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Big 12 Shakeup Spawns KU Fight Song Contest

Paul Steinbach

The defections of Nebraska and Colorado from the Big 12 may have struck a sour note among conference purists, but officials at the University of Kansas will be singing a different tune entirely. The Jayhawks' nearly 100-year-old fight song, "I'm a Jayhawk," which mentioned both departed rivals by name, is in the process of being updated.

"It's not meant to be belligerent to Nebraska or Colorado for leaving the conference," according to KU Alumni Association president Kevin Corbett. "It's just keeping up with the times."

Corbett's office is encouraging students to come up with new lyrics to replace those that mention Nebraska and Colorado, with the winning effort to be announced during the Jayhawks' Oct. 23 homecoming, according to an Associated Press report. The new song will debut in 2011-12.

Fight song alterations are not unprecedented. "On Wisconsin," among the most familiar of college fight songs, once implored Badger football players to "run the ball clear 'round Chicago" - that is, until the University of Chicago, an original Big Ten Conference member, dropped football in 1940. This isn't even the first lyrical tweak at Kansas. The song was altered in 1958 to remove a reference to Haskell Indian Nations College and reflect Oklahoma A&M's name change a year earlier to Oklahoma State.

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