Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Integrity at issue, not ability


Once a college basketball player signs a letter of intent, he can’t sign another, even if he is released by a school from the obligations of that letter. At that point, all a school can bank on is a recruit’s word.

If the Henrys are men of their word they will come to Kansas. If they aren’t, who wants them anyway? Well, everyone wants them because they can play ball, especially the younger Henry brother, Xavier, who indicated late Tuesday he’s headed to Kansas. Let’s say the Henrys decide this morning that they want to go to Kentucky. Then they change their mind in the afternoon. You don’t think KU would welcome them back? It all conveniently could be blamed on the media and spun in such a way as to make the brothers look as if they were born to play basketball at Kansas the way mom and dad did.

For all the absurd attacks on the integrity of a Kansas City sportswriter, this boils down to the integrity of the Henry men. Again, if they are men of their word, they will come to Kansas. If they aren’t, they’ll go to Kentucky, which, sadly, will be Kentucky’s gain and KU’s loss. Why? Because Xavier can really play ball, and at least according to his father, Carl Henry, so can C.J.

Carl’s protestations about the way he and his family were portrayed in a Kansas City Star article smacked of scapegoating. It sounded an awful lot like he was trying to blame someone for his sons contemplating backing out on their word. Don’t fall for it. Don’t blame the messenger. He’s not the one who said of Sherron Collins and Tyshawn Taylor, “They’re good kids, man. But they’re not better than C.J.” Carl said that.

The writer wasn’t the one who said, “Everybody’s gotta be on board. The coach has got to be on board.” Carl said it. The writer’s not the one who decided the Henry brothers would stay in Oklahoma City and work out with their personal trainer, instead of coming to Lawrence to work out and bond with teammates.

Consider the timing of the Kentucky ponderings. Carl revealed in a radio interview Tuesday that Xavier had been talking about wanting to play at Kentucky with his pal Daniel Orton. This preceded the newspaper article in question.

The story didn’t reflect well on the Henrys, but the writer doesn’t work for the Henrys, and he doesn’t work for the Kansas basketball program. He works for his newspaper and is charged with telling the story, warts and all.

If the family announces the brothers will continue their basketball careers in Lexington, Ky., nobody there will care how bizarre the recruitment has been. They’ll just rejoice, and in Lawrence the general sentiment will be, “Good riddance, we didn’t want them anyway.” If they announce they are going to stay with KU, once the season starts with Kansas ranked No. 1 in the preseason polls, hard feelings generated by the brothers’ decision to bypass summer workouts and the flirtation with Kentucky long since will have faded. They will have kept their word, remember?

Wherever they end up, that school will be ranked No. 1 in the preseason polls. The coach who wins the third recruiting battle for them will have no trouble whatsoever spinning them as great additions in every way to fan bases grateful to have them. Such is life in big-time college basketball.


jayhawkdandy 11 years, 1 month ago

Keegan, can't wait to get this article tommorow in print so I can use it as toilet paper.

kw11b2p 11 years, 1 month ago

wow Jayhawkdandy..........that's harsh. I thought I was harsh in commenting on the Henry brothers lack of intergrity...........That being said I support what I said about bag.

murph 11 years, 1 month ago

Keegan is right on. The Henrys so far have been w-a-a-a-a-y more trouble than they're worth. I don't care if X is MJ himself, nobody needs this kind of attitude. Personally, I wish HCBS had called them tonight - phoned, not gone running to Oklahoma - and said something along the lines of "Shape up, or you're shipped out."

KUBlue0809 11 years, 1 month ago


odc213 11 years, 1 month ago

maybe the moderators of KUSPORTS should be more strict in their filtering of comments posted here. I'm in LA and I get my LATIMES postings dropped constantly for so much less in a matter of minutes.

Part of the problem is the Henry's hear the critics here say outlandish slanderous things. Like we read a few months ago, Web postings are under scrunity by the NCAA.... The kids read this.... So back off. There is too much media scrutiny of the program as evidenced by this 610 am report and the KC Star article. Lame reports and CARL went for the bait. Sad.

Simply read some of the above postings mentioning toilet paper and you get the picture....

