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Friday, September 25, 2009

Kansas’ image ugly after ridiculous turf war

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Some things never change. The late Dick Harp during his days as a Kansas basketball assistant and head coach often uttered a patented evaluation of his job: “Coaches are responsible for a lot of irresponsible kids.” Sound timely?

Dick was making $7,500 a year in 1956-57 when he inherited Wilt Chamberlain and the related challenges of trying to win a national title, immediately. Wilt took special handling, but he didn’t give Dick nearly the management problems other Jayhawks of that era did. There were no ridiculous turf war eruptions among basketball and football players, however.

Harp more than earned his salary in his eight years as head coach; Lew Perkins ($960,000), Bill Self (around $3 million) and Mark Mangino (about the same) are putting in overtime this week to justify fully their financial intakes. Seems some cagers and gridders have bad-blood issues. All this thuggery knocks some dew off the lily of optimism about what a great dual-sport year KU can have in 2009-10.

As a Kansas follower, you could feel a little shaky when the most positive KU sports item in Wednesday’s Journal-World involved women’s basketball and the fact that Bonnie Henrickson ($635,000 per) has boosted her .500 program with the signing of a noted Colorado prepster. Thanks, Bonnie!

KU financially seems to be on a Rocky Mountain high with another football sellout in the bin for Saturday’s visit by Southern Miss. But philosophers remind us that money doesn’t always bring happiness. For all the millions in the Jayhawk till, there can’t be total delight in the athletic director’s and coaches’ offices after those run-ins by thoughtless delegates of the two big cash cows.

Fact is, KU has been embarrassed and scarred again by some high-profile, well-rewarded jocks who should know a lot better. Guilty jackasses should be identified, benched, penalized, perhaps even suspended for their nit-wittery.

What goes through the minds of these kids (they act exactly like brats) who can’t brush off taunting verbiage and walk away from potential conflicts? They’re not here for Friday Night Smackdown or the Fight Club. They’re getting scholarship packages that are in the $19,000 to $29,000 annual range. There’s good living, educational opportunity, tutoring, public adoration galore, and they have every reason to be good citizens. Fortunately, most are.

Football players should reserve their animosity for Southern Miss while the basketeers need to be thinking about survival during Bill Self’s brutal Boot Camp. T-shirt guru Larry Sinks is in the forefront with the old Rodney King message of “Can’t we all just get along?” Can’t you, kids — you who are responsible for this disgusting turn of events? I favor the old Bear Bryant gig: “Be good or be gone!”

Indications are that the Perkins-Mangino-Self combo will not be cuddly-wuddly with guys they have touted, lionized and rewarded so warmly up to now. There’s going to be harsh talk in meetings this week, as there should be, and it’s unlikely any miscreant will get a friendly pat on the rear. The new chancellor should lay down a little law, too. KU’s image is ugly right now.

If there are bones of contention for the two squads, those bones need to be crunched and burned. Some firm edicts on improved citizenship should be rammed into self-serving brains. Do this, or get out, kids.

The two-sport potential for 2009-10 is tremendous. KU’s Big Three better make sure they deal firmly with any thugs who can further taint that bright future.

Comments

Waylon Cook 10 years, 4 months ago

Dude it was a FIST FIGHT!

I have seen silent movies they had fist fights in those and I know you remember silent movies!

kingpin 10 years, 4 months ago

a turf war? probably the closest thing to an actual turf war that lawrence has ever seen i suppose... more like a fight over babes which let's be honest, if i saw who these "babes" were maybe it'd be okay... nope no it wouldn't lol

jayhawkjoe98 10 years, 4 months ago

I'm not trying to make excuses for the players involved in the fisticuffs, but let's remember that many of these athletes come from areas were problems were solved with such measures. They're not from Johnson County like most of the campus. They're from the city; the streets.

Yes, they need to be disciplined and re-educated about the public scrutiny that they are constantly under. But I would stop well short of calling them all thugs, idiots, or worse. For the most part, these are a bunch of 18-20 year-olds who are only doing what they have ever known. This will be a learning experience for them, as well as the University.

Maybe more education and mentoring needs to take place in regards to public conduct & awareness when wearing the crimson & blue? Something like they have in the NBA or NFL for rookies... have a big 2 or 3 day seminar for incoming freshmen? Just an idea... probably a bit over the top.

gutter 10 years, 4 months ago

Some of you need to step out of your shells. Mayer hit the nail on the head. KU's image has been tarnished by this. It was a stupid thing that took place. The players and coach Self even alluded to it being something that lacked respect for the school. It's a shame it happened. It's a shame it made the national news, it's a shame we are still discussing it. If it never happened and the athletes used better judgement we wouldn't be talking about it. Hopeefully the lesson has been learned and we all can move on.

JayViking 10 years, 4 months ago

onlyoneUinKansas (anonymous) says...

Dude it was a fist fight!

i have seen silent movies they had fist fights in those and I know you remember silent movies!


+1,00,000

Rick Arnoldy 10 years, 4 months ago

I’m with Mayer on this. I can’t believe all the posts I’ve seen that this is no big deal. You can’t make fun of the troubles at Missouri, OU, Miami, etc. and then brush off KU’s problems with “boys will be boys.” These incidents have been reported on ESPN, FOX, CBS, and just about every other major network. KU’s image took a major hit and we already have a pattern of misbehavior with this fight, Giles, Giddens, Talib, etc. I still hear the occasional “chalupa” reference.

