Wednesday, July 14, 2004

KU shuffles broadcast teams for Sept. 4


Bob Davis can't be in two places at once, let alone three.

The longtime voice of Kansas University athletics also is in his eighth year broadcasting Kansas City Royals baseball games, and that will cause a conflict Sept. 4.

On that day, KU will open its football season with a home game against Tulsa. Meanwhile, the Jayhawk men's basketball team is scheduled to play the University of British Columbia in an exhibition game at Vancouver. Moreover, the Royals will be playing the second of a three-game series at Minnesota.

"I haven't missed many football games," said Davis, entering his 21st year with KU. "In most cases, I can get back and forth."

Davis last missed a KU football game Sept. 22, 2001, at Boulder, Colo.

"I was with the baseball team in California right after 9-11, and I couldn't logistically do it," said Davis, who also missed the 1998 football season opener because of a conflict with his baseball job.

Analyst Max Falkenstien hasn't missed many games either going into his 58th season with the Jayhawks, but he and Davis each missed KU's basketball games in December at Nevada because they were in Orlando, Fla., with the football team for the Tangerine Bowl.

Both KU's football season opener and the basketball exhibition games will be broadcast on the Jayhawk Radio Network. Davis, Falkenstien and sideline reporter David Lawrence will be at Memorial Stadium covering football.

"It's a regular-season football game and a basketball exhibition game," said ESPN Plus general manager Angela Haar, "we plan to keep our A-team with the regular-season game."

A broadcast team for the basketball games has not yet been selected. Former KU guard Brett Ballard, then a student assistant, filled in for Falkenstien as color analyst during KU's two games in Reno last winter, while a local announcer took Davis' spot.

Ballard could be an option for KU's four-game swing through Canada, but he recently was promoted to administrative assistant by coach Bill Self.

"His new duties may preclude that," said associate athletic director Jim Marchiony. "I haven't talked to Bill Self about it."

Ballard, who spent a year at KLWN 1320 AM after completing his eligibility, said he would be willing to fill in again.

"I'm in coaching now," he said, "but it's fun to do the radio side of it."

KU's game times for Sept. 4 have not been finalized, but Marchiony said "the football game will either be before or after the basketball game," so fans will be able to hear both.

Davis, who will work more than 100 Royals games this season, said his baseball job shouldn't conflict with his KU duties this fall. Kansas City's Sept. 3 game at Minnesota will be televised, but the following day's game won't.

In fact, none of Kansas City's four Saturday games in September will be broadcast by the Royals Sports Television Network. Davis, however, also has been working Kansas City's Sunday road games on the radio.

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