Saturday, December 11, 2010

KU coach Self lauds Booths for buying Naismith’s rules


— Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self applauds the generosity of KU graduate David Booth and Booth’s wife, Suzanne, who purchased the original 13 rules of basketball for $4.3 million in an auction on Friday.

“I spoke to David. It blows my mind somebody would be so generous to do something like David and Suzanne have,” Self said after KU’s practice in Sprint Center, site of today’s 5:30 p.m. KU-Colorado State game.

The Booth family intends to deliver founding father James Naismith’s rules to KU.

“This is on top of everything else they have done for us,” Self added, noting the Booth brothers — David and Mark — built KU’s Booth Family Hall of Athletics.

“David grew up just off Naismith Drive. He understands the history and tradition growing up in Lawrence. He felt it would not just be a great addition to the athletic department, but from a tourist standpoint, to have the original rules housed on campus. I couldn’t agree more. Why not have the rules at the place the inventor of the game spent a majority of his life?

“I’m excited about it and appreciative. If anything, it’ll give our alumni and present students and everybody associated with our school a special sense of pride knowing how historic and tradition-rich this place is.”

As far as where the rules will be displayed ....

“You know what? I think we owe it to the Booth family to house these rules in a way that is unique, special and gives everybody an opportunity to view them in a way they deserve to be viewed,” Self said. “We don’t know what that is. We know our administration will be committed to getting with David, others and architects to see what is the best way to do this, to get the most bang for doing this. The pride in having these rules here in Lawrence will last far longer than any of us will. It will last for many generations.”


100 7 years, 9 months ago

Amazing story.... Thanks Josh Swade.... the Booth Family... & Coach Self....

It is time....

Time for a Naismith statue next to Phog outside....

Best Friends Forever....

Inside the fieldhouse we need a 7'0" statue of Wilt as you enter in, with his hands down to give everyone five....

If the players can't slap the rules on the way to the court due to the security issues of the document, perhaps they can give Wilt's statue some skin?

NebraskaJayhawk 7 years, 9 months ago

No doubt dude. Great post with great suggestions.

Bill Skeet 7 years, 9 months ago

"Thank you," seems inadequate.

What an amazing legacy the Booth Family has bestowed upon the University and the basketball program.

I saw the rules a few years ago on display at the Smithsonian. I remember thinking that they ought to be in Lawrence.. I am amazed and so grateful to those who dreamed it and did it.

Be prepared for goosebumps when they go on display.

Rock Chalk!

JayHok 7 years, 9 months ago

Holy Cr'p! They're coming to KU!

Anyone else hoping the rules end up in the Fieldhouse? Unless James Naismith is still living down the street, isn't the Phog where they really belong?

If they don't end up there and we build a separate building for these rules I might have to do this just to get rid of my Phogging frustration:

Tad Shurtz 7 years, 9 months ago

Kansas basketball is honestly the best thing there is.

KU79 7 years, 9 months ago

I actually got chills. And I'm an old man. This is simply as it should be, but it just didn't seem possible. Thank you to the Booth family -- KU fans everywhere appreciate it greatly!

hawk82 7 years, 9 months ago

Just like every day...

It's a great day to be a Jayhawk.

Thanks Booth family!!

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years, 9 months ago

sounds like a good time for a certain former athletic director (who may have ruffled some feathers while in charge) to step up with a donation to build someting to house the rules

REHawk 7 years, 9 months ago

100 offers terrific suggestions. Would be dandy if those rules were placed somewhere enroute to the court, where players could give their housing a good luck tap.
Or a 7' bronze of Wilt to serve that purpose for everyone who enters the fieldhouse....

Ken Sedgwick 7 years, 9 months ago

There is a basketball god, and he is good. Thanks to all involved.

Brian Powell 7 years, 9 months ago

wow GREAT news :) hope they're installed in Allen next time I visit

nobody1793 7 years, 9 months ago

Pay heed all Refs who enter... now you don't have any more excuses!

cmm889 7 years, 9 months ago

a glass display column in the center of an aisle so people can walk around it would be completely awesome...

ridiculously HUGE thanks to the booth family.

i didn't think it was possible to add more tradition and history to one building... and then... BOOM.... Roasted.

