By Ben E. Brake
Does Anybody Care About Preseason Polls?
You bet they do! Schools, television stations, and fans care about NCAA
preseason polls. Most schools want you to
think that they donít care what they are ranked. They want you to believe that it really doesnít matter. But the fact is, it
If a school is ranked in the top 25 it will get more media coverage
than a team that is not. The media wants to report
on the teams that are winning. They will send news crews, reporters, and photographers to games that will be of
interest to the nation. The preseason polls are how the media determines which teams will be of interest to the
viewing audience before the season starts. They will have the first few weeks of games already scheduled before the
first game. They will make adjustments in the games to be covered as each week comes to a close. If a team that was
ranked in the top 25 during preseason doesnít do as well as expected, they will probably be dropped from some of the
future television coverage that was scheduled. But they were still able to get a little extra coverage just because they
were ranked during preseason.
The schools and the fans are what benefit the most from the extra attention.
The schools get paid for the television
coverage, get free advertisement, and have a better chance at quality students and recruits.
Look at all the attention Coach Snyder and Kansas State has received
for Snyder turning a dormant football program
into a continual dominant power. For changing a "Mildcat" to a "Wildcat". Even converting an outhouse into a
powerhouse. This was accomplished by having a school that supports the program, having a superb coaching staff,
attention to recruiting, awesome fan support, and positive media coverage.
The fans benefit by being able to see their team play on national TV,
being able to read stories in magazines, and
finally being able to brag about the team they love.
Schools for some reason want to make the public think they donít really
care where their ball club is ranked
nationally. They try to pretend that it doesnít matter and they havenít been paying attention to what the preseason
polls have been saying. I can assure you that K-State and every other team that is ranked in the top 25 are very
thankful for the extra attention to the team and are more than happy to reap the benefits of the added media
37 days until the Eddie Robinson Classic on August 26, 2000 1:00 p.m.
at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. ARE YOU
Did You Know?
Ken Ochs Courage Award
Ken Ochs was a 6-foot, 208-pound long shot to make the K-State football
team in 1966. The La Crosse, Kan., native
made the K-State team but suffered a leg injury during that springís drills. After his leg didnít respond to treatment, it
was discovered that Ochs had a malignant bone tumor. His leg was amputated six inches above the knee.
Ochs returned to K-State and earned his degree in the spring of 1969.
By then, he was a manager for the football
team, and the program had named an honor for personal courage in his name. Ken Ochs died of cancer Oct. 3, 1969.
Rivalry Humor J
Little Johnny runs up to his mother and says, "Mommy, Mommy!
I want to be a Jayhawk when I grow up!" Mom answers, "Now Johnny, you know you canít do both."
In the four years since Jim McLaughlin took over as head coach of the
Wildcats, not only has the program seen
greater success than ever before on the courts but its annual summer camp has expanded to never-before-seen
heights as well.
In 1997, McLaughlinís first season in Manhattan, K-Stateís summer camp
totaled 138 campers and was spread over
four sessions. Now, just four short years later, the camp has exploded to more than 250 campers and has been
compacted into two four-day sessions.
Staffing the 2000 camp will be K-Stateís coaching staff of McLaughlin
and his assistants, Suzie Fritz and Jason Watson.
In addition, current K-State players and head coaches from local colleges, high schools and club teams will be in
attendance. With college coaches from across the region in attendance, the K-State camp provides prospective
college players with a unique opportunity to showcase their skills for a broad range of programs throughout the
The camp will make use of 13 courts in two different buildings on the
K-State campus - eight courts in Ahearn Field
House, where the Wildcats have developed one of the most feared home court advantages in all of college volleyball,
and five in the University recreation complex which recently received a multi-million dollar renovation. Players will
be divided 10 to 12 players per court and each court will be staffed at all times by one full-time and one part-time
coach. This staffing method gives the K-State camp an exceptional camper-to-staff ratio of about 6 to 1, meaning there
will be ample opportunity for individual instruction and skills development.
The K-State camp also allows time for campers to unwind, as there are
frequent social activities planned throughout
the session. There are opportunities to meet new friends from all across the nation and time scheduled for skits and
other outings like bowling or movies.
FOUR KANSAS STATE ALUMS TO COMPETE IN OLYMPIC TRIALS
Four Kansas State graduates, Gwen Wentland, Steve Fritz, Erin Anderson
and Vanitta Kinard, are competing at the
U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials at Hornet Stadium on the campus of Cal State Sacramento in Sacramento, Calif.,
beginning July 14.
In order to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team that will travel to the
2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia this September,
one must finish in the top three of his or her respective event with the first place finisher making an "A" qualifying
Gwen Wentland, a 1995 Kansas State graduate, will compete in the high
jump. She currently ranks third on this yearís
United States qualifying lists with a jump of 6-4. Wentland, a four-time NCAA All-American in the high jump and the
Wildcatsí indoor and outdoor record holder, begins competition Thursday, July 14 at 12:20 p.m. with the preliminary
rounds, while the finals are July 16 at 12:15 p.m.
Steve Fritz, who finished fourth in the decathlon at the 1996 Atlanta
Olympics, competes in the decathlon, July 20-21.
Fritz, who is also an assistant coach on the Wildcat track and field staff and a 1991 K-State graduate, was a two-time
NCAA All-American in the decathlon and is Kansas Stateís indoor pentathlon record holder with 4,033 points.
Vanitta Kinard, a 1998 Kansas State graduate, competes in the triple
jump beginning July 20 at 7:45 p.m. with prelims
and July 22 at 10:15 a.m. with the finals. Kinard, who served as the Wildcatsí administrative assistant this past year, is
Kansas Stateís indoor and outdoor triple jump record holder and a five-time NCAA All-American. She currently ranks
sixth on the U.S. qualifying lists with a jump of 44-8.25 this year.
Erin Anderson, a 2000 Kansas State graduate, competes in the pole vault beginning July 21 with the prelims at
2 p.m. and continuing with finals, July 23, also at 2 p.m. Anderson,
a three-time NCAA All-American, is the Kansas
State indoor and outdoor pole vault record holder, including a career-best 13-9.25 to finish second at the 2000 NCAA
Outdoor Championships in June. Her mark of 13-9.25 is currently tied for 12th place on the current U.S. qualifying lists.
Two other athletes competing in the trials have ties to Kansas State.
Nathan Leeper, the 1998 NCAA outdoor national
champion in the high jump, lettered the 1998 season before leaving school. He currently has the second best mark in
the nation with a jump of 7-8.25. Shelia Burrell, who competed at UCLA, currently trains with Wildcat head coach Cliff
Rovelto and will compete in the heptathlon. She owns the top nationís top heptathlon mark in the nation with 6422
points and won the Wildcat Heptathlon held at Kansas State in May.
The Olympic Trials will be aired nationally on NBC beginning Saturday,
July 15 with prime-time coverage and
continuing July 16 and July 22-23. Results from the trials can be found at Sacramento Stateís official Olympic Trials
site, www.sacsports.com/trials/trials.htm or through www.trackandfieldnews.com.