For one year, Michael Beasley was the face of K-State.
He led a group of talented freshmen to the Wildcats’ best season in about 20 years. Without him, it’s hard to imagine K-State ending its home losing streak to Kansas or making it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
With the news that Texas plans to retire Kevin Durant’s jersey, it’s not surprising that K-State is considering doing the same with Beasley. Athletic Director Bob Krause would be smart to get this done sooner than later.
“He’s a consensus All-American, which is one of the biggest requirements,” Krause said in a Collegian article last Thursday. “He’s done a tremendous amount for the program. If you look at connecting to the program, which is terribly important, I understand why Texas did that with Durant.
“It’s a matter for the young recruits out there. We’ve had some dialogue about it but haven’t made any decisions. But certainly it’s on our radar screen.”
However, some fans don’t think this is such a bright idea. The following comment is from Collegian’s Fourum on Friday: “Why would you retire Beasley’s jersey? He didn’t even want to come to K-State.”
This probably represents how many people feel about retiring Beasley’s jersey. He did, after all, leave after one year. But would you? If someone offered you millions of dollars, would you turn it down and risk getting injured and losing it all?
It’s impossible to know if K-State was Beasley’s ideal school, but he seemed to have fun while he was here.
He wasn’t causing trouble or calling out Frank Martin and Jon Wefald in the media. In other words, he brought nothing but pride and positive publicity to a school that needed both.
So why not retire Beasley’s jersey? Imagine this scenario that could play out during the 2009-2010 men’s basketball season:
Beasley pulls up to Bramlage Coliseum in his custom white Hummer. Krause greets him and congratulates him for a monster rookie season with the Miami Heat. He reminds Beasley of all the renovations going on with K-State sports. Remember, Beasley made more than $4 million in his rookie year.
Then it’s Martin’s turn. He wants to introduce Beasley to some top recruits who are visiting K-State. How cool would it be for them to meet an NBA superstar?
Then comes the main event. An announcer reads Beasley’s biography over the loud speakers. Wefald hands him a framed Beasley jersey and mauls him with a bear hug. Then the jersey is up in the rafters for recruits and fans all around the nation to see.
There’s no reason to be bitter about K-State retiring Beasley’s jersey.
This is the way for Beasley to help K-State even though he’s no longer playing for the Wildcats.
Jon Garten is a senior in print journalism. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.