100 7 years, 9 months ago

Great idea cmm889.... I'm starting to really think like you said, the rules being in the Fieldhouse would pay bigger tribute to Naismith & the Lawrence he loved (the Fieldhouse was meant to be named after him initially when the money started coming in for it & he spent every single game at Robinson Gymnasium, the incredible building that was constructed due to his blueprints & lobbying the Legislature.... Naismith spent countless hours on Robinson's shiny new court helping Phog as assistant coach or keeping stats... he also spent every single game at the bottom of Snow Hall as a head coach of Phog on a court he created knocking the ceiling out with a sledgehammer to leave a low ceiling & poles for the opposition to deal with.... Naismith also spent every game as a head coach at the local Army that burned down as head coach, our first place to play & a place my father witnessed the first Kansas game, a dramatic win that even in the beginning showcased what our fans would become). He even spent the last 10 years of his life still helping with the team & taking stats at every game at Hoch. This is the same odd looking court Clyde Lovellette would play on. The same court we threw pennies onto the floor as he sat with his notepad with a grin as big as a basketball God's should be, the pennies thrown across the US that year to get Naismith to go see his name inaugurated in Germany for the 1936 Olympics.... The man was as Jayhawk as Danny Manning & Wilt Chamberlain.

I appreciate you pointing out the importance of "the Building the houses Kansas basketball", cm889, because besides Naismith being a tremendous family man, wonderful professor, medical doctor & the daily devotional minister in his first few years at the University... where he spent two hours a day was on the courts that wouldn't have existed without his two pieces of paper that held the 13 commandments...

(continued below)

100 7 years, 9 months ago

So cmm89 I completely agree with you upon further reflection. Wouldn't Naismith's wish really be to be closer to the players, closer to the court, closer to the people's lives he hoped to influence in a way "away from the pulpit"? It was always the basketball complex for Naismith. That really was his life. Look at the picture of the 1923 National Championship team.... The students. The players. The building. Humanity. Aside from Hoch, Naismith had a handprint on "every single" basketball structure we ever used. 1. The armory. 2. Snow Hall 3. Robinson 4. Hoch (used as a temporary means, but he was at every game & as mentioned this is the court that sent him to the Olympics). 5. Allen Fieldhouse (money started coming in in the late 30's, the designs hadn't been made yet, but the first money given was in understanding that it would be named after the inventor of basketball.

So to go along with your idea cmm889, what follows is a repost from yesterday that I think could play tribute not only to Naismith, but what he really meant to Lawrence as a whole, and also pays tribute to a very important concept: where his idea came from "in his mind" & also implicitly covers the imporance of the fact that this important document really is "coming home" (for anyone who loved Jayhawk basketball before 1939, the rules were here at Naismith's home & he literally did say in interviews as he aged Lawrence was his first choice for a Basketball Museum, Springfield was second)...

Here's the repost:

The rules need that case along with a solid resting spot (kind of like a big boulder in the fieldhouse in the corridor on the way to the court, since Naismith got his idea from a game he used to play as a kid called Duck on a Rock, no Joke).

Anyhow I'm thinking embed the Constituition type case inside of a bronze casted boulder that our players can run by and slap on the way to the court....

Instead of a Duck on the rock, there can be a bronze 12 inch baby Jay, directly on top (essentially part of the sculpture), eyes locked knowingly on the 13 commandments....

That bronze boulder & case can be bolted with tremendous bolts & a security system to one of the steel posts that Phog helped us acquire for the fieldhouse during the shortages in steel due to the Wartimes.

At the base that's easy stabilization but again it will be lots & lots of lockdowns & keys that essentially lock the thing down permanently in the fieldhouse forever, much like Pike's peak (the mountain that used to be technically part of Kansas before our border line changed due to Colorado) isn't going anywhere from it's geographical location anytime too soon just because of a purchase by humans.

Booth's name should definitely be engraved on the Hawk on the Rock to celebrate for generations to come his family's rockin move on December 10, 2010 to make sure the holy Grail ended up in the right place (and not in Michael Jordan's casino)....

100 7 years, 9 months ago

sorry "knocked ceiling out" should read "knocked out about 4 feet of the floor" (it was a crawl space that Naismith knocked out, extra room at the base of a structure that lowered the basement of Snow Hall and made for the lowest ceiling on a basketball court you could imagine)

JayHok 7 years, 9 months ago

~Talk about the rules having an impact during the game~

~ESPN cameras couldn't stay off them even if they wanted to~

~Refs would have to slow down and take a glance just to make sure they got the call right~

Mike Bratisax 7 years, 9 months ago

Back where they should be..After all, there's no place like home.. : )

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years, 9 months ago

inital thought was put them under the floor in the middle of the jump circle, everyone will just know they are there. however that's where coach self will eventually be buried.

second: duct tape them on the floor in front of the visiting teams bench just to let them know what's up.

third: give them to curly neal so he can tear them up and us as confetti for the ole "you think there's water in the bucket trick" ha i still fall for it!

fourth: erase the rules and use the paper for the student section sign in/waiting list

five: "accidently" mail them instead of recruiting letters to the nations most prized recruit every season.

