WKU Athletics

WKU Football To Face Vanderbilt Beginning in 2015

Aug 14, 2013
WKU Athletics

For the first time in school history, a football team from the SEC will visit Bowling Green to take on the Hilltoppers. WKU announced a three-game series with Vanderbilt University on Wednesday. 

The first game will take place in 2015 in Nashville, with the Commodores coming to the WKU Campus in 2016.  

“It’s a great compliment that Vanderbilt wanted to schedule that game with us – two games at their place and one at ours as a part of that three-game series. We're certainly looking forward to that starting in a few years,” said Michael Schroeder, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications at WKU.

The WKU men’s basketball team will burn the midnight oil during their season opener. The school announced Monday that the Hilltoppers will take on Wichita State at midnight on November 12, as part of ESPN 2’s Tip-Off Marathon.

ESPN is airing more than a dozen games in over 24 hours of basketball to kick off the new season.

Both WKU and Wichita State are coming off of NCAA tournament appearances, with the Shockers making last season’s Final Four. The Hilltoppers went 20-and-16, and won the Sun Belt Conference tournament.

You can see the 2013-14 WKU men's basketball schedule here.

WKU Athletics

WKU is adding another major-conference opponent to its football schedule. Athletic Director Todd Stewart says the Hilltoppers will travel to the University of Illinois in 2017.

WKU already has a game at Illinois scheduled for 2014.

Stewart says playing road games against larger-conference foes is a major money-generator for the athletic program.

"It's still anywhere from a $800,000 to $1 million payday, and we need that money. But we'd like to have that game a little more regional, so that our fans can go to it."

Champaign, Illinois is a five hour drive from Bowling Green. WKU will receive $875,000 for next year's game vs. the Illini.

Stewart recently spoke to WKU Public Radio about his efforts to schedule fewer so-called "money games," but to have those revenue-generating contests be closer to southern Kentucky.

WKU plays the Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville this season. UT is paying WKU $800,000 for that game Sept. 7.

You can see WKU's 2013-14 football schedule here.

WKU Running Back Arrested on Disorderly Conduct Charges

Aug 5, 2013

A Western Kentucky University running back is free on $300 bond after being charged with disorderly conduct over the weekend.

Police in Bowling Green took sophomore Leon Allen into custody at about 2:35 a.m. CDT Sunday. He was released from the Warren County jail at about noon Sunday.

WKU spokesman Kyle Neaves told the Daily News the university is aware of the arrest and is gathering information about it.

Details of the incident were not available Monday morning.

Allen is a 6-foot, 235-pound graduate of Manatee High School in Bradenton, Fla. He was second on the team in rushing in 2012 with 317 yards on 56 carries, scoring twice and averaging 5.7 yards per carry.

WKU’s athletic director is predicting there will be changes coming to the organization that governs collegiate athletics. But Todd Stewart doesn’t think the country’s most powerful conferences will break away from the NCAA and form their own organization, as some have suggested.

Stewart will attend a summit in January called by NCAA President Mark Emmert in response to pressure by big-revenue generating schools who want more say in how the NCAA is run. Some large schools want to increase compensation for collegiate athletes beyond what is currently allowed—something opposed by many smaller schools who say they couldn’t afford it.

Stewart came to the WKU Public Radio studio Wednesday to discuss the upcoming NCAA football summit, the future of college football, and his approach to putting together future WKU football schedules.

WKU Public Radio: WKU has been invited along with all the other Division I football schools to attend a Jan. 16-17 summit in San Diego that coincides with the NCAA’s annual convention. From what you understand so far, what’s going to be discussed?

Todd Stewart: A lot of things are being discussed right now, and I think what President Emmert wanted to do was get everybody in the room and hopefully come out with some form of solidarity. Because you have what people refer to as the “power five” conferences—the SEC, ACC, the Big 10, the PAC 12, and the Big 12—and there are some reforms they would really want to see.

The WKU Board of Regents has approved a $37 million bond issue to fund a new international center and Honors College building, as well as the next phase of the ongoing renovation of the Downing University Center.

While the motion passed, three regents voted against the proposal.

Faculty Regent Patty Minter joined Student Regent Keyana Boka and Staff Regent James Kennedy in dissent. Dr. Minter says while she fully supports the WKU Honors College and the school's efforts to grow its international student population, she questions the need to issue bonds and build a brand new facility.

“There were a lot of better ideas that were not explored," said the WKU History Professor. "For example, having a floor in the replacement building for the Gordon Ford College of Business—what a great place that would be. And it would also integrate that group and the international student services into the entire student population, as opposed to segregating them out.”

WKU Athletics

The WKU men’s basketball team opens its upcoming season on the road in Wichita.

The 2013-14 Hilltopper schedule was released Friday, and WKU begins its quest for a third straight NCAA tournament appearance November 11 at Wichita State.

Other highlights include a December 14 road game against the defending national champion Louisville Cardinals. That’s followed by home games against Southern Mississippi, Murray State, and Ole Miss.

WKU opens Sun Belt Conference play at South Alabama on January 2.

The Hilltoppers won the Sun Belt Conference tournament last season, winning four games in four days. In their NCAA tournament opening round game against #1 seed Kansas, WKU led at the half before losing by seven points.

You can find a link to the entire WKU men’s basketball schedule here.

The latest WKU men's basketball player will add some international flair to the roster.

Ben Lawson, a 6’11’’ forward, will have four years of eligibility at WKU beginning this fall. Lawson is a native of Hitchen, England and was a member of the England 18 and under national team.

Over 31 games for Oaklands College in Great Britain last season, Lawson averaged 15 points, 11 rebounds, and nearly five blocked shots a game. The big man can also shoot it from outside, hitting 40 percent of his three-point attempts last season at Oaklands.

Lawson is the fifth new addition to the WKU roster who will be eligible for the upcoming season.

Lawson joins Aaron Adeoye (6-7, forward, Marion, Ill.), Chris Harrison-Docks (6-0, guard, Okemos, Mich.), Payton Hulsey (6-5, guard, Memphis, Tenn.), Trency Jackson (6-2, guard, Jackson, Miss.) and Daouda Soumaoro (6-9, center, Mali) as newcomers to the Hilltopper roster in 2013-14.

The newest member of WKU’s women’s basketball coaching staff is no stranger to head coach Michelle Clark-Heard. Candyce Bingham was a member of Louisville’s 2009 national finalist team, and played her junior and senior seasons when Clark-Heard was a U of L assistant coach.

Bingham helped lead the Cardinals to a 34-5 record and a national championship game appearance her senior season at Louisville, and was a graduate assistant at Louisville this past season. In a news release, Clark-Heard said Bingham would bring “great energy and enthusiasm” to the WKU women’s basketball coaching staff.

Western Kentucky senior basketball forward and football defensive end Kene Anyigbo has been arrested on marijuana possession charges.

The Warren County Regional Jail lists the 21-year-old Anyigbo as an inmate at the facility. Anyigbo also faces charges of tampering with physical evidence and failure to illuminate head lamps. His initial bond is set at $2,000. He was arrested Saturday and remained in jail Monday morning.

Jail records did not list an attorney for Anyigbo.

Western Kentucky Athletic Director Todd Stewart told The Daily News that school officials were aware of the charges.