Friday, October 9, 2009

KU officials deserve pat on the back


Whether or not you like Lew Perkins, Bill Self and Mark Mangino as administrators, coaches and whatever, you gotta pat them on the back for how they have faced up to the recent lousy behavior by basketball and football players. They have given no hint of sweeping anything under the rug and have declared their eagerness to wipe off the soot that has tainted Kansas University’s image.

Consider the blase reactions at places like Florida State, where good old Bobby Bowden has goshed-and-gollied away so many dubious football program activities. Or UMass, Memphis and now Kentucky, where John Calipari seems always to be only a step ahead of the sheriff while involved in his basketball hegira.

You win enough and you can brush off a lot of the frills and furbelows of bad behavior, and Bowden and Calipari win enough.

Kansas under Perkins, Self and Mangino has won pretty well itself in recent times, yet they didn’t hesitate to open the cupboard, look for chipped cups and noted there better not be any new ones show up on the shelves.

Yeah, some of the apologetic KU jock zealots say the campus scuffles involving basketball and football players are being overplayed by media, get this, “only interested in selling papers.” How old is that frail alibi?

When the school’s athletic director, Perkins, states that the recent donnybrooks amounted to probably the most distressing climate in his 40 years on a major job, including Wichita State and UConn, it’s not paper-selling fluff — which should not be publicized at all, let alone banner-headlined and front-paged.

This ridiculous basketball-football conflict is something I’ve never before seen, a la Perkins’ perturbance. If you think Mangino gave Raimond Pendleton a ripping along the sideline after he drew a silly hot-dog penalty, imagine what is, or has been, the verbiage with any footballers who are out of line. Regardless of whether cagers or gridders were more the facilitators, it bears watching and should yield suspensions or dismissals if it occurs again.

Self has taken a lot of the trouble personally. You can see why when he busts his buns so consistently in favor of his athletes. He plans to extra-boot-camp any and every miscreant, and he has suspended Brady Morningstar for a semester for suspicion of drunk driving and missing a curfew that was brought about by the earlier muckerisms. As good as Bill has been to Brady, you can see why he’s ticked.

At age 23, you think a guy would be smart enough to realize that after midnight, most things that happen are bad. How drunk was he at 3-ish last Saturday on the turnpike, and how many lives did he risk? Who was with him, and how sloshed were the passengers? Friends don’t let friends drive drunk, and if anyone more sober than Morningstar was in tow, why wasn’t Brady’s lousy judgment overruled? Probably no player was involved, or he’d be docked, too, for curfew violation.

But the salient part of all this misbehavior is that the guys in charge are not hesitating to admit responsibility and have made clear their policies. There are a couple of athletes I keep hearing scurvy things about, even after the recent hassles.

The KU hierarchy is attuned to their discordant activities. The next guy to display thug tendencies may have a rock the size of the one the Road Runner dumps on Wile E. Coyote deposited on their human being.

The Big Three are watching, kids, so be good or be gone.


KEITHMILES05 10 years, 3 months ago

Bill: Please tell me what "thug tendencies" are.


gardenjay 10 years, 3 months ago

RE "If you think Mangino gave Raimond Pendleton a ripping along the sideline after he drew a silly hot-dog penalty, imagine what is, or has been, the verbiage with any footballers who are out of line", didn't we just receive an article where we were supposed to imagine that Mangino uses his intelligence, so that we should not make a straight line graph out of his behaviour?

Dirk Medema 10 years, 3 months ago

Let's set down the microscopes.

It is encouraging to see the LJW making a more responsible analysis of the performance of our leadership lately. With all the people (Keegan) complaining as if the punishments didn't exist b/c they weren't public/editoriable, it is encouraging to read that someone believes that the athletic department is taking discipline seriously.

Regardless of the exact verbage used, I personally appreciate Mr Mayer's analysis & article.


mojayhawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Undisciplined behavior leads to undisciplined behavior leads to undisciplined behavior. We are NOT uk. We are KU! Kudos to our leaders. AND, kudos to the players who learn now and learn quickly. This is not just about sports, it's about life.

