WSU Notes: Scholarship Program Should Help Wichita State Recruit Texas, Oklahoma Athletes

Texas and Oklahoma seem to produce so many athletes those states will barely notice if Wichita State grabs some. Many Shocker coaches, past and present, stocked up on talent from Oklahoma City, the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and places in between.

WSU’s recruiting pitch is stronger with the adoption of the Shocker Select program in September, which gives eligible students a 33-percent discount (around $5,200 a year) on out-of-state tuition. It applies to students who meet academic requirements, such as a 3.5 grade-point average, a 105 sum on the ACT, or those in the top 10 percent of their class.

The program will allow WSU, especially programs such as baseball, track and field or men’s golf, that rely on partial scholarships, to stretch their money farther. It will help full-ride programs, such as volleyball and basketball, recruit walk-ons.

“If you can tell a student that’s in a (partial scholarship) sport like men’s golf, which only gets 4.5 (scholarships), but we’re going to save you this money because you’re a great student and you can meet one of these criteria … it is a big deal,” senior associate athletic director Becky Endicott said. “It’s one of the things our coaches have been pushing for.”

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Endicott spent part of her fall readjusting athletic aid to reward the 40 current athletes from Texas and Oklahoma who qualify.

“To be able to go into Texas and have that benefit in your hip pocket is terrific,” WSU track and field coach Steve Rainbolt said.

Baseball, for example, must spread 11.7 scholarships over 27 players. There are 11 current Shockers on the roster from Texas and Oklahoma. WSU built its strong program with many players from Oklahoma and Texas is one of coach Todd Butler’s prime recruiting areas.

“When you can stack academic and athletic, you can really give a kid a great scholarship that doesn’t cost them much to come to Wichita State,” he said. “You can find a very good player that can save you some scholarship to build the team. The big thing about this scholarship is the depth you can build in your program.”

Butler sees the program leveling the field with similar programs in other states.

“A lot of the teams you see in the College World Series, they have some type of scholarship like that, whether it’s an in-state lottery scholarship where you have certain grades, or ACT, and you can get your tuition paid,” he said. “It is a huge advantage for us in recruiting and we try to take advantage of that as much as we can.”

Flying to run — WSU sprinter Deja Young left the United States for the first time when she flew to Doha, Qatar for the Paralympic World Championships on Friday.

“Six-hour flights and eight-hour flights are totally brand-new to me, so I’m going to try to get as comfortable as possible so I don’t freak out or be stiff or anything when I get off the plane,” she said. “I have a lot of friends on the track team there right now and they’ve been sending me pictures of them riding camels and enjoying the sand dunes. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get out and explore.”

Young, a sophomore from Mesquite, Texas, will run the 100- and 200-meter races, beginning Tuesday. She was born with a deformity in her right shoulder, resulting from nerve damage. The condition limits her arm movement and creates an unconventional running form where her arm moves across her body.

She qualified for the World Championships with a time of 12.25 seconds in the 100 and 25.08 in the 200 at the United States Paralympic Games in June in Minneapolis. Her performance in Qatar will determine if she joins Team USA for the Rio Paralympic Games in September 2016 in Brazil.

She was a member of WSU’s 400-meter relay team that placed 16th at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in June.

“Usually, it never slows me down,” she said. “I’ve had to deal with it since I started sports in elementary school, so now it’s kind of something I don’t pay attention to.”

The trip to Qatar changed her training routine, an accommodation she is happy to make. Ordinarily, she would spend the fall running longer distances to establish a base of fitness.

“It’s really hard to prepare for a track meet in the middle of October,” she said. “I’m so used to doing everything from January to June. It’s short and fast.”

Big names on the wall — Nominations are open for the Shocker Sports Hall of Fame inductions in 2016. Athletes who enrolled in the fall of 2007, or before, are eligible.

Support materials can be submitted to assistant athletic director for media relations Larry Rankin, Charles Koch Arena, 1845 Fairmount, Wichita, Kansas, 67260-0018 or email at [email protected]

Among those who are now eligible for consideration are volleyball player Emily Stockman and distance runner Kellyn Taylor.

Stockman, who plays professionally, earned American Volleyball Coaches Association honorable mention All-American honors in 2008 and 2009 and All-Missouri Valley Conference honors in 2007, 2008 and 2009. She was MVC Player of the Year in 2008.

WSU won two MVC titles and played in three NCAA Tournaments during Stockman’s three seasons at WSU after she transferred from Winthrop.

Taylor, who won a bronze medal in the 5,000 meters in the Pan Am Games in July, finished third in the indoor mile in the 2009 NCAA Championships and 10th in the 5,000 in the NCAA outdoor meet. She holds WSU records in the indoor mile (4:35.35) and the outdoor 800 (2:06.12) and 1,500 (4:16.72).

She won the 2007 MVC cross country title and qualified for the 2008 NCAA Championships, where she finished 59th. She transferred to WSU from Cloud County Community College.

Two other recent additions stand out as future hall-of-famers, soon, if not in 2016.

Third baseman Conor Gillaspie, who became eligible two years ago, earned All-MVC honors three times and second-team All-American honors from Baseball America in 2008. Golfer Dustin Garza, eligible last year, is the program’s lone first-team All-American (2010) and grabbed MVC Player of the Year honors in 2009 and 2010.

Worth noting — Former Shockers men’s basketball player Ehimen Orukpe will play for Uhud Medina in Saudi Arabia. He played for C.B. Tarragona and Lobe Huesca last season in Spain … Pitcher Liam Eddy of Brighton (Colo.) gave WSU’s baseball team a non-binding commitment last week. Eddy, a junior, is 6-foot-4, 180 pounds … WSU’s softball team will hold a camp with offensive and defensive sessions for junior high and high school athletes on Nov. 15 at the Eck Stadium practice facility. For information go to

Reach Paul Suellentrop at 316-269-6760 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @paulsuellentrop.

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