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2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Keegan: OSU not right fit for Self

Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self said Tuesday, April 1, 2008, he isn't interested in the vacant coaching job at Oklahoma State.

Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self said Tuesday, April 1, 2008, he isn't interested in the vacant coaching job at Oklahoma State.



NCAA Champion Jayhawks return

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KU, the 2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament champions, were greeted by fans in Topeka and then celebrated at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence. Kansas head coach Bill Self, assistant coach Danny Manning, and several Jayhawk players address the crowd.

Kansas Jayhawks: 2008 National Champions

View an audio slideshow showcasing the Kansas Jayhawk's dramatic overtime victory over Memphis for the 2008 NCAA National Championship.

— The last two Kansas basketball coaches who left the school did so after coaching in an NCAA title game, Larry Brown as the winner, Roy Williams as the runner-up.

Could Bill Self make it three in a row? He could, but he hasn't sounded like a coach desirous of taking a professional step down in exchange for becoming the highest-paid college basketball coach in history.

Kansas won't compete with oil and energy trading magnate T. Boone Pickens, zero for zero. The rumored numbers Pickens is willing to pay Self are indeed staggering and would set up generations of Selfs, a factor that can't be brushed off entirely: A signing bonus of $6 million, plus $3.5 million per season for 10 seasons.

Self is a skilled enough coach and recruiter that it's not a stretch to believe he could elevate Oklahoma State to such a degree it could contend for a national title in time. It would be considerably more difficult at OSU than Kansas, but if anybody could do it, Self's the guy.

Still, there would be no way for him to spin returning to his alma mater as anything but a money grab. We all love money, the more the merrier. We would all love to be able to set up generations. Yet, at heart, Self is a son of a coach before he's anything else. He's a fiercely competitive winner who wants to do everything he can to stack the deck in his favor. That's why he recruits so relentlessly. Other than on the first and the 15th, he'll like his hand better at Kansas than at Oklahoma State.

If Self were 55, instead of 45, it would be easy to see where he would want to take an outrageous 10-year contract to set up the generations. At this point in his career, he's still building the legacy, not the bank account.

In just five years at Kansas, look at what he already has done. He has won a national title and reached the Elite Eight in two other seasons. Self's KU winning percentage is .816, which puts him ahead of Roy Williams (.805), Larry Brown (.754), and Phog Allen (.729).

He'll get a hefty raise from a man he enjoys working for, athletic director Lew Perkins, but the money won't approach what Pickens will stack up. Look for Self's salary to jump from $1.5 million to somewhere in the range of $2.5 million to slightly above that.

Perkins knows what a great coach he has and he knew that when Self's teams lost first-round games to Bucknell and Bradley in back-to-back seasons. He's smart enough to let Self do his thing.

Would Pickens, a man Self said he never has met face to face, show the same respect? When asked about Pickens on Tuesday morning, Self joked: "I didn't know he was their athletic director."

He's not, of course. Mike Holder, golf coach at OSU when Self played and was an assistant coach there, is. But if Pickens ponies up all that dough, who knows what that would mean regarding his involvement. Would he be marching corporate contacts into practice to meet his trophy coach?

Look at it this way: When Self wants to cash in and take on a new challenge, two things the Oklahoma State job would offer, it seems more likely he would do so as coach of the San Antonio Spurs after Gregg Popovich retires, or to the NBA after the Sonics move to Oklahoma City.


cobweb 13 years, 6 months ago

All KU has to do is extend his deal and give him a nice raise with all the money guaranteed. You don't need an incentive clause with Self, the most competitive guy you'll ever meet. He would never be satisfied with being mediocre. After his KU days are done, he can run for Governor of Kansas.

Todd Mobray 13 years, 6 months ago

Two words: Lifetime Contract.It is what both Self and KU want. Self wants "security" and KU wants a career coach. He is not going to lose the fire or forget how to coach if he gets one. It will also help recruiting.