My thanks to Lew, Coach Self, and Coach Mangino who put character and integrity first!

It can still be a great year. It's all about character, focus, and priorities!

Rock Chalk!

troutsee 10 years, 3 months ago

Good article. However, I am still not sure how many players from each squad were involved. I also am unsure as to whether this was a shouting match or a fight. It sounds as though there was a lot of bravado but not much physical contact.

KUFan90 10 years, 3 months ago

I didn't realize DUI is a "thug tendency"...

Tom Gillaspie 10 years, 3 months ago

Just another cliche-dropping piece of hackery by the one of the worst hacks ever to put pen to paper. Please retire, you are an embarrassment.

Adam Evans 10 years, 3 months ago

I think the "thug tendencies" was directed at the fighting. And tomhawk: Your opinion means nothing if you have nothing to back up things you are saying, especially when they are demeaning to someone else. All articles are from one person's point of view. They all get as much facts as possible (Which Keegan and Mayer have had plenty) and put a story together to present to the public. Whether or not we agree or disagree is up to us. But to demean someone for doing their job is immature and these forums are not the place for it. And I'm just curious about something...How is it that several people are now supporting this story when it is pretty much the same as all the others that were being trashed? He even calls out the people who accused him of making "fluff" and defended his position on those articles. I just find it funny that now, since he is raising the leaders onto a pedestal rather than talking bad about the players, people love it. I love it and agree with it, but I agreed with the first ones too. Just food for thought.

GridironHawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Horrible Article. Funny how Mr. Mayer states: "only interested in selling papers. How old is that frail alibi?" If that wasn't true then why the continuous coverage of negative situations? Don't tell us that you are "keeping us up to date on our teams". Where are the articles about the other 99% of athletes that aren't getting in trouble? Why report on just the 1% who do and consider that the representation of the entire team and/or university? Because TRASH SELLS...

Joe Baker 10 years, 3 months ago

And life goes on...We have so much to anticipate this year with football and b-ball.

Let's get excited and focus on some championships.

I'm sure we can find more positive stories to report now this issue has been resolved.

Steve Brown 10 years, 3 months ago

Positive story: great idea. How about a story of the unheralded no name player or players who have done the right stuff-....worked hard in practice....earned some nice minutes against ISU... and moved up on the depth charts...

Affirming stories are nice to read...right attitude + hard work = more playing time.

WisconsinJayhawk 10 years, 3 months ago

LJW trying desperately to show they are not obsessed with giving KU as much bad press as possible but running this, the 2nd "positive" article.. including the other "this will blow over soon" article.

But, it is all kanda fake, as the only reason they ARE doing this is because so many people we so outraged by their behavior prior to this. Very transparent, but an improvement, I guess.

Hawklin 10 years, 3 months ago

This is good stuff. I learned so much wisdom from more incomplete thoughts.

100 10 years, 3 months ago


I don't think Mayer means to sound as bad as he did in that last sentence -- overall a well written piece by the old man.

Let's be honest here, drinking & driving is as stupid of an activity activity as we have seen here recently -- heck we've all thrown a punch on in our lifetime, but have we all done something this stupid & thoughtless?

So, let's re-examine what Mayer must mean when he used the word "Thug"...

T.H.U.G. =

Thought He Understood Good (behavior)

I truly believe it is that simple -- like all of us, he wants our student athletes to understand & act in an appropriate, even dignified manner as they have for years on this glorious campus.

Now should that word be thrown out of the English language? Yes -- and it will be someday, but unfortunately only when role models start understanding little eyes are watching each & every move they make.

"Be careful what you say or do, Little eyes may be watching you."

Tyshawn knew better. Brady knew better.

Rock Chalk, KeithMiles

blowhard 10 years, 3 months ago

This boorish topic necessitates you to find something to write about. So find some other topic to write about.