Just a fist fight? How far can it go if it’s not stopped right now? Last week just a couple miles from where I work, two kids beat up another kid in-between classes and broke his jaw. The next day, buddies of both parties got into another fight, figuring the first one didn’t settle anything. Sound familiar? The second fight involved 40 kids only this time people brought knives and a 17 year old girl was stabbed to death. Just how far do you want things to escalate before it’s “no big deal.”?

Doug Merrill 10 years, 4 months ago

I too agree with Mayer and Keegan (although I think it was reasonable that Taylor wasn't made available to the media until his coach had a chance to get back to town and I think Keegan should drop that).

In this era, schools that are successful in the two big sports are assumed to be suspect in the way that the Athletic Department manages itself, it is assumed that educational standards are lowered, and it is also assumed that winning trumps any problems. Invariably something happens (players arrested usually, occasionally a recruiting scandal) that makes people think they were right to suspect the worst.

KU alums and fans have always believed their school to be above that. For those who think "this was just a fistfight", they forget that gang wars (even those in which the gangs are on scholarship) don't happen on most campuses and if those same people think we are blowing it out of proportion and don't really care about KU's reputation, then they can certainly at least chew on this:

If I am a parent (I am) of an athlete in high school and it is coming down to whether or not I feel this coach in my kitchen can take care of my kid for the next four years, this story is a problem.

Bill Self and Mark Mangino understand that even if the folks on these boards who are saying "it was just a fist fight" do not.

gamblinggringo 10 years, 4 months ago

I find it hard to understand these commenters who think after a day, KU, the media, etc., should just ignore this incident and "move on." I wonder if that's what they also thought Oregon should have done with Blount? Did they also think Oregon should just ignore the incident and "move on?" I doubt it.

klineisanazi 10 years, 4 months ago

I have bashed Mayer in the past, but I think this column is fairly mild, compared to the vindictive garbage being written by the Marquette alum in his column. Mayer rightly points out that keeping athletes "in line" has always been a challenge, even in the 50s. And he is right that KU's image has taken a hit, at least temporarily. It in nothing permanent, in my opinion, as long as things stay calm in the future.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 4 months ago

No question, a serious breach of the KU image, but everyone remember....this is America where the citizen attention span is about the same as a red squirrel's. You are the "Bozo' until someone else does something even more ridiculous. [i.e. Lohan, Hilton, Memphis, USC, etc., etc.,]

The counterpoint to this issue is how it is handled. With HCBS exacting punishmnet currently and HCMM planning his for the bye week, the message of KU is simple. We are not perfect and are players are not perfect.......but we strive to be perfect.

As far as the term "turf war" goes, I find it amusing that an old white guy thinks he understands what it means. [I'm an old white guy and wouldn't begin to presume to understand the nuances and social ramifications of such an inflammatory term. I would hope, however, I would have the brains not to use it!!]

Waylon Cook 10 years, 4 months ago

This isn't Oregon this didn't happen on ESPN

Baylor isn't "tarnished" from a MURDER THAT THE AD HELPED COVER UP! Their Athletic Dept is better than ever! So if you think a FIST FIGHT(THATS WHAT IT WAS!) is going to bring us to our knees think again! Mizzou? Ya I think they had worse problems than a fist fight!

The media as always is blowing this out of proportion!

John Thomas 10 years, 4 months ago

The KU athletes acted childish and immature. I will not condone it even though they are the age who do things like that. Having said that I believe the ramblings of Mayer and Keagen are off base and an excuse for acting like they never did anything wrong when they were young. Self has addressed the issue. The team is going through boot camp early. Taylor has been but before the media which was very painful for him. Only those who support the schools west of us and in Missouri want to keep this alive and kicking.

Andy Hess 10 years, 4 months ago

why don't you retire, Mayer? you're so out of touch that it's sad.

Brad Richardson 10 years, 4 months ago

Thanks to Keegan, Mayer and the rest of the lame Journal World "journalists" this story became national news. In Lincoln, Tallahasee, Austin, etc., this would have not dented the papers. This is family dirty laundry that was unnecessarily aired to the nation. There are far more positives within the KU athletic dept. than negatives. Mangino has had the most realistic perspective on the whole thing. Do your job guys and find a new and interesting story.

John Boyle 10 years, 4 months ago

ohioburg, You idiot. That is exactly what the coaches are doing, putting a stop to it before it gets worse. Give credit where it is due instead of trying to throw gas on the fire. We get that enough from Keegan and Mayer. This same incident at Miami (or pick any other big school) wouldn't even have made the papers (and most difinitely not national coverage). It would have been glossed over by the the AD and handled internally (which is the correct way to take care of it) It has been turned into a huge ordeal because of overzealous reporters who want to seem important. This is just another case of sensationalism. They should write for the National Enquierer.

The_Rooster_Cogburn 10 years, 4 months ago

"there can’t be total delight in the athletic director’s and coaches’ offices after those run-ins by thoughtless delegates of the two big cash cows."

I love that sentence, Mayer.