Timmay97 13 years, 6 months ago

Let's face it.....Bill Self just etched himself into KU lore. Therefore, if he stays, he can do WHATEVER he wants. Quite possibly, he might be bigger than even Roy Williams was during his tenure there (national championships will do that for you). I feel pretty safe KU ponying up about 3 million a year for 10 years for this guy. I think the biggest factor in all of this is the OSU signing bonus more than the contract. Regardless of Pickens money (which does help) it's not like KU doesn't have donors (combined income) let alone their own that can't help pay Self's contract. Give the guy what he wants.....he just got rid of a 20 year curse (if you want to call it that). He's definitely earned it based on his recruiting and work ethic. Message for Sherron Collins.......HEAL!!!!!! You are going to be relied on BIG TIME next year.

funkitect 13 years, 6 months ago

sorry, i don't agree with giving danny a chance... yet. just because he is the "miracle man" here at KU doesn't mean he's ready to head coach at this level. maybe in a few years.and, i feel ok about offering a salary of up to $2.5mil for bill to stay, and i sincerely hope he does. but, i think anything over that is way too much for any coach in the country.

blackhawkjayhawk 13 years, 6 months ago

Give him $3million a year - an important signpost. It's below Donovan, but Donovan won two back-to-back. Guarantee the money and lengthen the contract. Give him $1million up front. He'll stay and we'll be competing for the title game again in 2 or 3 years.

KU 13 years, 6 months ago

CNN/SI has KU at #5 in a pre-season poll? Wow, I'd say that's overly optimistic. We'll be integrating half a new roster into the system and every opponent will want to knock off the reigning champs. Just ask Florida how hard it is.

jaw7621 13 years, 6 months ago

That's a good observation L4Life, but I think Danny needs to spend a few more years as an assistant working with an excellent recruiter before he's ready to take the reigns... eventually, I think Danny as KU's coach could be considered a lock.

Jonathan Allison 13 years, 6 months ago

Only way KU is top 5 in the country is if Collins, Chalmers, AND Arthur all return.A core of Collins, Chalmers, Arthur, and Aldrich combined with a couple of JuCo transfer guards 3 freshman big men. Not to mention Tyrel Reed, and incoming Travis Releford.We'd be stacked... but we're almost definitely losing Arthur, and likely losing Chalmers as well. We'll be top 15 or 20, but don't be surprised if we struggle early and possibly even fall out of the top 25. Remember after Miles, Langford and Simien graduated, we didn't crack the top 25 till midway through the season. That was with Robinson, Kaun, Jackson, Giles, Julian, Mario, Rush, and Downs all as freshman and sophomores. Jeff Hawkins played well that year, and Moody brought some experience. Case and Moulaye Niang were also on the team.

John Strayer 13 years, 6 months ago

I agree...08/09 will be a least at don't turn-over half a roster without a learning curve.But pay your dues next year...then the two years after that can be wonderful again. Its the nature of the college basketball beast now days.

LivedinLawrence4Life 13 years, 6 months ago

I really hope that Bill Self stays at KU. He is great. However, if he doesn't, Perkins should take a serious look at signing Danny Manning as the head coach. Here was a part of our last 2 national championships! We wouldn't have to worry about him "returning to his alma mater" since KU is his alma mater!

jaw7621 13 years, 6 months ago

Heck, with the recruiting class he has coming in, plus the 2 or 3 guys that might return... it's not beyond the realm of possibility that this team could be in the hunt next year. CNN/SI has a pre-preview of next season with KU at 5 assuming that Chalmers returns for his senior season. I think this excellent recruiting class that Self has coming in certainly must play into his decision making process.

craigers 13 years, 6 months ago

All I can say is KU and Lew please give Self what he wants. Even though he stutters at times, he is a class-act coach. He gave credit to all the previous coaches making KU what it is, a wonderful place to be. He jokes with the media, is obviously a great leader for young guys, and brings in tough guys that will compete not just all americans that get frustrated when the game doesn't go their way!! Bring Self back next year and for goodness sakes...Pay the Man!

