. Jeff Gueldner, b’91, Clint Normore, ’89, and Milt Newton, d’89, g’93, share their memories of the season.

The birth of Captain Jayhawk & the Superfans

All KU students love their Jayhawks, but this group of superfans had specific routines that are still remembered today.

The stuff of miracles, 25 years later

For the 25th anniversary, Kurt Messersmith, j’89, produced “The Miracles”, a documentary to give fans a look back at the 1988 title team.

The Making of the Miracles

We sat down with the executive producer of the documentary to hear about his experience.

 

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Kansas men’s basketball season comes to a close in San Antonio

Posted on Apr 2, 2018 in News

We heart u Hawks sign from the KU student section | Photo from University Archives | basketball season ends

After a season filled with ups and downs, a 14th straight conference championship and a trip to the Final Four, the Jayhawks fell to the Villanova Wildcats Saturday night in the national semifinal.

KU fans gathered in San Antonio, Allen Fieldhouse, and at watch parties from coast to coast to watch the Jayhawks in the Final Four.

At the Final Four

More than 5,000 Jayhawks started their game day right outside the Alamodome for the pregame party hosted by the KU Alumni Association and Kansas Athletics. The KU band, Spirit Squad and mascots held a pep rally, with food trucks and cash bars nearby.

Final Four pregame party in San Antonio 2018

Back home in Lawrence

Dozens of Lawrence-area bars and restaurants hosted watch parties, but the most popular site for a big KU game remained the same. Thousands of fans flocked to Allen Fieldhouse to watch the game on the video board. Students filled the student section, and threw shredded Kansans into the air for pregame introductions.

Final Four Watch Party Allen Fieldhouse

Wherever Jayhawks may be

Alumni networks hosted more than 75 watch parties around the country. Many network leaders claimed it was their biggest turnout in years. The Denver Network alone hosted 1,000 Jayhawks at Stoney’s Bar and Grill.

Denver Network Final Four watch party 2018

Although we hate to see the season end, the Alumni Association is proud of this team, and we are always proud to be a Jayhawk.

Visit the ’Hawks ’n Hoops postseason hub for more information, and don’t miss additional Final Four coverage from Lawrence, San Antonio, and alumni networks around the country.

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Kansas Basketball to retire Svi Mykhailiuk’s T-shirt

Posted on Apr 1, 2018 in News

Retiring Svi's T-shirt

After a remarkable four-year career at the University of Kansas, Kansas Athletics announced early Sunday plans to retire Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk’s T-shirt he wears underneath his jersey.

“Svi hit that three to force overtime versus Duke and got us to the Final Four. I knew right then it had to happen,” coach Bill Self said. “What better way to honor him than retiring his trademark tee?”

A remarkable story, Mykhailiuk’s journey from arriving in Lawrence as a 17-year-old to hitting more 3s than any KU player in a single season will be recognized by hanging his blank shirt.

Fans can participate in the honor by choosing which color of T-shirt should be raised. Follow @KUHoops on Twitter to vote for white, blue, red or gray to match the variety of jerseys Mykhailiuk wore.

Coach Self has already indicated guard Devonte’ Graham will have his jersey retired after winning Big 12 Player of the Year and being named a consensus first-team All-American.

We hope you enjoyed our playful prank for April Fool’s Day. This post is pure fiction, so don’t be fooled! Check out all of our April Fool’s Day posts.

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KU sophomore answers call for once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

Posted on Mar 31, 2018 in News

Darrius Sheppard, KU sophomore who performed the national anthem at the Final Four in San Antonio
The call came Tuesday and was entirely unexpected:

“We need anthem singers who are music students at each of the Final Four schools. Could you do it?”

Before sophomore voice major Darius Sheppard could fully process this most unexpected opportunity to perform the national anthem at Saturday’s Final Four in San Antonio, he quickly replied, “I’m only 20. I need to ask my parents. Can I email you tonight?”

Sheppard—a tenor who performed a spine-tingling rendition of the national anthem with fellow students from Michigan, Villanova and Loyola-Chicago before the start of Saturday evening’s first game in the packed Alamodome—laughs when he recalls the reply he heard from the NCAA official: “OK, but instead of emailing tonight, can you call back in five minutes?”

Sheppard immediately phoned his parents, and, permission secured, on Wednesday booked his flight and on Thursday arrived in San Antonio, thrilled to represent KU on the biggest stage on collegiate athletics.

“It’s been an amazing week, absolutely incredible,” Sheppard said, shaking his head and smiling broadly. As he returned his attention to the first half of the Michigan-Loyola game, playing out just a few yards from his floor-level seat, Sheppard grinned and shouted over the crowd, “Rock Chalk!”

—Chris Lazzarino

Visit the ’Hawks ’n Hoops postseason hub for more information, and don’t miss additional Final Four coverage from Lawrence, San Antonio, and alumni networks around the country.

