Snyder’s endorsement of Roberts is greeted with backlash

Bill Snyder considers the game against Stephen F. Austin on August 30, 2014 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Snyder has been in headlines recently for his endorsement of Senator Pat Roberts, raising questions about what public universtity figures can use their power for. (Rodney Dimick | The Collegian)

Outside of K-State’s No. 9 ranking in the inaugural College Football Playoff rankings, K-State head football coach Bill Snyder made headlines in an equally negative way.

Last Thursday, Snyder was featured in incumbent senatorial candidate Pat Roberts’ campaign commercial. Since then he has said that he would like the ad removed.

“I made a mistake,” Snyder said after Saturday night’s 48-14 win over the Cowboys. “I’m not going to delve into it, exactly how everything happened. But I made a mistake and I embarrassed our university. That’s my responsibility and my error. That’s my fault and nobody else’s.”

In the advertisement, Snyder said that he will be voting for his good friend Roberts. K-State president Kirk Schulz said that Snyder did know that his comments would air publicly.

The commercial created questions about what public university figures can use their power for. The dueling perspectives circle around whether someone like Snyder can be public in their political views.

Schulz said that the Roberts’ campaign declined to remove the ad. According to an article published by the Topeka Capital Journal on Saturday, Roberts’ campaign denied that they were requested to do so.

“I have spoken about the issue,” Snyder said. “I apologized, I made a blunder, major mistake. I hurt the university, I accept the responsibility for it. Would I want the ads removed? Yes.”

Roberts, a graduate of K-State, is running against independent candidate Greg Orman in a highly-contested race. If Roberts wins, it would be his fourth term in the U.S. Senate.