100 7 years, 9 months ago

Who writes your material? Funny stuff ahperse.....

In thinking about your desire to see Kansas football rise up again & since with the current culture, basketball's collegiate future is so closely tied to football's collegiate future....

How about:

Gill bringing the entire Florida Football team & their recruits (who just lost Urban Meyer as a coach) so they could see a 4 million dollar document that will be on campus with them while they win national championships for Kansas, a document created by a man who...

  1. Invented the forward pass in football.

  2. Invented & wore the first football helmet (while at Springfield on Stagg's team, Stagg being the eventual father of football coaching and also Naismith's best friend at the time) Naismith cut a football in half & used canvas type fabric to strap it on his head, mainly to protect his ears initially).

  3. Assistant coached (with head coach Fielding Yost) a 10-0 Kansas football team (during the unfortunate but comical Kreb's scandal).

  4. Played in the first ever indoor football game, that included paid spectators (at the original Madison Square Garden).

  5. Helped kick off the funding for the current football stadium at KU with a dramatic 20-20 tie against Nebraska that included, down 20-0 at half, a rousing halftime speech from Phog & a technical strategic move by Naismith that changed the outcome of the game & got the funds rolling in for Memorial Stadium.

  6. Came to to Kansas thanks to a telegram sent to Denver from noneother than Amos Alonzo Stagg, the father of football coaching.... Upon agreeing to the job, Naismith agreed to take on being a football coach, several months before he jump started our basketball tradition...

7.. And lastly... According to Stagg himself.... Pound per pound, was the strongest 5'10" center in the history of football (pre-steroid era)!

Mike Bratisax 7 years, 9 months ago

You definitely held your own...Nice Job!

mikehawk 7 years, 9 months ago

To have them on display permanently at the Fieldhouse is to seal the validation Phog Allen Fieldhouse is an absolute iconic shrine in the life of the game of college basketball. No one anywhere will have more appreciation for them than the fans of the University of Kansas.

kcn18 7 years, 9 months ago

I wonder if KU had a choice would they rather accept a donation of $4.3 million or the 13 rules....I'm just saying that's a lot of money

100 7 years, 9 months ago

If we're smart we'll understand that monetarily speaking this will bring in money from across the world that would have never made it to the campus of the University of Kansas for generations to come...

Definitely a very solid investment... And money aside...,

This is where these belong.

Bill Skeet 7 years, 9 months ago

The value is really hard to calculate.

But-- my opinion only-- they will have a value that exceeds $4.3m when located at 66045. They are one of a kind.

Over time, this may have value to the KU community, to the Lawrence economy and even Kansas, that goes well beyond the selling price.

Smart investment; incredible gift.

100 7 years, 9 months ago

Great point bskeet. "Smart Investment" on the part of the Booth family. Incredible gift from them to the University.

In the end the investment will greatly benefit the Booth name as well. He & his wife just made headlines as purchasing the most expensive piece of sports merchandise... Ever!

Any business deal they get into for the rest of their lives, this will be the known between the two sides as an amazing purchase & a great deed, whether spoken or unspoken...

The Booth name is bigger & has even more luster than ever....

What a gift!

kcglowboy 7 years, 9 months ago

Wherever they end up (assuming somewhere in the Booth Family Hall of Athletics), I'm hoping we can put an asterisk next to the words "Permanent Display." I think it would be a terrific gesture (and good PR) to take the rules on a three-day road trip once a year to KC -- to be displayed prominently in the College Basketball Experience next to the Sprint Center for the duration of the CBE Classic (which always draws good teams, ESPN and eight or nine CBE Hall of Fame inductees). Imagine The Rules getting some airtime every year in conjunction with KC's college basketball showcase event, accompanied by the tagline "On loan from the University of Kansas."

Tony Bandle 7 years, 9 months ago

My previous post....Encase the rules in the floor of Naismith Court with a clear top for viewing. Place it at the northwest corner where the Hawks come out. Each time the team enters, each player bends down and slaps the rules in appreciation and honor.