For all you nay-saying, delustional, blind fans...wake up. Yes...it was only a fist fight. Yes...it's been blown way out of proportion.

But this is a huge knock to the integrity of the university. The worst part, my friends, is that it should be.

We coddle these kids. They have the world handed to them on a silver platter. Free education. Free living. Royal treatment. We say they're only kids. But I was 18 once too, and I didn't have 5 percent of the luxuries these brats have. And I'm pretty sure I could control my ego enough to avoid crap like this.

That's right...I called them brats. A die-hard fan, who hasn't missed watching a KU game since he was 6, just called members of both teams he loves, brats.

But if winning by bringing in top athletes who don't know a thing about integrity, humility and appreciation for their school and the people who support them is more important to you than preserving our pride, then I suppose I have no argument.

Mayer is right. KU means a lot more than trophies. And that status took a shot this week. Those responsible should be held accountable. KU has faired just fine in the past without kids who feel that protecting their egos through thuggish acts is more important than giving back to the institution who has given them so much.

Think I'm overreacting? Take a harder, more objective look, and maybe you'll see. If you're incapable of objective personal thinking, then hopefully you watched ESPN all day yesterday and saw what that rest of the country thinks of us...not just Mayer.

Steve Brown 10 years, 4 months ago

A few years ago a KState quarterback had some issues and wasn't held out of their post season bowl game.. a Nebraska star RB threw a girl down some stairs and he didn't get any time off the game day action as I recall...

I trust HCBS and MM will deliver appropriate punishment and IF that requires some bench riding during games I'm one that will support whatever the coaches deem appropriate...even if it is harsher than what some other Big 12 schools have delivered to their roustabouts..

milehighhawk 10 years, 4 months ago

This wasn't a bad article until the unnecessary use of "thugs" in the last sentence.

That word, in my opinion, is the "accepted" version of the N-word. When, if ever, has the word been used to describe anyone who is not black?

That's an uncomfortable question to confront, but this is an uncomfortable situation for everyone.

If you're going to chastize 18 and 19 year old kids for their poor choices, be prepared to be held accountable for yours. You know better.

justanotherfan 10 years, 4 months ago

milehigh,

It's also used to describe latinos. So blacks and latinos. I think that's it, though. And I agree, thug is often used as the PC derogatory term for minorities. Hence why Memphis' basketball program is "just a bunch of thugs" and Miami's football program in the 90's was a "thug program" and so on. I don't know that it's synonymous with the N word, but its definitely a word with a hidden meaning.

Waylon Cook 10 years, 4 months ago

I call anyone who is a thug a thug. White, black, asian, and latino. SORRY but calling a spade a spade isn't racism.

I also don't care if Obama is black, I don't like him because he sucks.

Guess what? I am not a racist!

strongbadia 10 years, 4 months ago

My God people.

1) First of all, the University makes MILLIONS off of these kids. Do they get a scholarship? Yes, but come on, if you want KU to remain profitable in our athletics, we better get some tough, competitive kids. Guess what, old Bill, if KU isn't winning, and interest in KU Hoops/FB drops, you don't have a job, old man. Viewership pays your salary.

2) Is fighting wrong? Yes. But do several college aged men get into a skirmish or two during college? YES. This wasn't a brawl. THIS WAS NOT A BRAWL. This was a skirmish with a little pushing here and there, and one punch thrown.

3) Most people around the country don't care or know about this incident, so don't delude yourselves into thinking the entire US has a microscope on Lawrence Kansas right now, because they don't.

4) Bill Mayer is so outdated, I'm surprised he still has a job. I don't give a damn about Dick Harp, the good ol days, or any of that old timer stuff. Most people here don't either.

5) Not to be racist here, but if you are a white dude from Kansas, don't even try to attempt to understand the N-Word or its usage amongst minorities. It's not because we hate you, it's just something that only we understand.

6) BILL MAYER PAINTS KU IN A FAR WORSE LIGHT BY USING THE WORD THUG. These kids are not thugs. Trust me, when black recruits read this type of crap, it will definitely make them wonder about KU. It's not like Lawrence Kansas is a beacon of diversity as it is.

tdogg34 10 years, 4 months ago

I just don't understand how the Kansas image is ugly all of a sudden. Is it just me or is the local media in Kansas the only ones that really give a damn about this? Please stop blowing this out of proportion. It is being handled and there is no need to keep this up. Let's focus on two GREAT programs in basketball and football and hope they can live up to all the hype coming into the year.

Rick Arnoldy 10 years, 4 months ago

JayhawkJohn, so where do we disagree? I never the coaches were NOT doing something about it. This also only happened TWO DAYS ago so of course it's still going to be talked about - especially since it happened at Kansas.

I'm amazed at all the people who don't think this is big deal yet they can cite the incidents at Baylor, Miami, OU, etc, even 20 years after they happened.

beebe1 10 years, 4 months ago

It never occurred to me that 'thug' was racist. Too old, I guess. To me, 'thug' meant a viciously active criminal. It didn't seem to me that the whole incident was racist -- but maybe that would be the outcome of 'girls' being involved if that were due to a racist attitude. I doubt that it is.

