Yet Another 'Turn-Around' in KSU Athletics

The "greatest turn around" phrase was popular in the Wildcat Nation from the mid-1990s through the next decade when Kansas State went from futility on the gridiron, to a fixture in the national football polls.

President Jon Wefald, with Anderson Hall partner Bob Krause at his side, stationed themselves near the 50-yard-line to bask in the fall afternoon glory of each and every Bill Snyder-coached victory.

"They Said It Couldn't Be Done," was the mantra and the title of Snyder's book detailing the accomplishments, and the turn around that Wefald and Krause have often times taken credit for.

Now, they've done it again.

But this time ... this "turn around" ... will tarnish the legacy of both as they relinquish their positions to President Kirk Schulz and AD John Currie.

Wefald says he did not know of the seven-figure financial packages divvied out by Krause.

If that's true, and we hope it is, it's still a degree of neglect unacceptable to his presidential position.

If Wefald did know of the contractual wizardry, he joins Krause in deceiving his institution and betraying its people.

K-State's athletic department is in a state of embarrassing flux that has not been seen since coach Ellis Rainsberger, a past KSU academic all-American, handed out football scholarships to anyone who could utter "hut-hut-hut." It was also a time when then AD Jersey Jermier said he didn't know what was taking place.

Sound familiar?

What it is, is startling. As Board of Regents member Dan Lykins said, "Why in the world would Bob do this? That's what I would like to ask Bob some day ... `Why in the world did you do this?'"

It's unfair to hoist the burden of resurrecting the image of K-State on Bill Snyder's shoulders ... again ... but the Wildcat football coach has never been more vital to the school, and its people, than today.

Snyder is the symbol of integrity, which the program so desperately needs today after the senseless deeds of Krause.

He's the KSU icon that Schulz, Currie, and the entire Wildcat Nation, need during these turbulent times.

All the splendor of this 2008-09 Wildcat season -- the NCAA volleyball tournament, an NIT appearance for the men and the NCAA postseason basketball appearance for the women, the best baseball season in school's history, all-time Big 12 high finishes in men's and women's golf, and individual Big 12 golden placings for the track and field program -- have been diminished to inside-page news.

The Page 1 news in this year of recession will be the $4 million-plus in buy-outs, contractual perks and extensions autographed by Mr. Krause/Dr. Wefald, and not the heroics of Shalee Lehning, Josh Freeman, A.J. Morris, and so many other deserving Wildcats.

While jokes are going around about K-State now asking fans to just make their checks out to "Ron Prince" for 2009 season football tickets, the fact is that the need for Wildcat loyalty has never been higher.

No matter how the administration spins it, donations in 2009-10, plus the season ticket monies, at least in part ... large part ... will have to be utilized to settle the gaffes of Krause in his abbreviated term as director of athletics.

What the Wildcat faithful must understand is that's history.

The present is Dr. Kirk Schulz; the present is AD John Currie.

While distrust in leadership has been earned, the Schulz/Currie tandem are new to K-State. Each has first-time enthusiasm to their respective positions of President and AD, and they are armed with a fist full of fresh ideas and a commitment to KSU's future that is deserving of your support.

People who know Wefald say he has been personally devastated by the actions of a friend and confidant.

"We all have people we trust," said Lykins told the Associated Press. "Jon had complete trust in Bob Krause. He is very sad. He loves K-State almost as much as he loves his family. It's like somebody punched him in the stomach and he's having trouble breathing."

K-Staters must understand that recovering from this recent "greatest turn around" travesty after the "greatest turn around" revival of two decades ago will take time.

A lot of time, which means K-Staters will be called on for their perseverance ... again. It's a time to have patience, and trust, as the Schulze/Currie team goes about their business.

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