MacKansas State’s football program is in a mess—that’s deteriorating by the day—concerning the head coaching position. The unpredictability is taking a toll; it’s damaging recruiting. K-State icon Bill Snyder is 78 and he’s too old to go any further as the Wildcats’ coach. The problem isn’t complicated: Coach Snyder wants his son Sean to succeed him as head coach and many K-Staters are opposed to that.

Those opponents should stop and consider how much Bill Snyder has done for Kansas State University. Young to middle-aged K-State fans who are ready to shove Bill Snyder ignominiously aside should ask some of us old-timers what it was like in the days gone bye.

Sean Snyder has been on K-State’s coaching staff for 24 years; he knows every aspect of what it takes to be a successful coach at Kansas State. From here, considering what Bill Snyder has done for K-State, it’s obvious that Sean Snyder deserves the chance to be the next head coach.

There’s a compromise solution to this complicated issue that would be fair to all concerned. K-State should give Sean Snyder a three-year contract as head coach; however, that contract should have a significant provision: young Snyder could be bought out for $250,000—modest by today’s college football standards—at the end of one season if the hiring proved unsuccessful. The three-year contract would eliminate any uncertainty that would handicap recruiting.

K-State will return their two-deep offensive unit next season, except for senior QB Jesse Ertz. And Skylar Thompson is ready to fill the QB roll. In addition, the Wildcats will have a solid foundation on defense. Kansas State will have the players needed for a successful season. It’s a perfect time for Bill Snyder to retire. And Sean Snyder wouldn’t be facing a rebuilding situation.

That would be a compromise that should be satisfactory to all concerned. What it amounts to is Sean Snyder gets one season to show what he can do with excellent players to work with. If it doesn’t work, then young Snyder is out. And the sooner this issue is resolved, the better.

It’s almost been lost in the turmoil, but K-State’s upset (45-40) of Oklahoma State was a season-saving win that should calm the intense emotions that have gone national concerning the next head coach. It assured the Wildcats of their eighth straight bowl game and 19th during Coach Snyder’s iconic career.

Kansas University football fans should have had cold shivers running up and down their spines when they read the quote last week of KU’s new chancellor, Douglas Girod. It would appear that he is going to be another in a long line of Kansas presidents who are out of their element when it comes to college athletics in general and football in particular. Chancellor Girod may be perfect for academic decisions within the university, but athletics are a different world.

Chancellor Girod made a public statement concerning the current KU football situation: “Nobody denies the challenges we are having on the field, but I maintain my belief that Sheahon and Coach Beaty have the right long-term vision and are doing things the right way. Our focus now is empowering them with the tools they need to fulfill their vision.”

Right now all Jayhawk fans can do is hope for the best and keep it to themselves what they expect. The committee that hired Dr. Girod did not take the football program into consideration. What a discouraging and seemingly unsolvable state of affairs.

KU’s basketball team moved their record to 3-0 last week, including the prestigious win against Kentucky in the Champions Classic. It’s easy to assess the Jayhawks after their first three games: they are going to have another exceptional team if Billy Preston is cleared to play and recruit Silvio De Sousa enrolls and becomes eligible to play during the second semester. If those two players aren’t eligible for this year’s team, the Jayhawks will be a good, not great ballclub.

Kansas has become too involved with eligibility problems recently; Cheick Diallo was frustrating beyond belief and now freshman Billy Preston is an issue. Evidently, Preston’s situation involving a car he’s been driving is more serious than Coach Bill Self and the administration have admitted. KU’s coaches need to do a better job of monitoring their players.

The coming week is among the best of the year for sports fans. Wichita State’s basketball team will be playing in the Maui Invitational in Hawaii and KU plays Texas Southern on Tuesday and Oakland, MI on Friday while K-State has Arizona State on Thursday in Los Vegas after playing Northern Arizona on Monday. And there’s football galore.

To one and all—have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Mac Stevenson writes a weekly sports column for over ten newspapers in Kansas. Reach Mac at ( or 785-826-9200.