The worst thing here is that too many people were involved. If we had two guys arguing, pushing, shoving, that's one thing. I've seen a very few school fights, but the spectators were just that. But each one backed up by 10 or 20 guys is something else. Surely they don't need that kind of 'protect your back' in the middle of a day in a public place. Hey, if it ain't your problem, keep out of it!

justanotherfan 10 years, 4 months ago

I'm not condoning anything that has happened this week. A lot of people did some dumb things. An interesting thought, though -

In the inner city the only two things that matter are loyalty and respect. You were loyal to your neighborhood, because that's where you were from. You represented that neighborhood and would do ANYTHING to protect it. Your respect was staked on how you represented your neighborhood. If anyone disrespected you, your neighborhood, or your family and friends you were taught to be quick to confront that person, and deal with it.

In big time sports inner city kids are exposed to a new world. Oddly enough though, the same two things matter - loyalty and respect. Those two things are looked at a little differently, though. Disagree with me? Just reference all of the hand wringing on this very site about the Henry brothers, or Rush, Chalmers, Arthur and Wright leaving early. It's all about loyalty - representing your 'hood and respect - respecting the tradition, the institution, the game, etc.

Coaches constantly preach that teams are like family. Players buy into that. The thing is, family, loyalty and respect generate different responses than the coaches realize.

Fast forward to this week. Tensions are brewing. The football players and basketball players are exchanging dirty looks. Words are exchanged. More people start joining in. Why? Well, those are your teammates. Your brothers - family. That's who you're loyal to. If they are involved in something, you're in, too. That's what Coach preaches all the time - we're in this together. So you back your boys up.

Once again, I'm not condoning anything that was done this week. These were stupid fights for stupid reasons. A lot of stupid things were said and guys have to learn better ways of handling things.

But I think guys reacted the way they thought they should in the heat of the moment. It didn't matter to them that they were all KU athletes. In that moment, the basketball players backed their guys up like they would if they were playing Mizzou. After all, the only ones in that lockerroom are teammates, and that's who they are programmed to back up. The football players did the same. On good teams, it's automatic that you back your teammates up. Check this clip around the 2:10 mark. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUJO1w...

Notice that Darnell grabs Mario and pulls him back, but Sherron and Darrell BOTH confront the guy that chucked Mario out of bounds. It doesn't escalate to anything because the referees step in and everybody calms back down, but the idea is the same. Grab your guy, but let the other guys know, "you can't just throw my guy down like that." And then slap a 10-0 run on them to finish it off.

Everyone would be shocked if teammates didn't stand up for each other on the court. It's no surprise they stand up for each other off it. The real key now is just understanding how to express that loyalty and earn that respect.

Mangino_Maniac 10 years, 4 months ago

strongbadia... telling a white dude from Kansas that he can't understand how the n-word is used is pretty short-sighted.... it's not that difficult, and the meaning is pretty easy to understand by anyone.

So Collins and Taylor apologized, but for what? For getting thrown into the spotlight for something they wouldn't have been sorry for if Taylor hadn't had to go to the hospital? Sure sounds like it, and also sounds like they are ready to continue using the n-word because the people/artists they 'look up to' use it, etc... This is ridiculous, and the apologies were a facade for what these guys are really about.

BTW, where are the football players apologies???

gwenthejayhawk 10 years, 4 months ago

Strongbadia - Are you a complete idiot that lives in an isolated cave? "Most people around the country don't care or know about this incident?" WHAT?

Front page of ESPN.com, cbssports.com, cnnsi.com; in today's addition of USA Today, on Sportscenter...should I keep going?

I live in Texas and its the big talk around here. My brother lives in Idaho (yeah, Idaho) and been in multiple conversations around it.

Then on Facebook - this was the nail in the coffin. When you are preseason #1 in basketball, top 25 in football, these things are posted everywhere. My cousin heard of it in Costa Rica!!!

Ron_Kellogg 10 years, 4 months ago

All publicity is good publicity. Point plankn.

strongbadia 10 years, 4 months ago

Matt3285: Please, I lived in The Bronx for a year. Tremont Ave--look it up.

gwenthejayhawk: I just did an unscientific poll of 15 of my coworkers who live in NYC. None of them had heard of it. But yes it is more widespread than I thought. I'm man enough to admit that. I'm wondering if you are adult enough to admit that it's immature to go around calling people idiots because they didn't know how widespread an overblown incident at the University of Kansas has been covered in the mass media. My guess is that you are friends with fellow sports fanatics and/or are jayhawk fans, and they tend to overrepresent the vast numbers of people who casually watch sports. Regardless, several news outlets, bloggers etc have made mention of the fact that this whole ordeal is overblown. I still believe that to be the case.

Mangino_Maniac: All I am going to say is that having been called the N-Word (In Lawrence Kansas--I grew up here), and having heard it used in the negative form several times (in Lawrence Kansas), I am hesitant to belive that even close to a majority of people who live here understand the complexity of the word and how it's used amongst us. However you are right, and I should not have generalized all Kansas white people to be the same.

