Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Self: AAU players aren’t funneled to KU

Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self speaks with the media at a Selection Sunday news conference.

Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self speaks with the media at a Selection Sunday news conference.


Bill Self would disagree strongly with anybody who says AAU basketball players have been funneled to Kansas University.

“You’d think Kansas, with the history and tradition we have, has done a pretty good job recruiting guys on its own,” said Self, set to begin his eighth season as Jayhawk coach.

He was willing to comment Tuesday on the issue of Dana and David Pump summer team-sponsored players playing for KU.

That’s been a hot topic since a Yahoo! Sports story quoted Lawrence real estate developer David Freeman saying he, former KU director of ticket operations Rodney Jones and KU grad Roger Morningstar followed the instruction of the California-based Pump brothers when the five allegedly made money scalping tickets during the 2002 and ’03 NCAA Final Fours.

The story — which did not accuse Pump N Run of any impropriety in sending players to KU — did mention that Morningstar coached KC Pump N Run teams in the past. Also, it mentioned that, since 2002, Pump-sponsored teams have featured at least nine players who have played at KU, including Mario Chalmers, Elijah Johnson, David Padgett, Omar Wilkes, Jeff Withey and KC Pump N Run alums Tyrel Reed, Travis Releford, Brady Morningstar and Conner Teahan.

“I don’t want to say it’s offensive because in recruiting at a high level, people do make assumptions,” Self said “The one thing I will say from an assumption standpoint, though it didn’t state there was any funneling going on, it could be interpreted that was a possibility. By no means in this situation is that remotely accurate. This is a situation where the people in question haven’t had anything to do with the recruitment of any of our prospects since we’ve been at Kansas.”

Self went through the list of Jayhawks who played for Pump-affiliated teams. The KC team is sponsored by adidas, not receiving any money from the Pumps.

“Two players were recruited before we got here, and they did play for the L.A.-based Pump N Run,” Self said of Padgett and Wilkes. “Since then, we’ve gotten seven players that have a Pump N Run-affiliation name. Four of them are from Kansas City: Tyrel’s dad worked KU camps for 25 years; Brady, whose dad attended Kansas and was a player and family lives in Lawrence; Travis, who grew up in Kansas City; and Conner, who is a walk-on for us, born and raised in Kansas City. I think our chances to recruit them would be pretty good regardless of what affiliation they had basketball-wise.

“Mario Chalmers did play for the Alaska Pump N Run team, coached by his dad. I feel Mario, his mom and dad had a lot to do with that recruiting process,” Self added. “The last two are the only two guys we recruited who played for the L.A.-based Pump team. Jeff Withey played a total of two tournaments. His primary AAU team is BBO out of California. Elijah played a total of three tournaments with the L.A.-based team, and his primary team is the Las Vegas Prospects. Those are the facts.”

Self added: “I want to make it very clear I do not think there’s absolutely anything wrong with having a relationship with people that have contact with prospects. That is the definition of recruiting, whether it be high school coaches or AAU coaches, but in this particular situation, they (Pumps) are not coaches, and the Pump teams are sponsored by adidas. It was put out there that there could be funneling of players. I’m here to say that certainly has not been the case.”

It was pointed out in last week’s media reports that Self and athletic director Lew Perkins have attended the Pump brothers’ summer retreat in California.

“I have spoken at it twice in 10 years. I’ve attended it along with many others and very well may speak at it again,” Self said. “It’s one of the best professional development clinics we go to. We hear from great speakers and listen to ideas that may help your ballclub. All proceeds go to cancer research.”

KC Pump N Run coach L.J. Goolsby told the Journal-World last week that his program has sent more players to Missouri than KU. He said KC Pump N Run has sent players to Big 12, Pac-10, Missouri Valley, SEC, ACC, Southern Conference, Northeast Conference, Horizon League, Ohio Valley, Mid-Con and Mountain West schools.

“Kids that grow in Kansas City should want to play for Missouri, K-State, Kansas,” Self said. “The AAU programs in our area are very, very strong. I think they are very reputable nationwide. I think the (college) coaches that come in contact with these (local) groups see that these coaches are in it for the right reasons and try to do things the right way.”


Matt Bowers 11 years, 4 months ago

Why is it so hard to believe that a top program (Kansas) would recruit from a top program (Pump N Run)? This is really stretching. LJW, how about setting the record straight instead of perpetuating this myth. Were KU not UK. Keep recruiting top prospects HCBS.

Rock Chalk

Timmay97 11 years, 4 months ago

First of all.....there is not ONE clean program in the NCAA. The reason why KU and UK get criticized all the time is because they are the cream of the crop. They have top coaches with great players. Therefore, all the reporters try their hardest to find stories to make each school look bad. It's quite pitiful, but true.

As great a coach as he is, do you really think Tom Izzo is squeaky clean? The answer is no, However, nobody has ever caught him with any major or minor infraction. All schools find loopholes and ways to get kids to come to their school. Unfortunately, it's the powerhouses that are under the microscope and get caught.

Fact is.....I think the state of Kansas is in for a very special treat this year. KU, K-State and Wichita State are all expected to be near the top of their conferences. It should make for an exciting college basketball year.

yates33333 11 years, 4 months ago

B.S. Who give a darn what these other people say, Yahoo or Yahoos. Self is a great coach, good man, and real asset to KU.