Brad Watson 13 years, 6 months ago


63Jayhawk 13 years, 6 months ago

Don't discount the recruits coming in next fall. They are good players who will fit the team. Four of the six are NOT 18 year olds just out of high school. The Morris twins are attending a Prep School, and Little and Appleton each have two years of JUCO experience. I suspect Coach Self will get the "other" guy he is recruiting after this championship. It would be great to have both Arthur and Chalmers return, and for my enjoyment I hope they do. But the Jayhawks will have a very good team even if Rush, Arthur, and Chalmers leave. I wish each of them best with whatever decision they make.

jakejayhawk 13 years, 6 months ago

I agree that we want to keep Bill. He deserves a lot for the success. But, isn't there a profound value associated with being the head guy at KU? It really does come down to where someone places his or her value. Sure, millions of dollars is hard to pass up. Still, Self is, and will, make millions if he stays.This is KU. Reward Bill with a great contract in number of years, give him a fat raise, but don't even try to compete with OSU. I want a leader who wants to be here because of what this job means. And I believe there is a strong chance that Bill Self is such a man.

CaramelMacchMan 13 years, 6 months ago

Comeon Perkins....All self wants is security..... Give him 10 yr contract and we would be looking at couple more final fours and couple more championship..It would be all worth 3 mill a yr... couple more championship and couple of Final fours... that would be money well spend.

Craig Lang 13 years, 6 months ago

I've already read and heard about sports analysts giving Self the moniker of "Dollar Bill." That name will no doubt stick if he takes the OSU offer. While I think Self deserves better, most people will see no other reason for Self leaving KU for an inferior program.

shimjhawk 13 years, 6 months ago

Not to mention, if Self leaves he'd have to face the KU family and recruits every year and in AFH next year. Seriously guys, that has to be a HUGE factor, why would he want to put himself in that position. He wants a raise and extension (and rightfully so I might add), which Lew will give him. Then he can tell OSU no thanks guys. Keegan is right, going to OSU right now just won't happen. Perhaps he goes to the NBA to coach OKC then after a couple of years goes back to OSU after most of his recruits are gone. Everyone tries to compare Self leaving for OSU to Roy and Larry. However, I think it's completely different, when Roy and Larry left they were leaving for a place where they wouldn't play KU at all (in Larry's case) or very unlikely unless in a tourney (in Roy's case). Even in Roy's case he'll never have to come into AFH. I'm surprised this is not being given more consideration, but basically Self would be putting himself in a very very difficult situation to move within the conference. Also, I've seen many OSU fans claim that OSU is such a great job because of its tradition. I don't argue that OSU has good tradition but I'd say it's not even the top two programs in the Big XII (KU and UT are the top) and a good argument can be made its on the same level as some of the other Big XII schools. Then if you look at it on a national scale there are a lot of other jobs that are better programs (UNC, UCLA, UK, Duke, etc).

Steve Gantz 13 years, 6 months ago

I really get tired of hearing people talk about setting up their families with money. This guy if someone here is right will get over 2 million a year to coach here at Kansas. Only a fool couldn't turn that into a future for his kids and grandkids. He'll make enough here to set up generations. If he leaves then he is dollar Bill, but I believe he's at the point where he will stay.

JBurtin 13 years, 6 months ago

He won't leave. I'm not even concerned about the possibility.He hasn't come out and said he's staying for an incredibly obvious reason. It would put Perkins in the drivers seat for negotiations knowing that if he went back on his word he would become the most hated coach in KU history by repeating Roy's mistake.Hinting that there is a possibility of him leaving is nothing more than a bargaining chip. He said that he's sure that within the next few weeks a deal can be worked out to make sure he stays.I think people are right that job security is probably the main issue. As well as he's done so far, a couple of years of NIT could still put him on the hot seat later. You never know how the new players are going to work out, or whether bizarre injuries might happen that drop us out of the NCAA's in any given year. National Championship or not, it wouldn't take long for KU fans to get impatient with a couple of bad years.

tis4tim 13 years, 6 months ago

shimjhawk,I've been waiting for days for someone to bring up the point about Self remaining inter-conference should he go to OSU and how uncomfortable that would be. I'm glad you did. To expound on that, there has been a lot of talk about "Home" being a factor. For Roy, home was half a country away. For Self "Home" is 3 hours away. He can go any time he wants. I realize "Home" is a bit more figurative here, but I think it is still applicable.I hope Self stays, but I can understand the temptation should he leave. My gut tells me he is just using his newfound celebrity to leverage a better deal at Kansas as any shrewd person in his position would do.Either way Kansas Basketball will no doubt be shepherded by a quality coach.