Scott MacWilliams 11 years, 1 month ago

An Open Letter to Carl Henry:

Dear Mr. Henry, A a longtime KU fan and born Jayhawk, I'm a bit biased in my desire to see your sons play basketball at KU. I hope they do and are very successful in all their efforts. From what I read of your views regarding their education in the recent article in the KC Star, it seems you have spent many years training your sons for a future ONLY as professional athletes. I understand why you are so confident in their athletic abilities; but so much so that they'll never have need for a college education? As we've seen many times, career-ending injuries can happen in a split-second. The darker side stories of sports history are filled with former athletes who live tattered lives after losing their ability to play their chosen sport and not having a degree to use to their advantage. What if that should happen to your boys? What is their "Plan B"? I hope that Xavier and CJ take advantage of all that KU has to offer in pursuit of a good education, playing basketball while it's still a game, with 16,400+ deliriously devoted fans cheering at every home game. I apologize for all of the negative comments from some frustrated Jayhawk fans. They just want the drama to be over, as do you. Your friend and fellow Jayhawk, GBJayhawk

imnotpaulpierce 11 years, 1 month ago

Couldn't agree more about the scapegoat comment. For someone who is being groomed to play professionally, he should know by now that he is always going to have to deal with criticism. Most of which will be much worse than what was mentioned in the KC star.

Glad he decided to stay.

mojayhawk 11 years, 1 month ago

Can we drop this already? Some of the blogs are coming from arch rivals disguised as Jayhawk faithful. The article in the KC Star, though I did not think was really negative, still just gives a piece of the story of what has gone on behind the scenes. Carl knows not to believe everything in print. He was a Pro and I'm sure he's seen all of this before.
Leave the Henrys alone! They'll be here soon and will look great in the Crimson and Blue, even if only for a year. It will be a great one! Rock Chalk

dukehester 11 years, 1 month ago

Keegan - you're right is about integrity......and now BM of the Star joins JW in the "can't trust what he writes" column....and "just another guy out to print any story regardless of impact to others".....please don't try to sell us on this 'just journalist' crap. he knew what he was doing when he accepted the hospitality of the Henry's.....he knew he was going to print smear column.

bradh 11 years, 1 month ago

Duke, I don't believe the Star writer went down to OKC to write a smear article. He thought he'd get a vanilla look at the Henry's and write a vanilla article. Instead, Carl treated him like part of the family and told him things that should have remained hidden. Everyone knows that bad news sells and as badly as the Star is struggling a controversial story that gets national attention is the best kind of news. When 610 asked Carl if any of the facts in the article were untrue Carl said no, he just didn't like the way he was portrayed. Carl should have known to sanitize his comments to a writer or require the article be approved by him before it was printed if he was worried about what it would say. It sounds like the article was a very realistic look at the Henrys.

I think we'd all be better served by just keeping quiet, Henrys and fans. Let Coach Self smooth things over. Coach makes a lot of money, but watching this whole thing unfold makes you wonder if its worth it and makes you glad we have someone with Coach Self's equanimity at the helm.

kukid75 11 years, 1 month ago

I am appalled that anyone would consider the Star report a smear. It was nothing less than honest, strong journalism. If the reporter had heard all the (later undisputed) comments and NOT reported them, he would cease to be an honest journalist, opting instead to bias his reporting through significant omission.

One of the roles of an editor is to decide what is appropriate to run in his or her paper. Thankfully, the Star's editors didn't hesitate to run a verified, fact-supported piece, regardless of its possible positive or negative impact on a portion of a fan base. Add to that gratitude for the Journal-World for fearlessly doing the same.

We want clear, factual, unbiased reporting. That's what we're getting. Nothing more, nothing less.

K_Easthouse 11 years, 1 month ago

My experience in journalism has always been that, whenever bad news comes out, writers are always the first people targeted. It's a "blame the messenger" mentality that journalists have to learn to ignore, otherwise they'd be too intimidated to write the truth.

Fact of the matter is that the Henrys could sue for defamation of character and libel if anything in the story was untrue. I've not seen a lawsuit claim yet, so I'm sticking with the facts of the story. If Brady McCollough has a thick enough skin to go through this, I suspect that the Henry family will eventually wise up and add a few layers themselves.

