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Kansas senior football standout Darrell Stuckey has been named as a nominee for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team it was announced this week.

The award honors football players who make outstanding contributions in the areas of volunteerism and civic involvement. An 11-player team will be announced later in the year.

Stuckey has been one of the most community-involved student-athletes at Kansas in his Jayhawk tenure. His volunteer activities include speaking at schools, working with the Special Olympics, Habitat For Humanity and the Read With The Jayhawks programs among many others.

In 2009 Stuckey will represent the student body as he won a seat on the KU Student Senate during elections last spring.

Stuckey is also on the 2009 Lott Trophy Watch List, which recognizes players for their impact on the field and off the field.

Last year Stuckey was named a Big 12 Community of Champions member, while also earning his team’s co-Leadership Award.

On the field, Stuckey was an All-Big 12 First Team selection in 2008. He was second on the team in tackles with 98, while leading the team with five interceptions.

KU AD


As Kansas football coach Mark Mangino stepped out of a Dodge pickup Thursday, he got a look at how much fan support has grown during his eight-season tenure.

About 300 fans packed the inside and the parking lot of Larry Bud's Sports Bar & Grill for the KU Football Kickoff Rally. The number of fans far exceeded that of Mangino's early years.

"I think it's terrific," Mangino said of the turnout. "I think the first time that I came to Wichita as the head coach here, I think the turnout for an event like this was about 30, 35 people. So we've made some progress.

"People are excited about our program, we're excited about our fan base looking forward to the season, and it's always great to come to Wichita."

The event began at 5 p.m. and Mangino arrived ten minutes before seven to take questions from the media then address the fans.

He opened with a joke after complaining about traffic problems that delayed his departure from Lawrence ?"Aren't we glad the people who planned that construction don't run the KU athletic department."

...Mangino was also asked about recruiting Wichita players ? North product Darius Parish is the only former City League player on the roster.

"If there's a good player in Wichita, we're going to recruit them if we feel like he fits with us," Mangino said. "We've had them in the base, but we have to feel like they're a good fit."

Much of Mangino's address spread optimism for a season in which the Jayhawks have been picked to finish second in the Big 12 North and have 14 returning starters.

Mangino didn't hold back in praising the fans who have supplemented his team's recent success, and acknowledged today's precarious economy in the process.

"I appreciate it," he said. "Especially if you cut back on your beer just so you can come to a game."

Wichita Eagle


LJW Mayer: Jayhawks quietly confident



Around the Big 12

The mainstream media covering the Big 12 Conference, an esteemed assemblage in most instances, collectively believes Nebraska will win the league’s North Division.

What were those woeful, wasted wretches thinking?

With the exception of Kansas having a slight edge because of quarterback Todd Reesing and the division’s top two receivers, the North race appears as wide open as that state's prairie land.

In the league’s 13-year history, only two North teams ? Iowa State and Kansas ? haven’t won the division. But it’s safe to go ahead and remove Iowa State and Kansas State from this season’s North equation, with both breaking in new coaches (kind of) and their respective talent levels needing two or three more recruiting classes to merely stand in the shallow end of the pool.

CU Athletics: Analyzing the North


USA Today: Big 12 logjam



Around College Football

Dennis Dodd: When will the hammer fall on Trojans?



Basketball News

Chalmers ? who hit the three-pointer that forced overtime against Memphis in KU’s ’08 title victory ? chuckled when asked what it’d take to make today a successful day.

“If I hit a hole-in-one,” Chalmers said, adding, “It’ll be a good day if everybody has fun. We’re all out for a good cause.”

The cause is the “Mario V. Chalmers Foundation,” that cites as its mission to “create and support community based programs that encourage the positive development of youth through sports and education and fund initiatives for breast cancer research and treatment.”

Mario’s dad, former KU director of basketball operations Ronnie Chalmers, explained the inspiration behind the foundation.

“It’s something Mario wanted to do when he decided he wanted to be an NBA player,” Ronnie Chalmers said of Mario, who just completed his rookie season with the Miami Heat. “He wanted to start a foundation, to do it in honor of a close friend who died his sophomore year at KU.”

That person is Pauline Peterson, mother of one of Mario’s YMCA and AAU teammates ? Paul Peterson of Anchorage.

She cheered her son and Mario as they grew up playing basketball.

“She was like a second mom to Mario,” Ronnie said of Pauline, who died after a battle with breast cancer. “My wife and she were good friends. Mario decided his foundation would be to support awareness and cure for breast cancer along with youth initiatives to make kids aware of making the right choices on and off the court.”

Mario added: “I am very happy to give back. This is a great opportunity, something I always wanted to do, especially in the name of Mrs. Peterson. This is a great way to kick it off.”

...Mario’s parents still own a house in Lawrence.

“It’s on the market,” Ronnie said, noting, “we are back and forth, probably 70 percent of the time in Miami and 30 percent in Lawrence. We’ll always be part of the Lawrence community, especially now with the establishment of this foundation. We wanted it based out of Lawrence. Lawrence is embedded in our lives forever.”

LJW


Just got back from Big 12 football media day and all anyone wanted to talk to me about was Big 12 basketball and the fact that the conference - which has eight potential NCAA teams - might be the best conference in country. We know this much: f Craig Brackins of Iowa State, c Cole Aldrich and g Sherron Collins of Kansas, f Damion James of Texas, f James Anderson of Oklahoma State, g Willie Warren of Oklahoma and g Denis Clemente of Kansas State are all All-American candidates.
NY Daily News Dick Weiss


Drew Gooden is officially a Maverick.


Kansas University’s Danielle McCray was one of 25 women named to the Women's Basketball Coaches Association’s "Wade Watch" list for The State Farm Wade Trophy Div. I Player of the Year.

The list is made up of top NCAA Div. I student-athletes who best embody the spirit of Lily Margaret Wade according to the following criteria: game and season statistics, leadership, character, effect on their team and overall playing ability.

This year's list has 20 institutions and 10 conferences represented. Connecticut and Stanford each have three student-athletes on the list ? Tina Charles, Tiffany Hayes and Maya Moore from the Huskies, and Jayne Appel, Kayla Pederson and Jeannette Pohlen from the Cardinal.

The ACC, BIG EAST, Big Ten and Pac-10 each have four student-athletes on the list, followed by the Big 12 (3), SEC (2), Atlantic-10 (1), Mountain West (1), Sun Belt (1) and West Coast (1).

Former Kansas great Lynette Woodard was the 1981 Wade Trophy winner, the only Jayhawk to capture the honor in its 32-year history. Woodard was the fourth overall winner of the award and took home the honor after averaging 24.5 points and 9.6 rebounds per game during her senior campaign.

LJW
KU AD press release


Current recruiting news & college basketball news can now be found here.



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