97jhawk 13 years, 6 months ago

Just add an annuity bonus to his contract like they did with Roy. Stay for 10yrs and you get 10million after the 10yrs is up or something. Or stay 15yrs and get 15 million at the end of your contract. That would match OSU's deal only that he'd get the money at the end of his tenure. It's monetary incentive to stay at KU among the other more obvious ones.

DocBean 13 years, 6 months ago

bottom line is, Mangino has been great for KU and we paid him big money before we even knew that.We NEED TO PAY BILL SELF big money to keep him. He has proven he is the best coach for KU, there is no next best guy. Look at what Nebraska got when they thought it didn't matter what coach they brought in for their football program. The program is not better then the current coach bottom line. Duke is what they are because of their coach, we are where we are because we've had great coaches. UNC was not good with a bad coach, and KU will not be either.

DocBean 13 years, 6 months ago

look at Kentucky, look at Indiana; tradition will not be enough to guarantee a winning program. KU is not considered one of the best programs nation wide because we haven't won the big one in 20 years. Now we've won the big one, with a guy that is Great for KU, do what it takes to keep him, and we WILL WIN MORE.I hope the big time donors help Lew out with this one.

jlbraves 13 years, 6 months ago

Come on and get it settled. It is not hard to figure out, pay the man more than 2 million a year for 5 years with a rolling year that makes it a continuous deal. ONLY reason for termination is probation or NCAA violations. Get it done this week so Coach can start working on talking Rush and Arthur back to secure another title next year.ROCK CHALK.

cobweb 13 years, 6 months ago

Arthur should say that he'll come back if coach does. The Florida players did it after they won the first one.

LAJayhawk 13 years, 6 months ago

1625, you make me laugh man. Great post. A 62-year-old movie reference? Clearly, a man with his finger on the pulse of the cultural zeitgiest.....Now, I'm fairly confident that Coach Self stays at KU. He has said he is only looking for security which he could get in a long term contract and a raise (2.5 to 3 is fair), and unless T Boone comes at him with like 10 to 15 a year, he isn't going to want to step backward and then face a hostile Allen Fieldhouse crowd every two years.If Self leaves (and that's a gigantic IF), then I'm sorry guys but Danny will not take over. 6 or 7 posters said the same thing yesterday, but it just won't happen. I love the guy, and his impact on our big men this year is evident, but he does not have the experience or, seemingly, the want-to to head the third winningest program in college basketball. 1) He has only been an assitant for 1 year, 2) there isn't any evidence that he could set up any sort of a system, and 3) I don't think Danny wants to. Remember he was hesitant to become an assistant because he was affraid it would take too much time away from his family. Obviously head coaching exacerbates that problem. While I understand some of you like the storybook feel to it, it's probably time to retire that idea. He will continue to make a fantastic big man coach.People should probably stop bringing up Larry Brown as an option as well. While that would be slightly more possible than Danny, it simply won't happen. Really, I know it's fun to do on message boards, but theorizing about who will replace a coach that has given no inclination of leaving and who we don't want to see go is a little silly and presumptious. I understand the nervousness left over from the Roy departure, but we all need to have a little more faith. And one more thing, don't forget a big reason why Roy left was his ailing sister and father. Comparing Roy to Self is apples to oranges. And comparing Self to Larry is Beethoven to Frank Capra (that one's for you 1625).

BCRavenJHawkfan 13 years, 6 months ago

1625,Love the comparison of T-Bone to Mr. Potter.I have often said he is cut from the same oily cloth as Al Davis and Jerry Jones. All three men would sell their own mother if it got them what they wanted.

