Tom Keegan's article on KUSports.com titled "KU's year as bad as it gets" reminded me of a conversation I had a few years back when talking about RCT and covering football, basketball and other random sports along the way. If you haven't read it, the point of the article is that outside of men's basketball and track, Kansas didn't field many teams that put forth a competitive product in the Conference. The question is, does it matter?
Without question everyone here would say that they want Kansas to continue to dominate in the basketball arena and almost to a person you'd also hear that they would like to see Kansas compete on the football field. Take those two sports out of the equation and do you still care? A quick quote from the Keegan article.
Men's track and field, which placed sixth at the conference championships, was the only other KU squad to finish in the top half of the league. Men's and women's cross country finished seventh out of 12, and women's track and field and volleyball were seventh among 11 teams.
More bad news: Women's swimming and diving (fourth of six), women's basketball (tied for eighth), men's golf (ninth), women's tennis (tied for ninth) and women's golf (11th) all had forgettable seasons. Wait, it gets worse. Four KU teams - football, women's soccer, softball and baseball - all were dead last.
Sure it sounds good to say that you really want to see women's tennis succeed and do well or that men's cross country is something Kansas should be better at, but I'm just curious if people really care when push comes to shove?
It's tough because the level of exposure for those sports is so minimal that you aren't often going to hear about their successes and identify with them as closely as you do with the Morris twins who are plastered all over ESPN with the name Kansas on their chest. I'm all about equal opportunity here at RCT, I guess I just sometimes wonder if success in these areas could really ever invoke a sense of pride for Jayhawks. I mean we have trouble drumming up the football support from the "basketball only" fans so how can swimming expect to compete with that?