MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – It was a thrilling Sunflower Showdown Tuesday night between the Wildcats and Jayhawks. But Kansas State University’s head coach Jerome Tang has a message to the fans following the game.
When it comes to sports rivalries, KU and K-State are near the top. And with rivalries comes tradition. For K-State, a long-lasting tradition is the ‘Wabash.’ But when it comes to playing the University of Kansas, a Wildcat tradition turns into vulgar language against the Jayhawks, chanting an expletive against the university. Now, K-State Head Basketball Coach Jerome Tang is urging students to end the chant, and the students have his back.
“I would have to completely agree with Coach Tang,” K-State Sophomore Olivia Berens said. “You know the Wabash has been our tradition since K-State has been a thing. And I think we need to keep it more like K-State, cheering us on, you know not doing ‘F- KU,’ degrading another team in our conference.”
This isn’t the first time controversy has come up following the chant. It happened during the 2022 football season in a game that wasn’t even against KU. Following last night’s game, Coach Tang had a few words for students and fans.
“I really want them to understand that we don’t have to degrade the other team,” Tang said. “We dislike them, but let’s cheer for us. Let America hear Kansas State and not hear the other name.”
“I mean, I see why people would want to do it,” K-State Sophomore Aiden Brown said. “But I think there’s good reason to get rid of it. Kind of focus on ourselves and not on them. We should be about us. And then after, I think he has a great point that we won, don’t talk about them, just focus on ourselves.”
Along with focusing on themselves and not the opponent, one student said it’s Coach Tang’s leadership of the university that will have others listening.
“I just think Tang is probably the most charismatic and outgoing person that K-State’s ever had,” K-State Sophomore Noah Kotlinski said. “In any aspect really. So, I think his outgoing personality and just his likableness as a coach and as a person is just really carrying throughout the University, and everybody can feel it.”
K-State will head to Lawrence for a rematch against the Jayhawks on Jan. 31.