Saturday, May 16, 2009

Tisdale on hand for net cutting


Wayman Tisdale always will be remembered as a bit player in one of the ugliest incidents in the history of Kansas University’s Allen Fieldhouse.

Tisdale, who died Friday at the age of 44, was among several Oklahoma University basketball players who cut down the nets in the KU arena following a victory over the Jayhawks.

KU fans who were there will never forget the temerity of the Sooners on that late February night in 1984 after OU had posted a 92-82 overtime victory and clinched at least a tie for the Big Eight regular-season title.

“They’re a great team,” first-year KU coach Larry Brown said. “I wish they acted like a great team. I’ve never seen a team cut down the nets on a visiting court.”

But the net snippage was just part of the Sooners’ shabby shtick.

With only eight seconds remaining in the OT and the Sooners leading, 92-80, OU coach Billy Tubbs called a timeout with the apparent purpose of rubbing the KU’s fans’ noses in it.

During that break, OU players and coaches waved at the crowd — some reportedly using the derisive middle-finger gesture — and a few of the fans responded by throwing ice and cups on the floor.

Mark Turgeon, now coach at Texas A&M; and then a KU freshman guard, summed up the Jayhawks’ feelings when he called the Sooners’ antics “ridiculous.”

The controversial Tubbs, meanwhile, offered no apologies for his and his players’ behavior, insinuating the KU fans deserved it for the way he had been treated while waiting to do a halftime interview on the regionally televised game.

“I got whomped up the side of the head five or six times,” Tubbs told the Daily Oklahoman newspaper. “I got spit on. I got water and Coke and I don’t know what all else thrown at me.”

Tubbs, who also complained about the poor Allen Fieldhouse security, ended his diatribe by saying: “Some of those people ought to have been hauled down to the county jail.”

Kansas officials were as furious about Tubbs’ security remarks as they were about the Sooners’ overtime and post-game deportment, stressing that six officers — three in plainclothes — were assigned to the visiting team.

A few days later, Oklahoma won the Big Eight title outright, and guard Tim McCalister said: “We know were the most hated team in the Big Eight.”

Few begged to differ, but the Sooners would receive a comeuppance, and soon. Following their hijinks at Kansas, Brown had said, “The world is round,” meaning that what goes around comes around.

Sure enough, less than three weeks later, KU and Oklahoma met again in the championship game of the Big Eight tournament at Kansas City’s Kemper Arena. Final score: Kansas 79, Oklahoma 78.

Then, four years later, Brown and the KU faithful enjoyed the ultimate atonement when the underdog Jayhawks shocked Tubbs’ Sooners, 83-79, in the NCAA championship game, also at Kemper Arena.


RockChalkJayBlog 12 years, 4 months ago

RIP Wayman.

I think we can all forgive OU that year for winning the Big Eight since KU won the only trophy that mattered.

100 12 years, 4 months ago

I was there. It was a sad day.

After they cut down the nets at our Fieldhouse, Wayman threw one around his neck, climbed up on one of the rims (the same side as Jacque's gamewinning 3 against Indiana). Waving and grinning to the crowd, cupping his ear. Then he grabbed his neck. Then grinned. Then grabbed his neck. Then grinned. Next he pulled up two more of his teammates. They stood together on the rim. Somehow the backboard didnt break. Then all three did a jive hip hop routine, waving the crowd on. We yelled mean things, mostly at Billy Tubbs, at the top of our lungs which made them smile more and dance more. Then a few more ran down and climbed up on the other rim. I've never seen anything so embarrassing.

I still believe five things made certain we would somehow win the 88 championship.

  1. Getting beat by KSU, Duke & OU at home to end our season.
  2. The day before the final four game against Duke in Kemper, our players, dressed in KU warmups, fresh from their practice at Kemper, walked into a sold out Municipal Auditorium in KC during the NAACP all star game. This is THE place where KU basketball was born (this is where Naismith snatched the biggest program changing recruit in the history of college basketball, Phog Allen, during a basketball showdown against the world champion Buffalo Germans at the time). Well that 1988 afternoon in Municipal, in the same place Naismith acquired the man who would yield Wilt, Rupp, Smith & Lovellette, the crowd erupted for the Danny Manning led Jayhawks. You could feel it. Naismith's spirit had been woken. Phog's spirit had been woken. You could see it in the players' eyes -- we were gonna win it!
  3. We had Danny Manning. OU & Duke didn't.
  4. Kevin Pritchard had been moved to point guard -- probably one of the best personel coaching moves I've ever seen. Man he was good. And smart. Without Pritchard we get blown out by OU.
  5. This one sealed the deal -- Wayman Tisdale, with his coach smiling, albeit a couple years before, crawled onto our rims, stood together and jeered us. Larry didn't forget that. His assistants didn't. And neither did Turgeon, an asst in 88. And our fans certainly didn't.