TexasHawk44 10 years, 3 months ago

tomhawk26: you seem like a real scholar... Where can I find your brilliant insights? Your opinion pieces? Your articles? Oh, is this where I would find them? Your anonymous postings on the web site that employs the very writer that you trash? Maybe you should mosey your brilliant self down to the office of the Journal-World and apply for a job in the sports department. What a donkey you are. Don't trash a professional like that. At least he has the nuts to put his work on the line every week. Maybe we can all come down to the local burger shack that you work at and critique your hamburger cooking skills. Chalk one up to another immature idiot posting here. Grow up...

TexasHawk44 10 years, 3 months ago

blowhard: thanks for living up to your name. I would suggest another screen name for you but it would be deleted from this site. Let's just say it would have the initials: D.S.

OCJHAWK 10 years, 3 months ago

Tangent to Lew, just saw a piece on CNBC about the company brokering the 30 year ticket rights to the new seats.The background had at least 30 seconds of KU FB highlights running with TR's fist pump and a long TD pass to Meyer racing accross the Jayhawk. Nice exposure piece. The financial discussion was interesting with the NY Giants allowing for the sale of the tickets individual or block thereby making it an investment also. I wonder if it the same for KU plan.

jayhok22 10 years, 3 months ago

I was going to read the whole article, but I just couldn't get past the word "furbelows"

Scott MacWilliams 10 years, 3 months ago

Hello Bill, Do you use these words and phrases in your regular conversations?

" hegira." "furbelows of bad behavior," "open the cupboard, look for chipped cups and noted there better not be any new ones show up on the shelves." "donnybrooks" "muckerisms."

Is muckerism a word? The closest I'm finding in my Webster's Unabridged is mucker: 1. slang, a vulgar, illbred person; 2, a person who does or says the wrong thing; 3. a person who removes muck.

Which meaning were you intending?

jaybate 10 years, 3 months ago

Dear Bill,

First, "not giving a hint of sweeping anything under the rug," is kind of equivocal phrasing. It states that they are not giving any hint of it. Well, who would give hints, if they were?

Second, it means nothing for Mssrs. Self, Mangino and Perkins to take responsibility, if they receive no punishment from the Chancellor, also. Imagine Brady Morningstar taking responsibility for a suspicion of DUI without being benched the first semester. Imagine Tyshawn Taylor taking responsibility for street fighting, but not having reputedly to run extra at boot camp. Taking responsibility means little, when there is no punishment--no consequence for doing so.

In closing, I am not as sanguine about the way the situation is now being handled, as you appear. I am not confident the coaches and AD are learning without consequences imposed by their Chancellor (at least without any publicly reported consequences so far) about their respective responsibilities for this situation--responsibilties they have each appeared to shoulder publicly to one degree or another. As we learn repeatedly in Washington, D.C., punishing a few underlings often just emboldens leaders that go unpunished.

Sincerely, jaybate

Dirk Medema 10 years, 3 months ago


Very thoughtful, regardless of agreement or not. Thanks for writing, and in only one post :-)

ParisHawk 10 years, 3 months ago


Your comment made me realize what implicit message Mr. Mayer is sending: trust him, he knows more than we do.

So what if there are no "publicly reported consequences"? Bill Mayer has insider knowledge that coaches and AD "are learning", and he is warning certain athletes that the coaches and AD have plans to come down hard on them if circumstances warrant.

Which athletes? Only Bill knows. What plans? Only Mayer knows.

Think about it: for Bill Mayer, his value as a journalist comes from what he doesn't report. How funny is that?

1977kufan 10 years, 3 months ago

Bill, this is an outstanding article. You are correct on so many points in this article. While there are several detractors (for whatever reason(s) whether it is a selected phrase or phrases/word or words), your key point that this situation has been and is still being handled by the University of Kansas Administration, AD Perkins, and HCs Mangino and Self. They are handling it in a responsible manner with appropriate actions and trying to repair the suboptimal image generated by this un-Jayhawk-like situation. Again, everyone, everyone get over this uncharacteristic situation and move on to more positive endeavors. Look forward to the Jayhawks-Cyclones game this week-end. Attend the game and support the football team (I really do not like upsets on Homecoming and my dislike is only about 1/1000th of Coach Mangino's). ROCK CHALK JAYHAWKS and let's still be undefeated after Homecoming week-end).

jaybate 10 years, 3 months ago


You nutshelled the problem of Mr. Mayer's article waaaaaaaaaaaay better than I did. (Note: I'm using a noun, "nutshell," as a verb expressly to haunt Dr. John Bremner RIP.)


