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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Kansas Athletics Announces Postponement of 2021 Kansas Relays

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications.After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations.In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 94 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing. In 2018 he became the Studio Coordinator at the Cumulus Kansas City broadcast center for Kansas City Chiefs Football.

LAWRENCE, Kan. — As Kansas Athletics continues to evaluate the financial obstacles that have been created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the monitoring and assessing of all budgetary expenses remains an ongoing obligation. Due to these demands as well as concern with hosting an event of high school and collegiate athletes traveling to Lawrence from various areas of the country, Kansas Athletics leadership has made the decision to postpone the 2021 Kansas Relays.

“This is a difficult, but necessary, decision in the midst of a very trying time for our community and Kansas Athletics,” said Director of Athletics Jeff Long. “We have to operate in as lean a fashion as possible, while not inhibiting the health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes. There are a lot of logistical details and planning that goes into this event, so delaying the decision any longer would not be beneficial to many individuals’ time and resources. At a minimum, this will save $300,000 from the KAI budget for an event that would likely have cost significantly more with the current testing protocols.”

KAI has undergone a large number of budget reductions since the start of the 2020-21 fiscal year on July 1. Included in those measures have been salary reduction, furlough programs, reduction of part-time staff, operations reductions and a broad hiring freeze of all non-essential roles. Additional budget reductions will continue to be evaluated and implemented as needed.

Until last spring, the Kansas Relays had been held every year since 1923, with the exception of World War II cancellations of 1943-1945 and 1998-99 because of renovations to Memorial Stadium. Last spring’s event was cancelled due to the early onset of the global pandemic.

“While the postponement of this marquee event is difficult, I understand and support the decision,” said head coach Stanley Redwine. “I appreciate the tireless effort of our administration in evaluating all budgetary concerns, and am grateful they are doing everything they can to protect dollars and resources that directly impact our student-athletes as well as their academic and athletic experiences.”

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