WKU Athletics

The WKU faculty regent says she is hearing a great deal of concern from her colleagues concerning the new contract awarded to the school's football coach. History Professor Patti Minter was the lone voice of dissent at Friday's Board of Regents meeting when coach Bobby Petrino's $850,000 dollar contract was approved.

"Decisions like this hire demonstrate that WKU is still committed to funding entertainment at all costs, even as our enrollment flattens, our debt load expands, and our sources of new revenue dry up," Dr. Minter told the Board.

"To state the obvious, WKU must put the money into the academic mission and recognize the faculty and staff who fulfill it are as important as brick-and-mortar and extra-curricular concerns, because when funding is scarce, non-academic projects and extra-curriculars do not teach students, engage in research or public service, or retain the students which is obviously the key to our financial future."

No other regents commented on Minter's statements or the contract before the vote was taken.

After Petrino's contract was approved, Dr. Minter told WKU Public Radio her vote wasn't meant as a slight against athletics, but is instead a protest against what she sees as misplaced priorities at the school.

WKU Athletics

WKU President Gary Ransdell spoke to WKU Public Radio Tuesday on a variety of subjects, including the high-profile role athletics has been playing lately at the university.

Head football coach Willie Taggart left WKU late last year for a bigger salary at South Florida. Within 72 hours, WKU had hired former Louisville coach Bobby Petrino, an accomplished--and controversial--name in collegiate athletics.

What does Dr. Ransdell say to those on and off WKU's campus who wonder if athletics is playing too big a role at the university? You can hear the President's comments on WKU athletics in the audio clip above.

The rest of Dr. Ransdell's interview can be heard here.

WKU President Gary Ransdell and Athletic Director Todd Stewart have issued a joint statement Wednesday in response to questions regarding WKU's future athletic conference. Another round of conference realignment kicked off this week when Maryland announced it was leaving the ACC for the Big Ten, and Rutgers said it was leaving the Big East for the Big 10.

The WKU men's basketball program has its first recruiting commitment for the class of 2013. Alassane Kah, a 6' 10", 215 pound center-forward, announced this week he'll play his college ball in Bowling Green.

All around the country, college football teams are holding their first summer practices for players this week--and WKU is no different. The Hilltoppers open their season September 1st against Austin Peay, but there are several questions to answer before the games begin.

The upcoming WKU men’s basketball schedule is out, and features road games at Southern Mississippi, Virginia Commonwealth, and Murray State.

WKU's Athletic Director says a proposed four-team playoff model for college football would be a good move for the game. Todd Stewart tells WKU Public Radio a BCS presidential oversight committee will likely act on the proposal at a meeting next Tuesday.

After agreeing to terms on a deal following the NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens announced the signing of Western Kentucky University all-time leading rusher Bobby Rainey to a free-agent contract on Friday. One of 19 undrafted free-agent signees by the Ravens, Rainey is currently in Baltimore to take part in the team’s rookie mini camp this weekend.

J S Robinson

WKU's new Athletics Director says he's confident in the future of the Sun Belt Conference. Todd Stewart--who has been serving as the school's interim AD--was officially introduced Thursday morning as the new full-time Director of Athletics. Stewart said he doesn't believe WKU's athletics future is hindered because the school isn't in one of the larger sports conferences.

WKU will have some new future Sun Belt conference football opponents. The conference realignment that has impacted so many schools throughout the nation is also being felt in the Sun Belt.

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Former WKU defensive back Derrius Brooks has signed a free-agent contract with the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals. Brooks wasn’t picked in last week’s NFL draft, but many players who aren’t drafted later sign free agent deals with teams of their choice.

There's no such thing as an "off-season" for a college basketball coach. Michelle Clark-Heard is someone who knows this well. Clark-Heard is the head coach of the WKU women's basketball team. Since she was hired in late March, the Louisville native has been evaluating her roster, hiring assistant coaches, scouting potential recruits, and attending tournaments with traveling all-star teams.

WKU has a new women’s head basketball coach. Former WKU Player and University of Louisville assistant Michelle Clark-Heard was introduced Thursday afternoon as the new leader of the Lady Hilltoppers.

WKU President Gary Ransdell spoke to reporters Wednesday afternoon after if was announced that Ross Bjork  had become the new Athletics Director at the University of Mississippi. Ransdell says Bjork frist told him he was a finalist for the job at Ole Miss last Thursday, following WKU's loss to Kentucky in the NCAA tournament.

Dr. Ransdell admitted the timing was a bit awkward, but he complimented Bjork on his two-year tenure at WKU, and wished him nothing but the best moving forward. The WKU President said Ole Miss was getting a "great AD."

The WKU Hilltoppers hoped to pull off the biggest NCAA tournament upset in history. Instead, the overall #1 seed showed why they earned that ranking. Kentucky beat WKU 81-66 Thursday night in a game that often wasn't even that close. Terrence Jones scored 22 points for the Wildcats, and three other UK players scored in double-digits.

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