Wayman, you were a good man & you're in a much better place now -- but now that it's done, I'd like to formally thank you for our 1988 championship trophy.

5yardfuller 12 years, 4 months ago


The games between Doc Allen's KCAC team and the Buffalo Germans in 1905 were played in Convention Hall. It was torn down in the 1930s and the site became a parking lot for Municipal Auditorium.

Mike Blur 12 years, 4 months ago

I was at that game as well, and it was an extremely poor show of sportsmanship when Tisdale and the other starters, in OT after the game had been decided, "defended" KU with a Radio City Rockettes dance line as the Hawks moved the ball down the court. It was not long after that when Tubbs called the "in your face" time out.

To this day, the antics of Tisdale, Tubbs and the Sooners were the worst I had ever witnessed over several hundred games at AFH. As far as I know, none of them ever "grew up" and offered any apology for their infantile antics.

This may sound harsh. Tisdale is dead, and I have outlived him (I am several months older than him.) Payback time. I am not sorry.

FlaHawk 12 years, 4 months ago

A team's character is shaped by it's coach. Tubbs was a showboat and a pompious ass. He set te tone for his team. His team was just following his leadership (lack of). I don;t hold Waymen responsible. He was the heart and soul of the Sooners at this time and had a fine NBA career. Some will say even better than Manning's.

Steve Gantz 12 years, 4 months ago

Waymon, well done good and faithful servant!

I joined Jayhawk nation the year after that incident but I heard about it. What sealed my negative impression of Tubbs was him saying they were the better team, AFTER KU beat them for the NC. Classless.

As for Waymon, youthful exuberance I guess, with a coach who let them do that. I always liked Waymon and was saddened by his demise. Reminded me of when Payton died.

Of course if what Tubbs said is true about his treatment, well I guess we've got some fools on our side too!

utahjayhawk 12 years, 4 months ago

Woodling, you showed very poor taste in bringing up this issue the day after Wayman's death. I'm an extremely loyal Hawk but we both know that this kind of stuff happens with fans on both sides (I understand that you were focusing on the players).

From my perspective, you're the one "rubbing noses in it" given what transpired yesterday, especially now that it's been a full 25 years after the incident occurred. We all know Tubbs was a jerk, but show some respect for Wayman and his family. Obviously, he was a guy that transcended the sport by all accounts, mostly by the way he lived his life. Please consider your timing of an article like this more carefully next time.

Steve Brown 12 years, 4 months ago

I saw it, the taunting & the time out.... they were the rebels and the net cutting was in your face. It did provide bonus motivation for the NC '88.....for several decades the toughest ticket was the K State and MU games, then the 80's it was Tubbs' gang.

drgnslyr: no one has yelled "sit down norm" more times than I, yet he was a good competitor, albeit awnry for sure, not in the sub set of Tubbs, Dana Kirk, & Calipari...

1984- Wayman was money on the court, one of the best all time conference players on one of the best teams, that group was loaded. Carl Henry coming to Kansas & the Henry boys grow up in Oklahoma and don't even consider in state schools......Thank you Billy for our new recruits.

Joe Baker 12 years, 4 months ago

mike_blur: This may sound harsh. Tisdale is dead, and I have outlived him (I am several months older than him.) Payback time. I am not sorry.

Are you serious?

I remember the game, but we're better than this and a true sportsnation in Jayhawk nation. You don't speak for most if not all sir are as bad if not worse. We've lost one of the best players in B8/B12 history. Find some class, come to the future and get over it!! As others have said we won the dance and were afterall the better team.
Yes RockChalkJayBlog, we can all forgive OU that year for winning the Big Eight since KU won the only trophy that mattered.

Rock Chalk

KU1979 12 years, 4 months ago

I remember all this like it was yesterday. It made 1988 so much sweeter beating that little bastage Tubbs for the title. He helped elevate the play in the Big 8, but he had no class. Karma definitely bit him in the . . .

Jeff Hargate 12 years, 4 months ago

Isn't this what the Big 12 is missing? The characters that the Big 8 had between Johnny Orr, Norm Stewart, Billy Tubbs, Larry Brown, Eddie Sutton and Jack Hartman made basketball more than a game. We are still telling stories like these and with players like Wayman Tisdale what a truely special time it was to be a fan.