In all, I hope the saga is dropped. X and CJ, once you're in Lawrence you'll have to play catchup with team bonding and learning the offense, but if you're productive and respectful to Coach Self and the banners in the rafters, you'll find the rabid fan base much easier to deal with.

5DecadeHawk 11 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Appoggiatura 11 years, 1 month ago

Typical basketball fans, blaming the writers for all of this, making it look like the Henry's sh*t doesn't stink. Good column by Keegan. It is spot on. As for BM's story in The Star, it was damn good story. Carl said what he said and so it should be written about as so. If it's negative, he shouldn't sugarcoat it, that isn't his job. As you said Tom, BM or yourself does not write for Kansas basketball or the Henry's. You write for your respective publications. If these are the facts that are presented, then so be it.

danette8084 11 years, 1 month ago

Sensitive, aren't we. "...the absurb attacks on the integrity of a KC sportswriter..." Yet the Henry's are suppose to react differently? I find all this typical of "Journalists", dish it out but cry "foul play" when a little of it comes back to them. Cry me a river, please. Welcome to KU, Henry family!

Fred Davis 11 years, 1 month ago

Wow, according to some of the posters here, who must have journalism degrees, this is all J. Brady's fault for writing such an evil piece that Carl even said wasn't untrue - but put the family in a bad light. Guess what folks - when you write the facts, sometimes that will put people in a bad light. I know that may be difficult for some of you KU-can-do-no-wrong fans to understand. But I don't think J. Brady asked Carl to hit ignore when Bill Self was calling, I don't think J. Brady asked Carl if CJ was better than Sherron and Tyshawn, and by asking why not have the boys come to Lawrence and bond with teammates, I doubt he goaded Carl into saying they're one-and-done and they don't like taking classes... Media attention is nothing new to the Henrys, especially Carl, who will talk to anybody and say anything, so to say he was taken advantage of is a pathetic excuse. For those of you who never have been journalists and want to blame The Star for the Henry's change of heart - get a grip and quit crying. A journalist's job is to write the facts, and that's what J. Brady did, and Carl agreed.

Joe Baker 11 years, 1 month ago

"For all the absurd attacks on the integrity of a Kansas City sportswriter, this boils down to the integrity of the Henry men." By Tom Keegan

I disagree...Much of this story should have stayed off the record. Carl needs to take note of the papers and writers covering his back; and take note of those stabbing him in the back!!


Sf Boggsz 11 years, 1 month ago

Carl wasn't stabbed in the back. The poor fellow opened his mouth once again and became the center piece of his children. The family needs to hire a publicist and learn how to deal with the press.

The worst possible thing that could come out of this is Carl being an overbearing father during the season, and be openly critical of tactics, minutes, and the use of his kids during the course of the year. Carl is the problem, no one else.

For those of you drinking the KU Koolaide go into detox. It's not the writers, the bloggers, or the chat rooms that are the problem. Carl opens his mouth and out comes double speak, back tracking, forward tracking nonsense. He has to be held accountable for his own actions. The firestorm of criticism has been placed on the right person. OMH.

truefan 11 years, 1 month ago

J. Brady wrote factual comments, but on top of those comments he demonized Carl Henry by making his every action look like a mockery of KU. If you listen to Carl's comments on the radio, he explains the phone call situation by saying, "I didn't answer the phone because I was in the middle of an interview, and I called him right back when I got the chance." J. Brady wrote the section about the phone call to make it look like Carl was acting too good to talk to coach Self. The entire article was BS and it was written to sell papers which I'm sure it sadly did. The tone of the article from the start was written to prepare KU fans to hate Carl Henry and his arrogance, but what I heard from Carl on the radio show was not an arrogant man, it was an upset man that felt betrayed by a media sports writer whom he trusted to explain the family's situation, not demonize his every action. Some of his comments were a little insulting, but you have to realize that he is a proud papa and anyone who had a kid as good as Xavier or C.J. would have said the same things, don't pretend like you wouldn't.