Glad I could bring it short this time. It does happen occassionally. :-)


When you wrote "Here we go again...gag," I recalled seeing a born-again Linda Lovelace interviewed on network TV about her horrific abuse during the making of Deep Throat. She talked grimly about the gag reflex she experienced in making Deep Throat. After reading your post, I now fear for your well-being and for what you may have been doing as you posted. Do not hesitate to ask for help. As always, Dr. Sigmund jaybate is available for 1 hour counseling sessions online...for a fee, of course. :-)

Gordon Penny 10 years, 3 months ago

Jiminy Christmas, Mayer is getting all fired up on his soapbox, again. Doesn't anyone else get tired of him preaching? I would really just like to take Mayer's keyboard away and let him retire in disgrace rather than continue to make himself and the University look worse with each passing article. It is not always the actions of the students that can embarrass a school; the inept writers covering the behavior can often do far worse simply by their ineptitude. Mayer, time to shut up and move on. Time to come down off your high horse. You are not the pillar of morality you presuppose yourself to be in your writing. You are just another "know-it-all" at parties that everyone tries to avoid.

lee3022 10 years, 3 months ago

I cannot help but be disappointed in the efforts of some to attack an journalist's competency and integrity on his own website for an opinion piece. This site is host to the very best source of KU basketball on the web (my opinion - you may attack it at will). Mr Meyer represents that site and has served us for many years. The need to attack him for every article he writes makes reading the comments (not the articles) the difficult task.

I really appreciate the positive contributions so often appearing in these comments. Some of the same posters who seem to have the consistent need to attack Mr. Meyer offer great insights elsewhere. I do hope you might consider not reading or not commenting on future articles of this nature if you are not willing to address your comments to the content and not the personal character of writer or his writing style.

jaybate 10 years, 3 months ago


I had to ping UD for BIOYA.

Thanks for the backup. :-)

jaybate 10 years, 3 months ago


Agree that ad homs and character assassination are not cool.

Disagree that writing style is not open to criticism. Professional journalists are supposed to write well. It is why they get paid here and we do not. If a professional writer can't get it done in the style department, the beauty of the internet is he gets instant feedback so that he/she can improve.

I want to see excellent writing from our professional journalists here, so that all the board rats are inspired to strive to express themselves well, also. It can become a self-reinforcing dynamic. Pros write well. Amateurs improve. Pros try to improve to maintain their leads over the amateurs. The amateurs try to catch up. Human being are competitive about everything. This dynamic can slowly improve people's ability to express themselves.

FWIW, Bill Mayer has been revitalized by the egg throwing and competition. The internet was exactly what Bill needed at this stage of his career to juice him back up. This man has written professionally for so long that he has forgotten more about writing than most of us will ever know.

But when a person gets old in any profession he gets marginalized by two kinds of change: 1) his bosses get younger and often cannot appreciate what an old guy can bring [fortunately, Keegs gets it]; and 2) new tech that an old guy just doesn't want to screw around with learning [fortunately, Bill is still game to wade in].

Now an old guy playing catch up is just as ugly, as a new guying trying to get some seasoning. But Bill is slowly coming around. He's about a thousand percent better now than he was just a year ago. He's not back to his late 1950s form yet, and he may never get back to it. He was young then and writing and sports were probably what he lived, breathed and ate. But everyone should give Bill Mayer credit for coming in and being a role player and taking the heat.