The act was disgraceful, but RIP Wayman Tisdale. You will be missed.

mmalone34 12 years, 4 months ago

Good grief, what is wrong with people. Why bring this story up the day after his death? By all accounts after this incident, Wayman lived his life as a decent teammate and human being and overall a good person. It seems the intent of Woodling is to suggest otherwise.

And this comment? "This may sound harsh. Tisdale is dead, and I have outlived him (I am several months older than him.) Payback time. I am not sorry."

Really? Really? "Payback time"? I'm sure your death will be met with much saddness.

barchawk 12 years, 4 months ago

Have some class, Chuck. He may have done some stupid stuff in college, but he was a great family man who fought a long battle with a horrible disease, losing his leg in the process, only to die a year later. He left behind 5 great kids with his wife, Regina, and a couple of great jazz albums. THAT'S what he'll be remembered for in my mind, not a few minutes of acting like an idiot.

kennethst 12 years, 4 months ago

I agree .....this would not be the correct time to think about that 1984 game......It's time to think about what a great player and person Tisdale was.

Dan Pawlowski 12 years, 4 months ago

Wayman was just a kid at the time. Tubbs was an adult. He should have set an example and led his team the right way. By all accounts Wayman became a really good man. Be at peace Wayman.

kennethst 12 years, 4 months ago

Mike Blur...... have serious problems. You need help.

Appoggiatura 12 years, 4 months ago

Blur, you are a classless piece of sh*t. I agree, you need help. To anyone who reads this, this is not indicative of our fanbase. Second of all, why print this story now. Sure, Wayman was there and played in that game, but this is supposed to be about celebrating a wonderful man's life. A man that was taken too soon. RIP Wayman.

Andrew Ledell 12 years, 4 months ago

Seriously, I was going to pile on Blur earlier, but held back. I'm glad it seems most agree that his comments were worse than "in poor taste." It is downright sick to say you're not sorry that a man died in his 40s of a terrible disease because of something that happened in a sporting event. Seriously, just gross.

kufan80 12 years, 4 months ago

I was at the game that day. I remember the OU players lined up at the free throw line after the game. They celebrated the Big 8 Championship with arms locked. They played to the crowd. Everyone was booing.

I think that was the game Calvin Thompson hit a huge 3 to tie the game at the end of regulation.

I always liked Wayman Tisdale and I pray he is in a better place now.

panalytic 12 years, 4 months ago

The timing of this article is, as Turgeon would say, ridiculous. The man just passed away and his family is grieving. Let's not forget Tubbs was the only adult who took part in that incident. All those OU players were kids at the time. I can't believe people are talking about payback after the man has just passed away.

I have been watching games at AFH since the end of the Ted Owens era. The Jayhawk fans I am familiar with are much better than what the timing that this article portrays and anger expressed at a recently deceased former player. This article by Woodling and some of these posts demonstrate worse sportsmanship than those OU kids showed cutting down AFH nets, many many years ago.

Michael Bratisax 12 years, 4 months ago

This story brings back a lot of memories, particularly those of Billy Tubbs, one of the most classless coaches of his time. I remember his stupid comb over and his preference for thuggery. I still think this is a sad day for the Tisdale family, he played hard and gave it all on the court. I've always blamed Tubbs for any classless behavior. There was absolutely no better revenge than beating Oklahoma in the 1988 championship game in which Oklahoma was the overwhelming favorite.

blowhard 12 years, 4 months ago

Mike Blur...pathetic...good luck with your life...sounds like you need all the luck one can muster...Billy Tubbs saying his team was better than ours after we won the '88 Championship...nice shot Billy, are you saying you choked in the big one and Brown outcoached you???...Does that mean you couldn't carry Larry Brown's jock on a big stage???...Since Brown went on to the NBA and you managed to get fired at OU and thundered onward to some feeble athletic existence at Pan American...Billy, you really distinguised yourself...For whatever it's worth (and it's not worth much), I remember Billy strutting off the court in Boulder, CO flipping off the crowd after a scintillating win vs. Colorado (a few weeks prior to Billy's classless deja vu at Allen Field House)...great example you set Billy for your team...fortunately, Wayman turned out to be a great citizen and our thoughts and prayers go to Wayman's loved ones...