Chad Dexter 11 years, 1 month ago

Wow, seeing some of these comments made me think the J. Brady piece was a hatchet job. I decided to go read it and I didn't come away with that vibe at all.

Regarding the phone call, the article stated that after only a minute since the he ignored Self's phone call, Carl said “You know what? I better call that guy back.”

Doesn't sound like the writer was demonizing Carl at all.

jbjhawk 11 years, 1 month ago

Integrity of all parties is at issue. The family for taking umbrage with the outcome of the article. They knew what was said to a media rep. The author for not proofing it with the family before hand. And most importantly, the fans of KU. Get a grip, recruiting is a game now-days. X played his hand and the coach countered. The only one with integrity was Bill(go figure) for giving a recruit the respect of going face to face to settle the issue. But I give X and CJ respect for staying the course and not riding the merry-go-round any longer. Enough is enough. If they show in August and attend a class, good for us. If they don't, good luck somewhere else. With Calipari you'll need it. I'd rather see you in Crimson and Blue, but our lives are dictated by the choices we make.

number1jayhawker 11 years, 1 month ago

I read the article and honestly, I'm still trying to figure out why it has upset the Henry family so much. They should just keep quiet and move on in their lives.

knightmare34 11 years, 1 month ago

I agree that the "fans" who post on this site need to filter what they say (or have it filtered for them). It does no good to continuously bash the Henrys or the journalists who write about them. Those of you criticizing Keegan for this, look at what you're posting here and elsewhere. You're proving his argument for him. In terms of the recruiting saga itself, why don't we all stop pretending we have a clue what has gone on behind the scenes within the Henry family and between them and KU's or UK's representatives? We don't. We never will. Let's just focus on the team as it is.

professor 11 years, 1 month ago

Take note, I said it here on July 1, 2009 at 13:14 CDT. Headlines in the sports annals in 2010, "KU's Championship Hopes Dashed by Henry Brother's Toxic Chemistry."

Jaminrawk 11 years, 1 month ago

The Henrys have never had chemistry problems with any teams they played with. Lance Stephenson was reported to have that problem, but not the Henrys. Just drop it and move on. Keegan is simply coming to the defense of a collegue and while I don't agree 100% with him, it his his right as an editorial writer to do so. Basically, news stories are exactly what athletes should avoid.

Christopher Hauser 11 years, 1 month ago

Everything will be fine, when it all comes down to it HCBS is the boss and he will do what is right for the TEAM. We have no clue what happened inside that house last night in OKC but I am pretty sure it was positive and not because the Henry's stuck to their commitment. HCBS is a midwest guy with integrity and he knows what he is doing. The lineup will probably change a few times at the beginning of the season for sure. I think we will see this to start out for a while:

Collins Morningstar Taylor Marcus Morris Aldrich

Sounds a little familiar. Any team in America would be happy with this starting five.

Christopher Hauser 11 years, 1 month ago

Hey, I think we forgot that football season starts in a little under 9 weeks (Sept 5.). Someone told me we are supposed to be pretty good. Can we please get some more articles on the football team now so we can forget about this.

KUFan90 11 years, 1 month ago

Where does it say that X or CJ ever reconsidered? Carl isn't looking for a scapegoat for his kids. Keegan what is the point of this article. Are you on the KCStar payroll too now? Shut your piehole.

ABeesus 11 years, 1 month ago

It's never pleasant to see how sausages are made.

truefan 11 years, 1 month ago

feedback, your perspective was already skewed by the news that the boys were going to come to KU anyway. If you had read the article before all of this mess and before you found out they were coming to KU, you probably would have been one of the people bashing the Henry family. I'm sick and tired of the media making up stories to sell papers and obviously Keegan is going to try and defend him, Keegan writes the same garbage.

Jesse Newell 11 years, 1 month ago

truefan — Can I ask what you believe was made up in the K.C. Star story? When I listened, it seemed like Carl said that all the facts were correct, but he felt like he was being portrayed in a bad light.

I highly doubt that the Star made up a story simply to sell papers. In fact, if I had to guess, I would bet that 95 percent of the people on here that read the story didn't pay the Star a penny to see it.

