Cassell, Harris not to blame



Those that were in attendance during the football game Oct. 15, might have noticed that something unique appeared on the game tickets.

By now, most of the Washburn community is familiar with the Vershon Moore situation.

For those unfamiliar with the situation, Moore chose to engage in criminal activity involving robbing a bank back in August of this year. The result of which has landed Moore in prison.

In the intervening months since then, Washburn football head coach Craig Schurig has earned the most career wins in the history of the Washburn football program going undefeated (until this last Sat. against Northwest Missouri State) this late into the season for the first time since 1907.   

Top all of that with Washburn Volleyball Head Coach Chris Herron and his team experiencing another incredible season of success.

All of this is nothing more than yet another reason to be proud of a strong Washburn athletics heritage.

Despite all of these positives, some detractors have brought up the ticket situation as a sign of some sort of gaffe on the part of the marketing and sports information department at Washburn.

Let me simply say that this isn’t the case.

I disagreed with the stance that the university took at the time when the Moore incident took place. Let me be the first to say that in that particular instance I was critical of their decision to refuse comment on the situation, though understandable from their end of things I am sure.

All of that said, I think its a real stretch of reality to say that either Washburn sports information director Gene Cassell or Washburn athletics marketing director and ticket coordinator Summer Harris had any ability to control the situation or fault in the matter.

For those that are not aware of how the process of creating tickets takes place, the steps are planned well in advance.

Tickets are designed in the spring and go to print in May. After the tickets come back, they are then distributed to season ticket holders in June.

Keep in mind that it was almost fully two months after that point that Moore chose to participate in the crime that landed him in jail.

Obviously, with no way to prevent the situation unfolding, Cassell, winner of 75 citations for excellence for office publications, in particular acted in the only way that someone in his position could act, by removing all references to Moore in the sports media guides.

While I am not one for sweeping things under the carpet, I can sympathize with Cassell in that keeping the media guides as they were would have been awkward to say the least.

Under the circumstances, Harris also did the only thing she could in this instance by simply doing nothing. Short of reprinting tickets there was nothing for the marketing staff to do to correct the situation.

Some will argue that the ahtletics department should have spent the money to reprint tickets not featuring Moore.

While that sounds good in theory, according to Cassell it would have been much more expensive for the department to go back and print another set of tickets.

Add onto that the logistical nightmare of tracking down the season ticket owners and explaining the situation, mailing out new ones and you have an exercise of impossible proportions.

So before readers jump to any conclusions, stop and put yourself in the shoes of two people who have given strong service to the university in their time here.

Despite whatever you feel could or could not be corrected in a given situation, understand that the two people who some are putting blame on have comported themselves with the utmost professionalism in this situation.

Understand that without the kind of people like Cassell and Harris working for Washburn, the university might not have nearly the well deserved reputation that it has as the home of professionals such as them.