KUFan90 10 years, 4 months ago

tdogg34 - agree. the only article I've seen on this on ESPN was "Taylor dislocates finger, out 3-4 weeks". There was no mention of the Wednesday altercation, and I really don't think the rest of the country gives this a second thought, much to the chagrin of Mayer, Keegan, and several of the posters here.

strongbadia 10 years, 4 months ago

Matt3285: You are misunderstanding cause and effect. Hip Hop didn't CAUSE many of the issues you speak of, but is rather a portrayal of what currently exists. Lyrics from "gangsta rap" are a RESULT of living conditions. Moreover, you call me ignorant, and then proceed to post this generalization:

"Black people need to start taking responsibility for themselves or the communities you live in will continue to exist as they do today."

I mean, really?

jhokfan 10 years, 4 months ago

I agree with Mayer. I don’t know how anyone associated with KU, past or present would not be embarrassed.

labbadabba 10 years, 4 months ago

Don't understand most of the posters here.

This is bad. Even if it's not a huge potentially program-wrecking situation (a la Lack of Institutional Control) it's still bad. Unfortunately, perception is reality in these situations. This means we may lose doner $$, this means we may lose recruits (see Harrison Barnes). Be smart folks. Mayer is right in this case.

We Jayhawks like to think we take pride in being classy fans, and fans of class programs. But by the looks of a lot of these comments and our lovely little kick-off chant we're no better than Mizzou fans. Way to go guys.

4jhawks4ku 10 years, 4 months ago

I agree Mangino Maniac. If we're bringing out names lets list all the names including the football player who was involved. Takes two to have fisticuffs doesnt it? Everybody else was prob trying to break things up. Jeez , it was a fistfight that prob lasted 10 seconds. Attention basketball and football players: When youre at the top of your game and kicking the oppponents A , everyone else hates your guts except your own fans. Every other team in the NCAA wants to see you screw up. That opens the door for them cuzz they know they cant beat you. Thats why this is news.

klineisanazi 10 years, 4 months ago

KuFan90: This was a topic on all of ESPN's afternoon shows yesterday, including PTI, Around the Horn, and Rome. It was also mentioned on College Football Tonight leading into last night's Ole Miss-Carolina game. It will come up again Saturday when KU takes the field, and it will come up again when basketball season starts. Do I think KU is forever blighted by this incident? No. For most fans, except those at KSU and Misery, it will be forgotten. But right now it is black eye. Black eyes can heal, however.

strongbadia 10 years, 4 months ago

I mean really? People here personally feel embarrassed? I think that's a little weird. I love KU to death. I was born and raised here, and spend lots of money to fly back to watch games. I pay to follow recruiting, and love all things Jayhawk. However, I personally do not feel embarrassed at all.

jhokfan 10 years, 4 months ago

It pains me to say this, but labbadabba is right, we are no better than mizzou. Perhaps our on-field and on-court success has gone to our heads. I used to read posts on this site critical of the behavior at other schools and now we are that other school. Last year it was our trailer trash chant that got us embarrassed in the national media and before that it was our lack of institutional control. As fans and alum we should demand a higher standard and stop making excuses for ourselves.

strongbadia 10 years, 4 months ago

jhokfan you need to live in the real world.

1) Our on-field and on-court success? Neither you or I won any games on the field or on the court.
2)KU is better than Mizzou, because KU wins things. There are d-bags at each respective school. What do you think, KU only enrolls the best people in the world, while Mizzou only enrolls inbred trailer trash? Get real. 3) NOBODY CARED about the damn chant. I mean where do you live dude? Go to NYC or Chicago or anywhere other than Kansas or Mizzou and see if anyone noticed that chant. Besides guess how many schools/fanbases do the Bulll-Sh.. chant after a bad call in a game? Just about all of them.

4jhawks4ku 10 years, 4 months ago

These so called Jayhawk Fan posers are sooooo embarrassed. Heck, I bet a fight breaks out once or twice a week between the football players themselves and we never hear about it. Theres probably been a fight on every NCAA team this year and we've never heard about them. As a loyal Jayhawk this doesnt bother me in the slightest. This is a tough team from mean streets. These are lessons in life they're getting along with English, Econ, etc. etc.... I, personally,am not emabarrassed by a preseason ranked No. 1 NCAA basketball team or a top 15 ranked NCAA football team.

dmb41fan 10 years, 4 months ago

Many of you are making very relivant and factual statements about the actions of "both" the basketball and football team, however there have been some generalities and assumptions stated that are not correct. One of the things that seperates KU from any other Univeristy is the fact that as individuals we try to hold ourselves to a high standard, whether on the court/field or off the court/field.
I suppourt Bill Self in his statement about the chant and t-shirts, that it is childish and without any class in regards to the Bull-S** chant. Seriously, you are paying to get educated, show me something you have learned, not how stupid you can be. That doesn't show class, just lack of character. It is embaressing when Tyshawn put's remarks on FB or Twitter like he did. He wants to represent an instituion, act like it. Sheron you want to act like a capitan, don't let your teamates get in those positions, be a leader on and off the floor. It is not impressive to say that we are ranked preseason Number #1 but act like idiots. Personally, I was just as proud when KU lost to Syracuse, as those guys played all year fighting obstacles, and played above their abilities, but played together and lost in the Final Four, but had class and character. The verdict is still out on this years guys. Finally, the comment around are from the mean streets, lets recap where some of the mean streets are that we have on the roster - Xavier and CJ - Dad played professional and live in afluent OK City region. - Whitney - very well off San Diego California residence - Johnson - Las Vegas, Henderson is the richest county in the US per capita - Morningstar - Lawrence - not to shabby - Aldrich - Minnesota, now that's "gangsta" - Buford - San Antonio, dad works for Spurs (doesn't scream mean streets) - Morris twins - Philadelphia (Academy setting, not tough streets) - Collins and Taylor - Chicago and NJ, great, "it's not where you are from but where you are at" you reside in Lawrence.