100 11 years, 1 month ago


One fact Keegan missed when writing this article:

A really important quote:

"it's final"

All major news stations have confirmed again, what CJ and X originally said -- they are coming to KU.

Let's move onto some analysis from the writers on the types of looks KU can go with next year -- it's gonna be a stacked team!

(an ESPN writer is predicting 4 first rounders from KU's squad).

I, personally, can't wait to see X & CJ on Naismith Court, playing in the house that Wilt built

KanKu 11 years, 1 month ago

Coach Self is the MAN!!!

Team, team, team. Now lets get these Henry's together and knock one out....a title that is.....

truefan 11 years, 1 month ago

jnewell, will you first re-read my first post before you comment just on the second post? Like I have said time and time again, the comments are true but the context is completely false. If you had actually read my first post, you would have seen that in the first sentence. He dramatized every word or action that came from Carl Henry to sell the story. He took the quotes out of context and he dramatized his actions such as not answering the phone call. I hate repeating myself, but you obviously did not read my first post. Try again.

Eric Schneider 11 years, 1 month ago

jbjhawk and any of you other "journalism experts" who said BM should have let the family proof the article need to pull your heads out of... well you know where. This was not a press release for the Henry family. If they don't want it in print, don't say it. The only people who get to go over the article to see what will stay are the publication's editors. A newspapers job is not to promote a certain team. Besides the Star covers four D-1 schools as their "local" team.

And truefan, I find it hard to believe that Carl's quotes were out of context or over dramatized. He has been playing spin-doctor from the very beginning. He's been more like an agent negotiating a pro contract instead of the father of an incoming freshman.

Adam Evans 11 years, 1 month ago

Here is an article you all should read. I want to point out a few things first...

1) This is from an unbiased (well somewhat, as he used to work for the Star, but not now), 3rd party writer writing on his observations of the situation. Which, by the way, are accurate, unemotional, and honest. 2) He makes an emphatic point that Self, no matter what happens, is in control of this TEAM. 3) It is not, nor has it ever been, the Henry boys who have been at fault. It has been their father whom I think, honestly, likes the attention he's getting that he never got earlier in life playing ball and is living vicariously through the boys. 4) Of course KU fans (the best in the country without argument) will get upset when a man, who has nothing to do with the program other than being an alum, says his son who hasn't played a game in 4 years (and will be riding the bench a good portion of the season, especially in close games), is better than the BMOC Collins. 5) Speaking of Collins, I also agree that the chemistry will be called into question the moment Collins establishes that HE is the coach on the floor, that HE is the floor general. That's going to be a funny encounter.

Dan Cook 11 years, 1 month ago

Any writer can print actual quotes and still spin the article in such a way that it doesn't paint the subjects in a favorable light. Printing quotes is only a valid defense if everything that was said is printed and in the exact context of how it was said, when it was said. Printing portions of what was said allows the writer the option to slant a story.

I'm not say that's what the KC writer did, just that claiming he wrote exactly what Carl said is a weak defense unless he wrote everything Carl said.

All the more reason why I'd prefer to listen to an interview than read an article. I'd prefer to draw my conclusions based on the entire exchange instead of what the writer deems to be best for his story.

Eliott Reeder 11 years, 1 month ago

The thing is... the KC Star article wasn't even that bad. It was a good article that broke down the Henry situation and happened to accent the ways in which all of this irritates KU fans the most. We want our incoming players to bow down to the tradition that is KU B-Ball and never say anything but vanilla Jayhawk cracker comments. This entire ordeal is due to Jayhawk fan over-reaction, online blogger intimidation tactics, and off-season angst. It is stupid. I thought we were better than Kentucky...

truefan 11 years, 1 month ago

Jayhawkfan96, you are naive if you believe everything you read in the papers. Newspapers are desperate for sales right now, with many of them going bankrupt they will spin anything to make it more interesting or controversial. That is what I believe happend. It pissed off Carl Henry and he said some things he didn't mean, then he apologized like a man for the things he said. J. Brady has not and will not apologize for making Carl and his family look like monsters because he accomplished exactly what he sell papers. And don't tell me he didn't make them sound like monsters, there are a few hundred posts below the story from KU fans ripping into Carl and his family for proof, go take a look. If you listen to the radio comments from Carl Henry it paints a completely different picture of what took place during that interview. Of course you would never look that up though. I wouldn't expect anyone to actually do some research to find the other side of the story...that would be just as naive as believing everything in the newspaper.