I have been (and remain) one of his most persistent critics, because I think it probably ticks him off to be exposed and hooted at for sloppy writing and occassional phone it in concepts. I took it upon myself to challenge him as often as I could, because I believed he could still bring it in the digital age, if he just got his juices up a little and had a little feedback from some one who cared.

jaybate 10 years, 3 months ago

I never criticise Bill for being old. That is age-ism. I criticise him for being out of shape. I criticise him for phoning it in some times. I criticise him, so he gets better, because I want him to get better. I have read his old stuff. Anyone who has ever seen his stories back in the 1950s knows the guy can write. Anyone who understands leads in stories, knows the guy still has it. But he got out of shape. He got away from the fray for awhile. It is to his credit that he wanted to get back into the fray at his age, regardless of whether he needed to for money, or to keep busy. But it is to the internet's credit that he gets the feedback he needs to struggle back into shape.

When he wrote for most of his career, all an editor could do was shake an angry letter or two at a reporter, or commentator. And, frankly, in those old non-interactive yesterdays, newspapers were so arrogant that they often unfairly edited the letters to the editory just for laughs and published them so as to make the reader that wrote look like a jack ass. So: Bill comes from a time, when a writers feedback came mostly from his editors, and from the ad department complaining that an advertiser had been offended.

But now, Bill is getting a taste of real time, in-your-grille feedback. Now he has to face Keegs and the online editor knowing that they see all this stuff on here; that they know just how much of a shellacking he is getting on here. Now the editors have to say less. Now their smirks can do all the talking. Now, Bill has got to get his butt down and start doing metaphorical slides to get back in writing shape.

And the guy is a survivor. And he's surviving and advancing through the torrent of feedback. It ain't pretty, but he's doing it. And he's using all the negative feedback to keep his clicks up, as he slowly gets his stroke back down in the digital age. It is inspiring, really. It is a small drama playing out before our eyes and under our noses, as we cheer for our team.

An old guy, a sympathetic protagonist, is struggling against seemingly insurmountable odds to achieve a worthwhile goal. It is the essense of any good movie or TV script.

Go, Bill, go!!!

Gordon Penny 10 years, 3 months ago

Cool. But I still think Mayer is past his prime. I didn't have the patience to read your entire ramble, Jaybate. I apologize.

jaybate 10 years, 3 months ago


Cool back to you. Short as yours was, I didn't have the patience to finish it either. It is the curse of our contemporary world. One's attention span is always shorter than whatever one tries to focus on. :-)

lee3022 10 years, 3 months ago

Jaybate -

I appreciate your intention and your taking time to expound it here. I did read it all - maybe because it was written to me (smile).

However I disagree with your self-appointed intention. I do think inaccuracies are fair game to the commenter. I think writing style is personal, just as the way I walk is personal. Would you laugh and be derisive of me if you saw me walk? Or would you ignore it and either look away or engage in the purpose of my travel? My original point was that the content of his opinions is often not engaged because of the focus on style and perceived disabilities. I can assure you that once I was able to walk normally. Now I cannot. Yes you might correctly surmise that, with more focus and effort, I might walk a little better. But for me the images are not as important as the content so my dwindling energies are better expended in actually getting where I am going than how I appear while doing it.

I cannot speak for Mr Meyer. I cannot know him or his obstacles and limitations without living his life and walking in his shoes. What I can do is interact with his opinions and I do when I have something to bring that I think might add value to the discussion. For the very same reasons you so ably describe, I value his opinions as from a man who has lived and seen the inside and the great and the not-so-great of the game and the school. I am not wanting to return to the 50's. I do not forget its history (well sometimes I forget too much) because history teaches us far more than promises and empty prose. I am content to live in this day and appreciate the positive wherever I can. Perhaps like Mr Meyer, I have seen and heard and lived enough of the negative to prefer the positive. That does not mean I do not disagree (I guess this response is proof!) but not in a personal way.

ParisHawk 10 years, 3 months ago


As a possible reason for your earlier "please lay off Mr. Mayer" post, I would like to soften my criticism above. I was exaggerating to make a point anyway, and almost posted a followup to say so.

In theory, reporting reports facts and Op-Ed pieces opine based on reported facts. This article mentions new "facts" without names, sources or backup and opines thereon, so the reader has to decide whether or not to believe the author.

I realize that Mr. Mayer is probably not at liberty to be more explicit, so I should thank him for what he does say and not just criticize him for what he doesn't say. I do hope he's right.

Finally, full agreement on how great this site is!

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