Iowa State Cyclones football coach Paul Rhoads wanted an offensive coordinator with some grit and a straight-forward system, something that would ease the transition into a new scheme. He believes former Kansas coach Mark Mangino fits the bill.
Amid lawsuits and threats over the past few months, college sports senses change and feels the vibrations. But few have offered a peek into a future operation until Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby pulled back the curtain and saw potential hardship.
Five years ago, the Baylor Bears were the ignored team at these events. On Monday, they were the toast of Big 12 football media days. Last year, they won 11 games, claimed their first Big 12 championship and played in the Fiesta Bowl — while averaging 618.8 yards and 52.3 points. Now they are picked to finish second in the conference’s preseason poll behind Oklahoma with a new, on-campus stadium that seats 45,140 is nearing completion at a price of $260 million.
Kansas State landed four players on the preseason All-Big 12 football team Wednesday: Senior receiver Tyler Lockett, center B.J. Finney, guard Cody Whitehair and defensive end Ryan Mueller. Kansas linebacker Ben Heeney was the only Jayhawk to make the team.
On the second day of a two-day series, The Star looks at Overland Park-based Sprint Corp.’s possible merger with T-Mobile US Inc. The deal could mean throwing the Sprint brand under the bus and putting T-Mobile’s flamboyant top executive, John Legere, in charge. Day one: After years of blocked ambitions and dropped subscribers, the top brass at Sprint plot a dicey merger with T-Mobile while its network czars take aim at leapfrogging the competition.
Jayhawks coach Charlie Weis said during Big 12 football media days on Monday that he has a number in mind of how many wins he thinks the team should have to signify progress. In two seasons at Kansas, Weis has tallied four victories — just one in the Big 12 — and failed to notch a road win.
Kansas’ marketing arm is hoping senior linebacker Ben Heeney, a first-team All-Big 12 middle linebacker, won’t go unnoticed during his final season. Earlier this month, the KU athletic department launched CaptainHeeney.com, a site dedicated to promoting Heeney’s on-field exploits. The site features a superhero theme, complete with a bearded cartoon Heeney stylized as “The Diabolical Defender.”
A female official will work a Big 12 football game for the first time this season. Catherine Conti will be part of the officiating team when Kansas opens the year against Southeast Missouri State on Sept. 6 at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence.
Former Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein is an official member of the Wildcats’ football coaching staff. He will work for Bill Snyder under the title of Assistant Director of Recruiting/Defensive Quality Control.
Joshua Little, a defensive end from Oklahoma City, verbally committed to Kansas State on Wednesday. The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder is a three-star recruit, according to Rivals, which first reported the commitment.
Perry Ellis’ trip to LeBron James’ prestigious camp in Las Vegas was the latest indication of what he could mean for Bill Self and Kansas during his junior season. Only 30 college players scored invites to the event, which also included high school players.
For now, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is preparing for a late summer arrival at Kansas. But first, Mykhailiuk, who turned 17 in June, is set to play for Ukraine in the FIBA U-18 Division B European Championships, which are set to begin July 24 in Sofia, Bulgaria.
As part of a lengthy search that included courtships with multiple college coaches, the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers contacted KU coach Bill Self about the vacancy, Self told The Star on Monday. Self declined to discuss specifics about his conversations with the Cavaliers, and he did not provide a timetable for when they occurred. Cleveland ultimately hired David Blatt on June 20, three weeks before LeBron James announced his return home to Northeast Ohio.
Following a summer league practice on Saturday in Las Vegas, new Cavaliers coach David Blatt vowed to reporters that Wiggins will be part of the organization’s future. Wiggins, the former Kansas star who was selected No. 1 overall in June, was rumored to be used as a possible trade chip to acquire Minnesota forward Kevin Love after LeBron James announced his return to Cleveland on Friday.