Rick Arnoldy 10 years, 4 months ago

“ Most people around the country don't care or know about this incident, so don't delude yourselves into thinking the entire US has a microscope on Lawrence Kansas right now, because they don't.”

“I just don't understand how the Kansas image is ugly all of a sudden. Is it just me or is the local media in Kansas the only ones that really give a damn about this?”

Yeah, nothing about it over on ESPN…

Bad decision, harsher price Dick Vitale http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/dickvitale/news/story?id=4500829

Second fight reported on campus Dana O’Neil http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=4496695

Jayhawks' Civil War J. Brady McCollough http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=4500639

Self says fight was bad for university Tim Griffin http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=4501726

Roundball Chatter Dick Vitale http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/dickvitale/news/story?id=4503708

strongbadia 10 years, 4 months ago

I'm all for personal responsibility. I'm all for the W.E.B DuBois mantra of picking up one's self by his bootstraps. I also believe that Hip Hop is a very minor contributor to the issues that have existed since BEFORE hip hop, and it is merely an outlet as well as an enterprise. Most black people can think for themselves and understand that this is purely entertainment. Furthermore, I submit to you the current link to the top Hip Hop/R&B songs out right now: http://www.billboard.com/charts/hot-100#/charts/r-b-hip-hop-songs?begin=1&order=position

Check it out. How many of these songs glorify violence nowadays? Urban songs are all about sex now.

Just because you LIVE in Detroit doesn't mean you understand black people. I am all for personal responsibility, but things are not that simple. I also think strides have been made by my people, and things will continue to get better. Full assimilation will continue to take time. We are not even 3 generations out from equal rights. I think you are better served to be uplifting to troubled youth and help with the process rather than pointing fingers.

Also, I personally don't like Alan Keyes or Condoleeza. I do like JC Watts but I don't 100% see eye to eye with any of these individuals politically. Stop cherrypicking black republicans to prove a point, when the real issue here is politics, which is a whole different issue (groupthink amongst the black community, etc.). While JC is good, Obama has has a far more profound impact on the black community than any of these people.

Rick Arnoldy 10 years, 4 months ago

Nothing on cbssports.com either....

Foolish fisticuffs a punch to the gut for Jayhawks By Gary Parrish CBSSports.com Senior Writer http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/story/12253580

Kansas basketball players apologize for fighting Sep. 24, 2009 CBSSports.com wire reports http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/story/12258288

Dirk Medema 10 years, 4 months ago

Anyone seen a football game around here?

timecronk 10 years, 4 months ago

I'm in the camp of not seeing why this is a big deal. You hear of football players around the country being arrested all the time. No one even committed a crime in this scuffle. Florida has had 21 football players arrested since Urban Meyer took over in 2005. Now that's a news story.

labbadabba 10 years, 4 months ago

strongbadia -

I live in NYC. It has absolutely no bearing on my belief that 'Rip his friggin head off' is totally inappropriate and classless.

Also, I hear the 'N-word' 20 times a day on the A train from the Dominicans coming down for Washington Heights. I know that word is used in Kansas just as it's used everywhere but that doesn't mean it's right. I know what the impact is.

We're better than this.

labbadabba 10 years, 4 months ago

ohioburg - Don't forget the massive OpEd in Sports Illustrated.

This will pass, come April when we're raising a banner it will most likely be water under the bridge, but it doesn't mean that it didn't happen.

But we no longer have room to talk:

Larry Brown the Chalupa Incident JR Giddins Lack of Institutional Control Darrell Arthur Mario/Darrell smoke em if you got em Rumble at Wescoe

I love KU, but that doesn't mean that I'm blind.

Ron_Kellogg 10 years, 4 months ago

I don't understand why being alumni and/or residents of the State of Kansas is not sufficient reason to root for the Jayhawks. Why this incessant need to view KU as morally superior to or cleaner than any other program around the country?

Blake Post 10 years, 4 months ago

yeah, it stinks that it happened. I would rather have a higher road than NU and MU, but some media I have heard want to act like they are watchdogs and keep it going. They want names and blood. They bite. Everyone knows, realistically, that whoever makes another bad move is gone like Giddens, Giles, whoever else. Media made me turn my tv off because all they wanted to talk about was President Clinton and his misadventures, and they made the US a laughingstock. I should not have had to turn off my tv so children would not see it. Shame on the media. How many children in the US heard about that, and why did I have to know? Now if someone is trying to go Jihad on us, plaster that all over so we can back up Govt efforts to fight it (unless national security comes under risk because of it). If there is a rapist striking in Lawrence and Manhattan, get that word out.

Bottom line on the teams... everyone on here likes to second guess and armchair coach. These two have demonstrated that they can do the job, including the discipline. That is why I think that although this episode bites, the COACHES CAN AND WILL HANDLE IT. I have no problem with that.

gthejayhawk 10 years, 4 months ago

Once again njjayhawk, you hit the nail on the head. I can't help but feel that Keegan and Mayer have some sort of inferiority complex with regard to KU football and basketball? .

