Scott Ward, the University of Kansas’ associate athletic director for academic and career counseling who had surgery to repair a tear in his aorta Friday night, remains at the University of Kansas Hospital, KU associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said Saturday afternoon.
“The latest is he had his eyes open some today for little bits,” Marchiony said shortly after the KU-TCU football game. “(There are) some infections but nothing that they (doctors) are particularly worried about to treat. Doctors are very pleased with the way things are going.
“The (KU) volleyball team did a video for him. Robin (Ward’s wife) played it for him in the room,” Marchiony said.
A hospital official indicated the hospital will provide no condition reports on Ward, who is in charge of academics for KU men’s basketball and women’s volleyball.
Three former KU basketball players in Kansas City for the Minnesota Timberwolves-Miami Heat exhibition game commented about their former academic adviser Saturday.
“It’s sad. Your heart breaks a little. He’s an unbelievable guy,” said Timberwolves center Cole Aldrich, who was 2009-10 Academic All-American of the year as selected by College Sports Information Directors of America and ESPN the Magazine.
“I still keep in contact with him from time to time. I’m glad surgery went well last night. That’s kind of step one. He’ll have a little mountain to climb. He knows he has a lot of people supporting him and helping him through that climb,” Aldrich added.
“I put it in God’s hands and pray, hope for the best,” said Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins.
Said Timberwolves guard Brandon Rush: “Brady (Morningstar, former KU guard) told me about it when it happened. The way Brady made it sound, he’ll pull through and everything will be OK.”
Ward suffered the tear of the aorta on Friday morning and was treated at Lawrence Memorial Hospital then flown to the University of Kansas Hospital. Several athletic department officials and coaches, including Bill Self (basketball) and Ray Bechard (volleyball) have been at the hospital.
A native of Kingman, Kan., Ward received his bachelor’s degree in education from KU in 1991, his master’s in 1993 and Ph.D. in education with emphasis in sport psychology in 1996. He has been academic counselor for the basketball team during Self’s 14 years at KU.