April 19, 2011
Asked during a Q&A session with the Lawrence Rotarians whether Kansas would consider playing Wichita State next season, athletic director Sheahon Zenger was not enthusiastic about the possibility. According to the Lawrence Journal World, Zenger said all scheduling decisions are made in consultation with coach Bill Self, but Marshall referring to the Jayhawks as "chickenhawks" at a recent pep rally certainly didn't help.
"You need to think about what you say, Mr. Marshall," Zenger said. "Don't be flippant about your remarks about the flagship institution."
It's understandable that Kansas would take offense at a barb from Marshall, but perhaps Zenger should be more conscious of the context.
In reinforcing that Wichita State is just as good as many major-conference teams during a rally in honor of the Shockers' NIT championship, Marshall asked the crowd if vanquished foes Alabama and Washington State would like some of his players? Some fans then began yelling that Kansas would also want some of the Wichita State players and one waved a sign that read "Rock Shock Chickenhawk," prompting Marshall to read aloud what he saw.
Even though a series between Kansas and Wichita State would be exciting for fans of both programs, the Jayhawks have every right not to schedule a dangerous in-state foe if they don't believe it's beneficial.
However, to blame it on a comment Marshall made at a pep rally? That seems like a flimsy excuse.