OPINION: Sean Snyder criticism is unwarranted and disgraceful

Coach Snyders
Head coach Bill Snyder talks with his son and associate head coach Sean Snyder during a time out in the game against Texas Tech on Nov. 14, 2015, at the Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. The Wildcats fell to the Red Raiders 59-44. (Archive photo by Rodney Dimick | The Collegian)

Editor’s note: Updated “Opinion” in the headline to be in full caps to match our other opinion article headlines. Additionally, fixed caption style errors.

“K-State Twitter” went into an unneeded frenzy on March 31. After CBS reporter Dennis Dodd reported the hiring of former Kansas State punter and special teams coach Sean Snyder — son of K-State legend Bill Snyder — to University of Kansas as special assistant to the head coach, the madness began.

Wildcat fans resorted to bashing Sean Snyder for both joining a former rival and his merits as a coach. Twitter and message boards became hubs of anti-Sean Snyder sentiment. 

The arguments between K-State and KU fans about Sean Snyder’s choice and coaching ability led to some friendly fire for K-State fans. Bill Snyder added to the controversy himself, blocking accounts that spoke negatively about his son.

Reflecting on the weekend’s controversy, it’s clear how excessive fandom, including K-State fandom, can become.

It doesn’t make sense to criticize someone for taking a job that’s better than their previous one. This applies especially to the world of sports. Sean Snyder has no need to turn down a job because of his previous years at a rival school.

He already left the program in 2020 and spent time at Illinois and USC, each far from his roots. Now, in Lawrence, Sean Snyder is just an hour away from his old home. How is that a bad thing? 

Bill Snyder going on a Twitter blocking spree is completely justified. The situation goes beyond normal fan bias.

The Kansas–Kansas State rivalry has been discussed this school year as the Wildcats have become a top sports program in football and basketball. The peak of controversy occurred away from the play itself, when the Wabash Cannonball was threatened due to the “F— KU” chants. Fortunately, men’s basketball coach Jerome Tang took a stance against the profanity laced chant and it was mostly wiped out.

Tang has been a major reason for the change at K-State with his culture focus. He’s become one of the most popular coaches in the country and possibly the most influential person in Manhattan. Still, Wildcat fans are not adhering to his message.

As K-State Athletics enters a new era of success, fans should become less divisive and more caring, especially when an alum has positive career news. One of Tang’s best quotes puts it simply.

“When you love people, it’s amazing what you can accomplish.”