New logo not yet implemented

Eric Smith

While it’s been nearly a year since Washburn University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison settled on an agreement dealing with the “W” logo, the Washburn athletic department is still feeling the after effects.

“Well obviously the changes will be ongoing because we have the “W” on our field at Yager Stadium and we have it in Lee Arena and different places,” said Loren Ferre, Washburn athletic director. “And it’s on our uniforms so the change will be gradual and as those things wear out and need to be replaced, we’ll have the “W” with the Washburn across it that we’ll be using.”

Some changes don’t have to be made for a while such as the “W” on painted surfaces, on the basketball court and the football field which are good to stay until January 1, 2012, 2014 and 2015, respectively.

However one of the biggest issues that the “W” logo has caused deals with the Washburn athletics media guides, released each year for every sport by the Washburn Sports Information Department. Photos are an important part of the guides, which include everything one would need to know about the respective Washburn team. But, with the old “W” logo being in a lot of the photos, it raises the question, can those photos be used in future publications?

Dena Anson, University Relations director at Washburn who is responsible for approving the media guides, said no.

“I was told this is the last year they can use them,” said Anson. “They’ll have to come up with new pictures. That’s what Vice President [for Administration and Treasurer Wanda] Hill told me so I’m using her as my supreme source.”

Anson said that if photos from previous years were to be used for the future, they would have to be blocked out.

Ferre has a different opinion on the situation and is optimistic about the future.

“This year the media guides have been approved and they’ll have a lot of the former W in it,” said Ferre. “But we have a history and it is part of our history. And if we go back before that, we had more of a block W that I’m sure you could find a school in the country that was close to that…I’m not a big proponent that you go back and change your history. So hopefully we can work that out.”

The reason the media guides were approved for this year, Anson said, was because the two university’s legal councils met.

“From what I got from Vice President Hill, we checked with an attorney from Wisconsin. Our school attorney checked with their attorney and he granted this waive for this year’s publications,” said Anson. “So we got those two guys talking and he said this year only. They hold that Gene Cassell, the Washburn Sports Information Director and Mike Knipper, his assistant, are involved in getting the media guides out each year. Cassell declined comment on the subject.

Another change being made in the athletic department is through team equipment and apparrel. The changes to the uniforms began this semester with all three fall sports teams getting updates including the football team getting new helmets and pants, the soccer team getting new jerseys completely, and the volleyball team getting new away jerseys. While the new “W” logo is more present in the football uniforms, the other two fall sports have several other items such as warm-ups and bags with the new logo on them. The main goal in the changes is that all the old “W” logo is removed from everything on uniforms and other athletic apparel.

“In the first game of 2010, there will be no Wisconsin-style “W” on any [uniforms],” said Anson.

Ferre said the Washburn athletic department is fine with the changes made with the “W” logo and they like that it says Washburn on it. He also said this whole thing showed how possessive Wisconsin was.

“We don’t ever cross paths,” Ferre said. “We have played some of [Wisconsin’s] Division III schools in football and other sports. But yes, our success brought this out to the forefront. And obviously that’s a positive for us. And maybe when we went to the national championship, and won the national championship a few years back [in women’s basketball], that was really a point where they really recognized it. They felt it was too close to their ‘W.’ You know because I know there are others out there that use it and are even closer, some even the same color as Wisconsin. I guess that’s the price of success sometimes.”