The house would go crazy!!!!!

waywardJay 7 years, 9 months ago

especially if the tradiution was was started by someone who gave their career to Kansas basketball..... Think Archie Marshall, Think Wayne Simien.....

KUbsee69 7 years, 9 months ago

No matter how or where they are displayed, keep them out of reach of any Wildcats or Tigers!!! Place them so they can be seen and envied, but not touched by them.

harv89 7 years, 9 months ago

Thanks to the Booths!

You guys rock! Whatever the Booths decide I can't wait to see them.

741hawk 7 years, 9 months ago

Thank you Booths! Could KU have more tradition? This will pay KU dividends (as HCBS pointed out) long after we are all gone.

Great idea "100" regarding the statues.

Do you recall that the Phog Allen statue was originally placed facing south across the front? Seemed strange placement to me. I finally figured out (tho' it was never announced) that the intention was to eventually place a R Williams statue across from Phog. That coach gave up his opportunity. Now, with time, HCBS has his opportunity.

I like your idea of adding a Naismith statue out front -- the two, and eventually three, most important coaches in KU history. Wow. Very impressive.

Inside, a statue of Wilt is long overdue. Standing 7-feet tall, for the players to run by inside the tunnel would be awesome.

Think what this means to recruiting for years to come.

Rock Chalk.

waywardJay 7 years, 9 months ago

IN about 4 years when his coaching profession runs the course, i think we should bring Roy back with such an honor. He deserves to be associated with thtis program .... however, I don't believe iin such a gradiose way.... Perhaps we create a bust of his head for our Museum..... We can as suggest with the CBE classic, Put a note on there that says on Loan from North Carolina, a School who is what it is because of a Great Jayhawk Dean Smith....

And someone absolutely must include a crushed dove somehow into this display in honor of the Dove he sooooo viciously crushed in the form of Al Bohl.

dynamitehawk 7 years, 9 months ago

Pretty cool. I think we should cut them into snow flakes and hang them in the windows of the Phog. Or perhaps hot glue them to the National Championship banners?

jaybate 7 years, 9 months ago

My vision for the rules is this:

Cut a hole in the center circle of Naismith Court slightly larger than the diameter of the first peach basket Naismith used. Craft an airtight vacuum container in the shape of a cylinder with a transparent material on the top end. Light the cylinder high up from the sides.Craft a peach basket as nearly identical to the original as possible. Place the rules inside the peach basket. Add a picture of James Naismith. Set the peach basket inside the air tight cylinder. Vacuum it and seal it. Lower the air tight cylinder into the hole in the floor at center court. Cover the hole with a transparent, impact resistant material. And play basketball on top of it for as long as human beings keep playing the game.

Rock Chalk!

100 7 years, 9 months ago

That is one Hawk on a Rock Phenomenal idea!!!!!

waywardJay 7 years, 9 months ago

Perhaps in the eye of the 65 foot long jayhawk :)

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years, 9 months ago

I say we slap a Briggs automotive sales sticker on the floor. That looks real classy!

jaybate 7 years, 9 months ago

I say we get a sow's ear, turn it into a silk purse, give it an alias of ahpursecoachingexperiencewanted, then have it post negatively whenever jaybate posts, then have jaybate ridicule the alias, then repeat. :-)

Yeeeee Hawwwww, I do love XTReme Posting!

tdomine 7 years, 9 months ago

Why is everyone trying to make Wilt smaller? The statue needs to be 7'1". The Big Dipper was that big. I think you fold the rules neatly inside the pocket of Wilt's letter jacket and let each recruit wear it for one night.

College Basketball: We invented it and if you mess it up, we'll take it back. All roads lead to Lawrence.

waywardJay 7 years, 9 months ago

Thanks Booths for bring this document back where it belongs. Home.

There are tons of great ideas for this, and I echo in the sentiments that it should be viewable. I love the Idea of a Jayhawk reading those rules intently.I love the Idea of putting them inside a peach basket giving a nod where they came from.

The game America Built, on Display at the best venue to watch Naismith's vision.

Undoubtly the decision has already been made, You don't sink 4.3 mill into a project and say.... " ehhh You can used them as paper mache for all we care...." I do hope it's part of a routine we start. Everytime we defend home court, everytime we head out to our prospective war, and in every practice we participate in. They are watching, these ghost of yesteryear. Our Chant has already been called haunting, perhaps it's time to blow camcam indoor playpen out of the arena. Jaygoyles in the rafters staring down intently towards center court, Position faces of the all time greats looking down towards the opponents bench, so they eyes of the great always are upon them. Perhaps it's time to go medieval on their *sses as Samuel L, might suggest.

