July 26, 2011
THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Kansas State coach Bill Snyder. Coach, I'm assuming we'll go straight to questions. Is that correct?
COACH SNYDER: Sounds good to me.
Q. Bill, enforcement of the celebration penalty like the one -- your team was assessed in the bowl game last season has been modified. How much, if any, input did you have on the rules change, and do you like the change?
COACH SNYDER: Well, I had no impact on it that I'm aware of. Maybe -- I mean, there was an awful lot of media attention paid to it, talk shows, et cetera, et cetera, across the nation.
So that perhaps had some impact on it. But it certainly wasn't anything that I said or -- it happened. And what do we say, it is what it is or it was what it was.
The important thing is I don't know exactly how much just the rule change itself, how much difference that will make. Remains to be seen.
I think the important thing is just the continuity that there's some consistency about how things are called. Certainly you have the opportunity to play within a conference, all schools do across the country, and you probably have a certain degree of continuity within that conference. But when you get outside of the conference, play with officials that come from a different conference, and you're not sure if you'll have the same continuity.
The best way for it not to be an issue is to make sure that your youngsters don't do anything that would threaten the letter of the rule itself.
And that's a matter of discipline. And it's hard sometimes because every football coach in the country will tell you and you would feel the same way that if you were coaching that you would want young people to be passionate about the game and play with great spirit and emotion because it is that kind of a game. And when you do that, you know, sometimes you just show your joy, and it's strictly that.
It's not trying to demean anyone. It's just joy of accomplishing something on the field. And to get penalized, really it's kind of a hard thing for young guys.
But, anyway, I don't think there's anything more to be said about it. It's just I hope that there's great continuity with the officiating crews, and they want that as well. I mean, they want it to be something that they can manage and that they can create continuity with.
And I think they'll work very hard at it.
Q. I was just wondering if you could talk about the steps this team has made during the offseason. What kind of signs do you see that this team can continue on the path that it took last season?
COACH SNYDER: Well, in all honesty, I don't know that I'm aware of any particular signs that would allow us to continue to make that improvement during -- by out of season and off season, you're probably talking about summertime. And obviously there's been this major push that it's voluntary, and some youngsters believe it's voluntary.
And, consequently, you don't have the kind of continuity and consistency that you would like to have during the course of the summer.
So it remains to be seen if we will be a better football team when we get started in the fall than we were when we finished in the spring.
I do know that we were a better football team at the end of spring practice than we were when we began. And as you know, Scott, I mean, that's kind of our mantra, has been all along.
What's really important to me, and I want it to be important for our players and hope they buy into it, is just the constant, continual improvement day in, day out, practice in, practice out every snap, et cetera, doing all we can to improve.
Now, again, whether that took place during the course of the summer remains to be seen. We'll find out when we get started on the 3rd of August and have a pretty good idea there.
I think we have the capacity, perhaps, to become a deeper football team. By that I mean just more young guys that can create a quality two deep for us. We're not there yet by any stretch of the imagination. We're still struggling with scholarship count. We're at 69 right now. And you just can't go out and get an additional 15, 16 guys just because of the rules and limitations on 25-scholarship limit.
That just makes it that much more difficult to create the depth that you want. But I do think we stand a chance to have far greater depth than what we have had.
As I said, we have some youngsters that are coming into the program that are not in our program. They'll be there for the first time when we get started in August. And some of them that we're counting on to allow us to have a greater quality of two-deep both offensively and defensively.
And so it kind of remains to be seen. So there's still some questions to be answered to do that. But I believe we could be deeper than what we have been.
Q. Kansas State has had Texas's number pretty much over the life of the Big 12. Are you relieved now that you get to play Texas every year?
COACH SNYDER: No (laughter). We've been very, very fortunate. I don't think there's anybody that doubts the quality and capabilities of the University of Texas and their ball program, their athletic program, the quality of coaches they have. Nobody does it better than Mack Brown and the quality of young athletes that they have.
We all realize that these are highest-caliber young players that -- we've just been fortunate, fortunate that our players play extremely hard. Fortunate that our young -- things just kind of fell into place in several of those ball games that we've played with the University of Texas.
And I hope we continue to have good fortune. But I assure you that we don't have anybody's number, Texas or anybody else for that matter. And it's game by game, year by year, and I don't think that will change at all.
I just hope we can compete this year with them.
Q. Kind of piggybacking on the last question, from the standpoint of no divisions anymore in the Big 12, the fact that it was kind of hard to have rivalries, even with teams in the South, that sort of thing, now you're seeing them every year, is that going to be a byproduct of it that we're going to see all of a sudden maybe those rivalries crossing the border between the North and the South?
COACH SNYDER: It could be. I was asking that question earlier, and I really didn't have an answer for it. And that was 40 minutes ago. I still don't have an answer for it.
I just really don't know. I think certainly maybe there's a format there for that to happen. I can understand it. I'm sure you wouldn't have brought the question up if you hadn't thought about it and probably feel as though it could create those type of games and rivalries that you're talking about.
I just don't know. I guess I would look at it as though in the many years of the Big 12 Conference, we've played some teams we've played every single year, and there hasn't necessarily been a rivalry created with many of those ball games.
So I kind of look at it the same way, personally, I guess, not necessarily -- probably needs to be some other reason, I would think, to create that rivalry. But it certainly could happen. Sure, it could.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
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