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MU students campaign to keep rivalry with KU alive

Friday, March 2, 2012 | 10:33 a.m. CST

COLUMBIA — A petition started by a group of MU students to keep the rivalry with the University of Kansas alive has more than 900 signatures. 

With the Tigers' move to the Southeastern Conference next season, there are no plans to continue basketball and football contests with the Jayhawks, which have been played for more than 100 years.

A Facebook page for the campaign called "The Tradition Together, Rivals Forever" promotes the movement and provides a link to the petition. The petition features a letter that says "To be delivered to: Administration at the University of Kansas."

MU junior Caleb Phillips, one of the students who started the campaign, said the petitions will be delivered to the KU administration after 1,000 signatures are gathered.

"It's the least we can do to show we have a passion for the rivalry," Phillips said.

Tanner Frevert, another MU junior involved with the campaign, said Kansas basketball and football coaches are on the list of people he wants to see the petition. 

MU students who started this campaign have contacted student leaders in Lawrence, Kan., including presidents of Greek sorority and fraternity chapters, the Student Alumni Leadership Board and student body President Libby Johnson. 

Phillips said organizers emailed Johnson in an effort to get students at KU involved as well.

When Johnson didn't respond, Phillips and his classmates sent a tweet to Johnson, who replied by asking KU students who follow her on Twitter to give their opinions.

Phillips said he's been getting mixed signals from KU students, and that those who oppose future games with Missouri have been vocal. The negative feedback has been a little discouraging, he said. 

Natalie Rooney, an MU senior involved in starting the campaign, received an email from Tyler Rockers, president of KU's student alumni leadership board, that read: "The notion to keep the Border War alive sounds great in theory, but the general opinion among our University and Alumni Administrators, as well as our Governor is that this simply is not possible with your pending move to the Southeastern Conference. At this point in time, my opinion mirrors that of my superiors here at KU." 

"The University of Kansas has no interest in scheduling athletic events against the University of Missouri," James Marchiony, associate athletics director at KU, said Thursday.

Marchiony asked about the name of the student campaign. "Tradition together?" he said. "We're not going to be together."

He added that KU has "a great deal of respect" for MU and its student body, and that a petition would be received but would have "no bearing in our decision to play the University of Missouri."


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Comments

Richard Saunders March 2, 2012 | 2:36 p.m.

A petition to keep a rivalry alive? Absolutely pathetic.

(Report Comment)
Bill Fisher March 2, 2012 | 7:17 p.m.

Perhaps the rivalry should center around something import, like EDUCATION, rather than generally meaningless sports.

(Report Comment)

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