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Allen Fieldhouse to host a Final Four watch party

Posted on Mar 29, 2018 in News

Allen Fieldhouse

Looking for a Final Four watch party? Kansas Athletics is hosting one, with room for 16,300.

Allen Fieldhouse doors (north, south, and east entrances) will open Saturday at 6:30 p.m.  Fans will be able to watch the Jayhawks’ NCAA Final Four game vs. Villanova on the video board.

Members of the KU pep band and spirit squad will be on hand, with the Rally House store, the Booth Family Hall of Athletics, and concession stands on the first and second levels open for fans.

The event is free and open for all ages, with parking lots available at no charge, including the parking garage adjacent to Allen Fieldhouse and the new KU Central District garage. The Fieldhouse will close immediately following the game.

The game will tip at approximately 7:45 p.m. (40 minutes after the conclusion of the first semifinal game, which tips at 5:09 p.m.)

If the Jayhawks win Saturday, Allen Fieldhouse will be open for Monday night’s NCAA Championship game. The game tips at 8:15 p.m. Doors will open at 7 p.m.

Visit the ’Hawks ’n Hoops postseason hub for more information, and don’t miss additional Final Four coverage from Lawrence, San Antonio, and alumni networks around the country.

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Trio of famous Jayhawks to call Final Four action

Posted on Mar 29, 2018 in Alumni News

Rob Riggle unveiling Charlie Hustle shirt | Kansas Teamcast announcers

Jayhawks, your wishes have been granted: You can watch the the Final Four with announcers who love the Jayhawks as much as you do.

When KU plays Villanova in the Final Four Saturday night, tune in to TNT to watch the Kansas TeamCast. It will feature familiar faces Dave Armstrong, Scot Pollard and Rob Riggle breaking down the action.

TeamCast presentations are telecasts tailored to the schools participating in the Final Four national semifinals. The concept brings local flavor to the game with additional cameras and team-centric replays, custom halftimes, comprehensive team and player storylines and more.

Armstrong, ’83, will serve as the play-by-play announcer, which he’s done for the Jayhawks since 1993. He’s also served in the same role for multiple professional sports teams.

Pollard, d’97, partners with Armstrong as the color analyst. He’ll provide a unique perspective after a four-year career as a member of the Kansas men’s basketball team. Pollard finished his career in KU’s top 5 in rebounds and blocked shots and spent 12 years in the NBA.

Riggle, c’93, rounds out the team by reporting from the sideline on head coach Bill Self and the Jayhawks. (No word yet on how serious the KU actor and comedian will take his job.)

The regular telecast will be available on TBS, with Villanova’s TeamCast airing on truTV. Tip is expected to be 7:49 p.m. CDT Saturday night, or 40 minutes after the conclusion of the Michigan-Loyola Chicago game which begins at at 5:09 p.m.

If Scot Pollard’s enthusiasm in a video he posted to Facebook is a preview, the trio of Jayhawks are sure to have a fun night—as will we!

Visit the ’Hawks ’n Hoops postseason hub for more information, and don’t miss additional Final Four coverage from Lawrence, San Antonio, and alumni networks around the country.

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Final Four pregame party details announced

Posted on Mar 28, 2018 in News

Fans celebrate on Mass Street after KU beats Duke to advance to the Final Four | 2018

We’re headed to San Antonio!

Join fellow Jayhawks for a Final Four pregame party hosted by the KU Alumni Association and Kansas Athletics.

The party takes place from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, March 31, in the parking lot of Tower of Americas, 736 Cesar E. Chavez Blvd. The parking lot is across the street from the main security entrance for the Alamodome—just look for Super Jay!

Festivities include a pep rally at 3 p.m. featuring the KU band, Spirit Squad and mascots. A beer garden, cash bars, food trucks and a DJ will also be on site. KU merchandise will be available for sale from Rally House.

Tickets

Entrance to the pregame party is $10 per person. Tickets can be purchased in advance online and picked up during the following times. Tickets can also be purchased in-person.

Marriott River Center, 101 Bowie St.
Thursday, March 29: Noon-6 p.m.
Friday, March 30: 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.
Saturday, March 31: 8-11 a.m.

Remaining tickets will be sold at the entrance of the pregame party. Pregame party tickets are included in the travel packages for guests traveling with the Williams Education Fund/Kansas Athletics travel groups.

KU Alumni Association members can show their membership card at the KU Alumni table to receive a special members-only gift. Plus, enter to win a Jayhawk print by alumni artist Megh Knappenberger, f’04.

The KU basketball team will hold an open practice on Friday, March 30, from 1-1:50 p.m. at the Alamodome. The semifinal games tip off at 5:09 p.m. CDT with Loyola-Chicago taking on Michigan. The Kansas vs. Villanova game will follow at approximately 7:49 p.m. CDT.

Visit the ’Hawks ’n Hoops postseason hub for more information, and don’t miss additional Final Four coverage from Lawrence, San Antonio, and alumni networks around the country.

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