Eurekahwk 10 years, 4 months ago

So you are telling me that in 1956, there were no issues between athletes and non-athletes. That all the well-to-do WHITE kids that attended college back when only the upper elite got to do so had absolutely no problems with the jocks or should I say the black kids. That in a time when racial tension was palpable preceding the Vietnam uprisings in America, there were no fights?

I'm sorry, maybe my history is off. Didn't the Student Union get bombed? Didn't the cops kill a black man right outside the Union? Didn't another black man get killed again by the cops in an alley behind Mass Street. How about the prejudice that Native American Olympic runner Billie Mills felt so strongly that he would leave Lawrence altogether.

This stupid little kid fight is getting blown way the hell out of proportion. I've seen many fights just like it on Mass Street, house parties. Why is it that when frat boys start fights, they are just kids being kids. When black athletes start fights, they are thugs?

Rock_Chalk_NYC 10 years, 4 months ago

Good articles both Keegan and Mayer. Not to crazy about the references back to the 50's as thats not really relevant.

That said...

Whats up with you apologists? This is embarrassing and does tarnish the university image. The players and coaches themselves said that. Get a brain.

Not to mention its a distraction for our football team at the start of a good season (hope it becomes a great one!) and an slight injury to a very important player on our soon to be preseason #1 BBall team.

I love these teams and also want to respect them all as individuals... I'm not going to give 'em a free pass on this stuff... How many of you apologists wouldn't love to be in their shoes? They have special gifts, they work hard as well but also have special responsibilities to live up to.

As a fan, I accept their embarrassment and too want to see this ugly incident fade away.

Stop the apologizing though... it make you look like a Mizzery or KSUck fan (which I know you're not!)

Kenneth Johnson 10 years, 4 months ago

How is this going to affect Harrison Barnes' decision?

Hello Duke!

Ken HoopsZone.net

Ryan Shelton 10 years, 4 months ago

I am the first one in line to abhor these two incidents that have given us a black eye, but Bill M's harsh, uncaring, and thoughtless words have made me feel sorry for the boys now. Good job Bill. Two wrongs don't make a right.

Adam Evans 10 years, 4 months ago

100% with Mayer and Keegan. These "Jackasses", and that is what they are, were all in it for "How does this affect me" rather than the bigger picture. If it was a brand new freshman who just started classes and hadn't started boot camp, then that's one thing. But these are "Jackasses" who have been here. They should know what being a Jayhawk is by now; and that this behavior was not it. Taylor is not a freshman. He knew better. They all did. And honestly, it's not the writers and the fans who need to move on. It's the players. They have shown no true remorse for what has happened. Not yet anyway. Rehearsed public statements and apologies are nice, but show me your attitude has changed and that you are ready to be a Jayhawk, or stop wearing the Crimson and Blue; because you will do nothing more than tarnish the the colors you wear.

Eurekahwk 10 years, 4 months ago

Frat boys may dress like yuppies. But after about 5 beers, they sure act like thugs. They act just as bad as the athletes. I think it is because fraternity life and athletics are similar in that they both present college as a continuation of high school complete with pep rallies, student council, and home coming functions. Frats even hold parties where all the ladies are high school girls. Easy hunting, huh.

blowhard 10 years, 4 months ago

Must be a pretty slow news day generated by pretty weak writers / weak broadcasters if this garbage is still publicized. So there was a fight, BFD. The participants made public apologies. Get a life and move on. It won't happen again. GO JAYHAWKS!!!

gardenjay 10 years, 4 months ago

strongbadia - thank you for posting. Gave me a bit more understanding.

Lance Hobson 10 years, 4 months ago

Very well said. I just can't believe this has happened, it is incredibly embarrassing for the university and these thugs don't seem to get it. Why haven't we suspended anyone or even expelled anyone? Gang fights just do not happen at Wescoe and certainly not in the middle of the school day when real students are going to class.

We've had a nice run with non-students like Arthur, Briscoe, Rush, the Morris twins and others like them (apparently TT and Collins). Now we need to raise our standards again - KU is an institution of higher learning, not a housing project for gangsters who happen to play football or basketball. As much as I hate Duke and UNC, you would never see this at those schools.

James Miller 10 years, 4 months ago

God, please, help me get through the off-season. God Almighty, please, let everyone see that this incident is not that big. I know your Son Jesus Christ was a man of peace, love and harmony, but he was also a man of forgiveness. Father, allow all of these people throwing out undeserved names like "thug" and "Jackass," to see that they are only adding to the problem. These athletes involved are wonderful people, who all have many people vouching for their character. Please, let others see these people for who they truly are, and quit being so judgemental. As a side note, Lord, a National Championship in 09-10 would probably help the healing process.

Amen

cobweb 10 years, 4 months ago

The whole system is ridiculous and corrupt. The NCAA is similar to the Wall Street regulators, enforcing silly, meaningless rules while allowing the dangerous activities to flourish. In both cases, it's all about money. How fitting the football team plays on Kivisto Field.