Champion08 13 years, 6 months ago

I think Self is most likely gone. I hate to think of rebuilding again, but lets take a look at who could coach next... John Calipari anyone? 1) Thy guy loses the heart and soul of his squad next year2) Former Kansas Assistant3) Would no longer have to answer questions regarding the strength of his conference (C-USA)4) Wont require Bill Self type $$$$$5) Will still bring in excellent recruits 6) Fast pace exciting style of offense7) Could keep all our incoming recruits from transferring Another thought (just because hes looking for a job) Larry Brownyeah hes old and got ran out of town for knocking that student up back in the day, but hey why not?

JayhawkPurist 13 years, 6 months ago

Docbean, I agree that tradition isn't enough to keep a program winning, but a point of clarification otherwise: to say people nationwide don't think KU isn't one of the best programs in the nation is totally false. I've been all over the country, and people everywhere recognize KU as a premier program, a blue blood, a "destination job" location for a coach, one of the top 5 programs in history, and very arguably THE most historic. KU's getting over the hump this year only enhances that reputation.

JayhawkPurist 13 years, 6 months ago

Are you serious about Calipari, Champion08?? Maybe I'm alone on this one, but I don't want KU to bear any resemblance to the UMass and Memphis programs. I would be embarassed to have a guy like Joey Dorsey play for KU. His sportsmanship in the championship game was questionable at best, and is pretty clear evidence of Calipari's priorities/values/philosophy.

13 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for the link, tis4tim. Good article.

actorman 13 years, 6 months ago

"Even though he stutters at times, he is a class-act coach"Huh????? What an incredibly offensive comment to make. What on earth does one thing have to do with the other?!?!?!?!?!?Champion and remlap, you guys are crazy. Self isn't going anywhere. He's happy and comfortable where he is, he has a great athletic director that he loves to work with, he's in a dream destination, and his family is happy in Lawrence. Why would he leave? I take him at face value; he wants to get a great deal from KU and has every right to it. And Lew will do what he can to make him happy. It won't be an issue.

LAJayhawk 13 years, 6 months ago

JayhawkPurist,You're absolutely correct. Even out here in LA people recognize our prominance. USC and UCLA fans have a respectful understanding of what we bring to the game of college basketball (hopefully after a few more years in football too!). I worked up on the USC campus the other day and at the LA center studios, and I talked basketball with several UCLA fans who not only knew a lot about our team, but knew almost every player on it and how good they are -- outsiders opinions of our players, by the way, often sit at a higher level then many I read on here. I think we, as fans, are caught in our own little bubble and don't realize how the country looks at us, even on the good side. People all over the coutry wanted to see us knock off the "thugs" that are Memphis. Even some Illinois and Missouri grad friends of mine.Take a look at some of the comments on here, and it'll be clear how many people around the country were cheering for us on Monday night:

Roy Scherff 13 years, 6 months ago

Yes, I think Self is gone also. It's not about the money, its about getting back home to where it all started. Bills an accomplished coach with not a lot left to prove. His legacy to his home would be to lay the foundation that legacies are made of. That is what endures and endears, not the money. Thanks Bill for all you have done. We are going to be just fine. You have made a worthwhile contribution to the KU legacy, that which was started long, long ago. You can start the same (at a lesser value of course) at your home, OSU.

Brian Skelly 13 years, 6 months ago

Self is playing this exactly as he should. Anyone who holds that against them is clearly missing the point.He just WON the National Championship. He's got an Oil Barron OSU alum who's willing to throw a gazillion dollars at him (supposedly). This is the best leverage Bill Self will ever have with anything. He'd be a fool not to see this play out a bit. In the end, he'll stay at KU simply because this is where he wants to be. Kansas was a dream job even when he was growing up in Oklahoma for him. I know several H.S. coaches who know him and he cant envision himself as anything but a Jayhawk. Obviously that was before this situation, but I cant envision it altering the landscape that much if its true.Lets face it to... I've seen reports that Mark Mangino makes more than Self does. IF thats true, its insane. And they are shoveling $$$ at the Football Program, which is great... and even more the reason why Self is intrested in improving the facilities here at KU for the hoops team.I think that Iowa State and Baylor are the only two schools in the Big 12 with smaller athletic budgets than KU. Which is pretty amazing considering our presence nationally. It's time to quit dinking and diming and lock Coach Self up for the next decade or so.

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