Jonathan Unruh 12 years, 4 months ago

This story is crap. Maybe Chuck should think about when he retires down to the dark river and some stupid writer will reflect upon his crazy past articles in the Journal and all of his past sins. I LOVE Kansas Basketball and live in OK. Our coach and players are from this great state! Yes OK. The land of the Henry's, Jackson, and Self. How about writing an article about Tisdale in which he was a 3 - time first team All-American. In his 10th game he scored 61 points. Interview a Kansas player on how good he actually was. His family needs our prayers and positive reflection.

kennethst 12 years, 4 months ago

I completely agree with rockchalkbball,blowhard,panelytic,aledell and apogiattura plus all the others that have had nice things to say about guys are the true KU fans I know.....the ones with class and heart. I don't know anything about Mike Blur......nor do I want to. You must be a very bitter and unhappy person. For shame.....truly no other words.....for shame.

Scott Lippoldt 12 years, 4 months ago

Mr. Woodling, I hardly ever comment, but this truly saddened me. Why in the world would you write this article now?!!!!? That is incredibly tasteless to write such a negative article when a phenomenal athlete--not to mention incredible musician--died from cancer. I, too, was at that game. I let it go. Why couldn't you? I think you owe the Tisdale family a huge apology. Grow up, and show some respect, common sense, and compassion.

UncleMiltyN 12 years, 4 months ago

I can't add much that hasn't already been said, but this article is truly inappropriate. I feel this is like signing a petition showing our disdain for the timing of the article. Wayman's wife and children should be in our thoughts and not some game.

Tisdale was one of the 5 greatest college basketball players I've ever seen play in person. I would hope that we could all remember him for the outstanding talent he was.

Dirk Medema 12 years, 4 months ago

Glad to see so many other fans already expressing their bewilderment at the nature of this article and the timing. I know that I have done plenty of stupid things in my life, but certainly hope that those I have offended are able to forget before my funeral - even more for their sake than mine.

Remember the good; forget the bad. Wayman was a good man.

Rock Chalk

jazzhawk 12 years, 4 months ago

I would like to say that I had the blessing of meeting Wayman and have several musician friends who were his friends. He was a a true Christian MAN, not just the young basketball player, but a man who touched the lives of countless people; young and old. I am deeply disappointed that this article, which serves no true newsworthy benefit for Kansas fans and absolutely no real purpose other than to bring up a bad memory from long ago.

Wayman will be missed by many: sports fans, music fans and more. Please allow that legacy to rule the day.

Dyrk Dugan 12 years, 4 months ago

this article is not appropriate. Tubbs ran the program his way....a pompous a$$ sort of way....and so any player would have taken part on that day in Lawrence.

His career is WAY beyond this moment....good grief, my freshman year was the next year, and we all heard about what happened....and the best way to combat this is BEAT them on the floor...(which is what we did, in Lawrence, in '85) this moment, is basically legendary, but in the history of KU sports, anecdotal at best.

bad timing, no perspective, no context. not a good moment for Mr. Woodling. shame on the LJW for printing it.

eastcoastjayhawk 12 years, 4 months ago

I'm a Jayhawk through and through. I don't know what is sadder, that Mr. Woodling must be suffering from dementia to be that asinine to write this the day after Tisdale passes OR the LJW is stupid enough to allow this to be printed.

TheTruth08 12 years, 4 months ago

Some would say Chuck's career was dead a while ago. Write a column about that. Poor, poor taste. I agree the Tisdale family needs an apology. Retire, Chuck. And when was the last time he actually wrote something relevant to today? It's been a while.

ku_foaf 12 years, 4 months ago

We all know Wayman was a great guy. Danny Manning, Greg Dreiling and other former opponents have said so. I agree with Billy Tubbs comments - the guy almost singlehandedly put OU bb back on the map, and they have stayed there. Still, this incident is what KU fans remember the most - the rivalry was never greater than during his era. OU was a great team, and KU was coming back from the doldrums. We did NOT think of him as a great guy then! I remember them standing arm in arm singing as KU scored a meaningless basket at the end of the game. Talking about it is not in bad taste, in my opinion. It is just history!

I remember him breaking Chamberlain's single game scoring record. That rivalry hasn't been the same since! Good times, good times. He represented the USA well in the 84 Olympics. I recall him saying (after being coached by Bobby Knight) he went back and hugged anyone he had previously described as mean!

Rest in peace Wayman. We do miss you.

Tony Bandle 12 years, 4 months ago

Once again, my faith in KU Nation is reinforced by the overwhelming majority of critical comments toward the author and to the lone poster discussed above. Neither has shown the class and sensitivity that has come to be expected from the Jayhawk Faithful.