Mangino_Maniac 10 years, 4 months ago

cobweb - you speak bluntly and clearly, and I agree. Everyone is too intoxicated with winning... just look at so many of these responses of 'you guys better win', etc... like winning will somehow negate the facts of all this mess.

Ridiculous indeed.

strongbadia 10 years, 4 months ago

Matt3285 is so effing ignorant, it's unbelievable. Please explain how these players dress like thugs. Also Always Strapped was one of the most popular songs of the summer. I think it spent several weeks in the top 10 of the Billboard Charts. Everyone loved that song. Hell I love that song, and I am about as far from a thug as it gets.

Mangino_Maniac 10 years, 4 months ago

strongbadia... so if something is popular that justifies it in your eyes?

Lance Hobson 10 years, 4 months ago

Its a lesson learned for the coaches and administration. If they're going to let these at risk kids come to KU, they need to keep closer tabs on them.

Rick Arnoldy 10 years, 4 months ago

This post probably won't be read since this thread has gone on for days but I have to say this. There is a difference between being a Jayhawk versus being a Jayhawk fan. A "fan" is a bandwagon jumper who roots for the final score and brags how they won no matter the means. A true JAYHAWK is a person who gets that being a true winner means upholding a standard that includes sportsmanship and living up to the history of winning with integrety. If we lose with integrity, then so be it, and we do what we can to win the next time. Trash talking, fighting, infighting, just have no place when you are a JAYHAWK. If you don't get that, then go elsewhere.

Joe Ross 10 years, 4 months ago

ralster...

I regret to see youve exchanged your good reason for treachery! Your position is: "This is the way it is. This is the way it's been. It is what it is, so that's that." In times past youve impressed me with your insight, but it's clear it's abandoned you. By what means, then, would we as a society make any improvement if we just took things as they are?

You say, "It's a direct affront to your 'manhood', and obviously the maturity curve is still ongoing for many 19-22 year olds, so they act on that affront." But you stop short. The fact is they SHOULDNT be acting that way even though they are, and here is where your argument becomes shoddy and fails you. The fact is, many adults that age are quite well behaved indeed. So I dont care whether that way in Mayers time, or yours, or in ancient times for that matter. Its irrelevant. If good leaders in society dont demand a certain decorum, I guarantee you its members will never live up to one autonomously. Your logic is astoundingly off the mark.

Gary Denning 10 years, 4 months ago

Dick Harp? Bear Bryant?

How about a reference to someone who is ALIVE?

waywardJay 10 years, 4 months ago

I will go a step further Jross and proclaim that it is not just 19-22 year old who fail in this aspect..... it happens with peopl of all age ranges and and ecomincally diverse backgrounds.... Wait... Wait a minute..... maybe that was ralster's point..... also.....

i have seen 50 year old men go against the better teachings of common soceity and do things that are deplorable..... There was that guy who was 90 and shot a federal worker in Georgia.....

You see when people are "affronted" they lose sight of what actually is relevant..... like when calling someone a "seperatist....," because you Disagree with their views of a writer. Then again You of all people should be able to walk your own walk ;) But then again, when someone destroys your point with your actions that is considered a smeer.... I apologize for the smeer, I was just trying to show how that could be construed as hypocracy.... I mean I consider you a decent human being and i would expect you to have higher moral character than to throw out hostility like that. Same with Tyshawn Taylor, only he has yet to graduate College and You have referred to yourself as an alumnist a few times. I'm 30 now, and I know i was a raging a-hole when i was 19. Wouldn't you think he might feel the same in 11 years ????

It's tragic what happened and it's not good for us, but it is not the sky falling....and will not be EVER......

This is a big deal but no more than say Chase Buford attempting to operate a vehicle under the influence.....and I don't think that was ever refered to as thuggish behavior... where was mayer's article on that, Oh he chose to SKIP THAT STORY. Interesting.
terrible Punch is Nit-wittery but endangering people's lives is not worthy of Print, Hmm.

It certainly doesn't deserve national attention, and I would not recommend Tyshawn Taylor try out for Golden Gloves.....

hdhntr 10 years, 4 months ago

what a bunch of rationalizing fools! this is a huge deal and will be used in the recruiting wars and no it does not happen at all campuses, fights yes between players or individuals but teams? Not hardly. you could overlook anything that would get in the way of winning a game or two, wow you have lost your senses.

Mangino was highly respected as being different than BS who doesn't have a problem buying mercenaries like the Henry's, and they make no bones about not wanting to be on any campus, but has showed he will tolerate anything to win games. Briscoe was recently reinstated with a zero tolerance policy and quickly joins the fray and is not immediately kicked off the team? After the CB who failed 3 drug tests and still played and is now a certified drug test failing, helmet swinging NFL thug? Then brought the rapist to campus and the dude tried to kill one of his teamates? Grt group you have recruited mangino, time to push yourself away from the buffett table and pay attention to what is happening on your team!

If it wasn't for a KU alum running sports dept at the KUStar, stopping reporters from being all over this and all the many stories of athletes behaving badly at KU, totall lack of institutional control Nuclear bomb would be shutting down the madness, as only a few of the truly horrid stories that are floating around about the bb team have come out. I already know of a KU alum taking his two kids out of the university at end of semester as he doesn't want them on an outlaw campus like this.

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