Jujubean may not completely agree with me, but at least they understand what I am saying. Slanting a story is easy, and it's hard to defend yourself when the media attacks you personally. Carl thought it was personal, and the comments below the story were personal. Say what you want about him manning up, but if hundreds of people were attacking your character and the character of your family, you would be pissed too.

jbjhawk 11 years, 1 month ago

Jayhawkfan96 - if you're such an "expert" about the "doings" of a publication's process of printing an article.....get you punctuation correct. (Does the glass house quote ring a bell?) I agree with you that if the Henry family didn't want it printed, don't say it. However, I can't believe that JBM ran back to the office and wrote the article. I'm sure he edited out quite a bit and should have quantified his efforts with the family if he were truly going to do it justice. You make another valid point about Carl's effort. Maybe he's living vicariously through his sons. He may be over-selling the process it takes to get to the pros because he never really got there. But don't drink the kool-aid that the Star is justified by publishing the article. It's only selling papers, especially as 810 highlighted, their real effort is on Sunday, which is when this article was published. Drama sells, now get out there and find me some!!!!

MrC 11 years, 1 month ago

A newspaper that only reports the news that sounds dramatic, or might have been previously unknown publicly... jeez, almost sounds like they're trying to run a business or something.

Christopher Hauser 11 years, 1 month ago

If we don't get some football articles soon I am going to attempt to write them. Remember football season comes before basketball. This issue is a moot point until the Henry's either do show up on campus in August or they don't. Self will not let these guys screw up this team and I am sure that is the last thing these boys want to do is screw up the team chemistry. The article is the article, we are making the big deal about it now. This issue is dead and in fact was never even an issue for the brothers from what we have heard. For us to speculate anything different from now on makes us the problem.

Adam Evans 11 years, 1 month ago

Well, it's not dead no. All of this, both from fans like us, articles like the above and all linked, and the drama in general about the "wishywashy" dedication of the boys is affecting the team chemistry already. Them not being there now is hurting the chemistry. So it is an issue, but not one that isn't able to be corrected before we start running teams out of Allen. And it has been an issue for the boys, otherwise there would never have been any talk of Kentucky. However, the only person who has the authority, the ability, and the exposure to make this a non-issue like we would like it to be is Self (and maybe Collins privately once the season starts up as he is our undisputed leader). I don't blame any of the fans for being concerned, I am too. And these articles only publicly address that concern. It's up to the Henry boys (and more their father) to ignore them. No matter what you do or where you are, being in the spotlight draws media attention. Worse so if you are a pro. This will settle down, in time. And I am confident that the Henry boys will become the Henry men and help lead us to another title once things get going.

Eric Schneider 11 years, 1 month ago

For all you questioning my knowledge of how publications work. My wife graduated from the KU school of journalism and was a reporter for the Star covering the Shawnee Mission school district. For the last several years she has worked for a major hospital system here in Indy where her job is to work directly with the media in public relations and marketing. And we've been together since our freshman year at KU. So I was always around the UDK and learned a lot about how they operate. And yes, I realize that newspapers slant stories a certain way. They are running a business after all. But if they take it too far out of context then they open themselves up for a libel case. I wasn't totally defending the story anyways. Just commenting on how laughable it was that people feel the family should have the chance to read over the story and approve it. Its an absurd notion.

And I will say again, Carl Henry has handled the whole situation like an agent instead of a father. Since Xavier was originally being recruited by KU. So I really don't put much faith in anything he says. Either that or he is an utter moron and completely naive with how the media works. Which I know is not the case. You all are naive if you don't think that all this drama is about marketing Xavier. Even the negative press is good press right now. I'm going to root for this kid like anybody else on the team and am excited that he's coming to Lawrence. I just don't expect him to be a big part of the Jayhawk family after his one and done year. He may prove me wrong, but I'm not holding my breath.

And truefan. Punctuation? Last time I checked this was a discussion board not a term paper.

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