The unaminous pouring out of feelings of sorrow and sympathy to Wayman and his family reflect the true KU fan's feelings.

1984 was a game...2009 was a life. Shame on Mr. Woodling and Mike_Blur for not knowing the difference.

Lance Hobson 12 years, 4 months ago

I like the article, recalling the most heated moments of a great rivalray is a wonederful way to remember the people that were our "enemies." It's those moments that make the rivalies so memorable. I'm thankful for those colorful moments, and certainly think we could use some more of that attitude in today's cookie cutter, corporate basketball atmosphere. You really get the feeling of an old west showdown in that creaky old Allen Field House reading those stories.

And don't forget OU showing up in AFH the next time wearing mittens...

eastcoastjayhawk 12 years, 4 months ago

You can recall the most heated moments, but you can also mention that from an incident that was OK'd and encouraged by Billy Tubbs (who like Woodling truly did have some type of mental issue) a KID grew into a positive role model and citizen that had an impact on many. Woodling's only impact is he has now made people waste their time to comment on his stupidity to show all Jayhawk faithful aren't as shallow. Write the article if you want, but maybe consider adding at least one line of postscript how Tisdale matured and flourished in a number of ways after he left OU.

Joseph Leon 12 years, 4 months ago

I agree that it's wierd to write this article in relation to Tisdale's death. Why now?

Lance Hobson 12 years, 4 months ago

When you die you will be remembered for everything you did, both good and bad.

bangaranggerg 12 years, 4 months ago

This article will always be remembered as a bit player in why the World company who published it went bankrupt.

Joseph Leon 12 years, 4 months ago

"When you die you will be remembered for everything you did, both good and bad."

I realize that Strikewso, but when I heard about Tisdale dying, I thought mainly about how great a basketball player he was. Not what he jerk had been on one particular night.

Woodling could have written a sentence or two on the net-cutting incident in a broader remembrance of the man and the KU/OU rivalry at that time.

I just think it's really wierd to write and publish this article. It says more about the author than about Tisdale.

Eurekahwk 12 years, 4 months ago

Chuck is a Mizzou guy. What do you expect? Class?

When you write for Kansas, you are representing Kansas. This is crap. When you put stories in the LJ World, the rest of the internet surfing world sees this as Kansas' opinion. I wish there was a way to let all those people know this is from the head of a guy from Missouri. This is a reflection of the class that Norm Stewart showed for many years as a coach.

CactusJack 12 years, 4 months ago

Other good eulogies Chuck and LJW editors might consider:

"Princess Diana will always be remembered as a mentally unstable adulteress."

"Pat Tillman will always be remembered for the foolish decision to fight for his country and turn his back on pro football fans."

"Farrah Fawcett will always be remembered as the brainless centerpiece of the T & A fest known as 'Charlie's Angels'."

Taktani 12 years, 4 months ago

Chuck Woodling will always be remembered as .... Chuck who?

POOR timing, and ridiculous article. I was totally embarrased as a Jayhawk alum to be reading the Tulsa World's coverage of Wayman Tisdale's passing, and to discover a commentary there addressing Woodling's classless article.

A young Wayman Tisdale acted like a puffed up jackass for 10 to 15 minutes (and why wouldn't he, given his coach) - and that's something you let stick in your craw for more than 20 years??? I was there that day, and I wasn't a happy camper ... and I haven't given it another thought since.

Seems to be a disturbing trend in Lawrence of letting the nostalgic waxing of aging longtime Jayhawk sportswriters/casters take precedence over quality journalism. Max stayed a year too long (at least), and Woodling and Mayer are Exhibits 2 & 3.

djgratt59 12 years, 4 months ago

A girl on a bike was crushed at an intersection by a fire fighting truck that fell over on her when it was T-boned by a different fire truck (responding to the same emergency call). The make-shift memorial reads - RIP - "ride in peace." Moral- the GOOD die young, but we all have a history that should be told.

mmlaughsatnerds 12 years, 4 months ago

Mike Blur's comment was originally deleted, then it came back. That's interesting.

JAHWobbly 12 years, 3 months ago

"...some reportedly using the derisive middle-finger gesture..."

Can we once and for all dispense with the "reportedly?" They flipped off the crowd. Fifteen thousand people saw it. I saw it. The guy next to me saw it. The players on the court saw it. By now, there are people who probably weren't even there who will tell you they saw it.


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