<center><p><font color=red><b>***Breaking News***</b></font></p></center>The University of Kansas athletics department has scheduled a 4:30 p.m. press conference today to make a "major announcement" today in the John Hadl Auditorium. According to a brief release issued at 2 p.m. by media relations director Mitch Germann, KU athletics director Lew Perkins will be on hand.
It seems likely that the announcement concerns the future of longtime women's basketball coach Marian Washington. Since arriving in Lawrence last summer, Perkins has made it clear that he expects success--and revenue--from the Kansas women's basketball program. After winning championships and challenging for titles consistently in the Big Eight and in the first few seasons of the Big 12, the Jayhawk program has declined of late while K-State's has risen, and this season KU's struggles have continued--after winning seven of its first 11 games, Kansas has lost four straight and five out of six against Big 12 competition.
The Jayhawks dropped to 8-9 overall and 1-5 in league play after falling to arch-rival Missouri, 76-49, last Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse. The blowout marked the first conference win for the Tigers (10-6, 1-4) and came before a crowd of 2,877 that was KU's largest home attendance of the season. The contest also featured considerable pre-game hype in the aftermath of Kansas' 55-52 win Jan. 10 in Columbia--several KU and MU players became involved in a midcourt fracas following the game, a confrontation that included fisticuffs between several players.
Ultimately the Big 12 handed out one-game suspensions to five players--Kansas starters Larisha Graves, Tamara Ransburg and reserve Kandis Bonner; and MU reserves MyEsha Perkins and Christelle N'Garsanet--for "engaging in flagrant misconduct and not showing proper restraint."