Chris Corley 7 years, 9 months ago

When it comes to the history and tradition of the game of basketball, there really is no substitute. Well done and thank you to the Booth family. This is totally the kind of thing I'd be doing if I ever win the lottery.

Also, great suggestion Jaybate!

actorman 7 years, 9 months ago

Wow, there are so many great ideas here that I'm glad I don't have to be the one making the decision. I'm so psyched that the rules will be at AFH where they belong!

I also love the idea of a Wilt statute for the players to go under. I hope someone is seriously considering that. And of course we do need to have a Naismith statute to go next to the one of Phog.

Thanks 100, for your posts about KU history. That's tremendous that your dad was at the first KU game! What a great legacy.

David Robinett 7 years, 9 months ago

I own and would be willing to donate to KU to support this display...

Robert Murphy 7 years, 9 months ago

This is without doubt the dumbest purchase ever. Who are more ridiculous than the rich? If they have so much idle money sitting around why don't they set up a scholarship fund? I hear there is an outhouse in Massachusetts that Naismith pooped in why don't we offer a couple of million for it and put it in front of the field house with Christmas lights. Besides no one plays by rules anyway.

Brad Miller 7 years, 9 months ago

Hey bobby you got a cute name but you're in a really bad mood. I have no clue if the Booths have already set up some scholarship but it certainly seems likely to me. Regardless, this latest act enriches KU and all it represents.

VTHawk 7 years, 9 months ago

The $4.3M went to charity. Take your class warfare elsewhere.

Aligned 7 years, 9 months ago

Or they could have given the 4.3M to Perkins as an additional bonus. Isn't that about the same amount he was awarded last year for all his grueling work? That would have been a much better use of their money.

jaybate 7 years, 9 months ago


I would put it another way than you in this case. I would say; if this country can insta-print $13 trillion and pass it out to friends of the owners of the Federal Reserve, then I don't see why we can't take $4 million of that arbitrary, fiat increase in money supply and spend it on securing and preserving the rules of a game that has had a great civilizing force on our society and seems to be having a similar effect on some other societies.

At the same time, I do often think the way you do, when extraordinary money is spent for things that could just as well be spent on feeding, educating and getting kids medical care.

But the original rules to the game that has spread round the world, a game that is aimed at skill and non contact, a game that has helped integrate a nation, and has helped build bonds of play among nations; these rules really are very, very important documents. They are the written institution of a civilizing force in society. They are also important in the sense that so long as they exist and are recognized, and presented in a way for all to see, they act, like the US Constitution does, as light house from our past reminding us not to stray too far from our roots, without just cause.

If i thought the game and the rules it is based on helped no children, helped not society, helped no nation of persons, no group of nations of persons, learn to be better persons, to be more civilized, then I would say burn the rules, or stuff them in Dick Vitale's mouth to shut him up sometimes.

But I know that it helped me.

I know that it helped some of the boys I played the game with.

I know that it has helped my family at times.

I know that it has helped the university of Kansas some times.

I know it has helped Kansans at times.

I know that in helping to integrrate this nation it has helped the USA.

I know that in helping nations compete with each other in something other than war and counter terrorism, it has helped the world more than $4million dollars worth of scholarships would do.

And I know that the Naismith's intend to use the $4million dollars to set up a charitable foundation, so, infact, the money is going to help people, while at the same time it is protecting the institution of a game that stands as one of a number of lesser bulwarks separating our society from barbarism.

Robert Murphy 7 years, 9 months ago

jaybate: Your always so f--king thoughtful. No shouldering? Colby Bryant would foul out in the first quarter. I saw George Carlin at the old Hoag auditorium when he was first doing his seven words you couldn't say on television. I am sorry the most used word in the English language is banned here. Some things refuse to change, not basketball.

miajhwk 7 years, 9 months ago

Words are not enough to express the gratitude of the Jayhawk Nation to the Booths for their generous gift to our beloved alma mater and to all Jayhawks everywhere. I think I speak for all Jayhawks when I say "Thank you!" This really is a neat thing.

Tim Shockley 7 years, 9 months ago

What a proud day for Jayhawk fans. Thanks for all you have done for the University David and Suzanne. May God bless your family always for your generosity to others.

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