Dyrk Dugan 11 years, 4 months ago

it's good for Bill Self to come out and directly address these things. He's not afraid at all to make statements, and directly refute the insinuations.

it's been pretty breathless on the radio airwaves in Kansas City the last week or this takes some of that wind out.

Like it was said above, KU is the king of big time college basketball around these parts...we will ALWAYS be a target.

tis4tim 11 years, 4 months ago

Self (answering questions about allegedly questionable recruiting): "By no means in this situation is that remotely accurate."

Lew (answering questions about alleged improprieties): "I'm the victim."

Lew should take a lesson from Self on how to quash rumor and innuendo in the media.

Steve Brown 11 years, 4 months ago

A local Kstate tool with a 2pm radio show the last couple weeks has been spouting that Pump n Run exist to funnel players to Kansas.

he came on the other day claiming he never ask for people to get fired and went on to ask for Lew's head. This after a year when he early on wanted Mark's job, Royals and Cheifs jobs as well, lately he wants Don Bebe fired, he doesn't listen to himself.

Sour grapes.

Sam Constance 11 years, 4 months ago

Why, whoever could you be talking about?


I missed the original broadcast where he used the term "funnel", but I was listening last week when a Kansas fan called in and mentioned that he thought KK's assertion that P&R was "funneling" was an irresponsible classification without any more facts than he had.

In typical KK fashion, he lashed out at the caller, getting indignant and asking over and over again, "what word would you prefer, sir?". After the call, he classified the caller as the "most sensitive they'd ever had" and that he needed to get his "panties" un-bunched, just like a petulant 6th-grader. Unfortunately, the caller wasn't able to articulate the problem better, which is exactly what KK was betting on by harping on the word choice, which was not the point.

The point is that when you say an organization is "funneling" something, it directly implies that the org is actively directing whatever is being funneled. In other words, it implies that either the Pump Brothers or P&R or people associated with P&R were telling their players "go to Kansas"--an assertion for which there is no basis.

I agree with that caller that it is irresponsible journalism. It's one thing for a youth basketball program to direct its players to a college basketball program, which could have the appearance of impropriety--as if that youth program is getting something in return for doing so. It's another thing entirely for a major college basketball program to have a youth program like P&R as a source of players, in large part because it makes sense to look to where talent is amassed in one place, like on a youth basketball team like a P&R team.

I actually don't mind KK for the most part, but he has the flashes where he can be a total doosh.

Sam Constance 11 years, 4 months ago

I think tis4tim is talking about Lew's comments in regard to the blackmail case that came out just recently.

The funny thing to me is, when you're a "victim" of blackmail, you're also a perpetrator of some sort of wrongdoing. Because if you weren't, it wouldn't be blackmail, it would be slander/libel.

The whole basis of blackmail working is that you actually did the thing that you don't want the other person to expose.

Ron Prichard 11 years, 4 months ago

Your assertion that for blackmail to exist the one being blackmailed must be doing something improper is patently false. Blackmail is a form of extortion in which the threat is to expose embarrassing, damaging information to family, friends or the public.

I am sure there are things in your past or present you don't want anyone to know about that are neigher illegal or improper. It could be as simple as someone taking a picture of you eating a booger (a.k.a., Booger Daniel) and then threatening to put it on ESPN and YouTube if you don't pay them a large sum of money. Oh, wait...that was on live TV. Nevermind...

Sam Constance 11 years, 4 months ago

Fair enough. I didn't think about non-incriminating, yet embarrassing things being used to extort money.

However, in this case, the threat being made is that the blackmailer knows something about Perkins that is incriminating under Kansas law.

floridajayhawks 11 years, 4 months ago

Don't be surprised if the NCAA does an investigation.

Vic Janeway 11 years, 4 months ago

maybe this rumor started when missour fans found out that one of their new recruits is ineligble?!!! trolls

datness 11 years, 4 months ago

I know for a fact that Pump n Run coach L.J. Goolsby recieves $100,000 from Adidas for every one of his players that signs with an Adidas team. KU is the premier Adidas team so is this really a suprise. I don't think it's a big deal either.

Ron Prichard 11 years, 4 months ago

Gooslby must be a rich man by now.

So, if you know this for a fact, explain it to the rest of us. Otherwise, just go away.

okiedave 11 years, 4 months ago

I have it from a very reputable source that Lawrence High School was organized and built for the purpose of funneling basketball talent to K.U. Research shows that the girls and boys attending Lawrence High who never play basketball at K.U. are merely placed at the school to give the appeance that funneling is not taking place. There is strong evidence that Free State High was started to divert future attention from Lawrence High when Morningstar was born and his dad committed him to K.U.

K.U. needs to stop recruiting at Lawrence High immediately before the word get out.

Spencer Goff 11 years, 4 months ago

Well, actually, the creation of Free State was twofold. Not only did it give the appearance of a second high school, but it also allowed for twice as much funnelling to occur.

We doubled up on coaches, sorry... recruiters. We could look at twice as many players, it was just twice as good really. Sort of like a fast food chain, we just expanded, actually, we also run Salina South, Salina Central, and Northwest in Wichita. We are looking to expand into both Junction City and Topeka soon, at least once we foribly remove the roadblocks with cement shoes.

We are everywhere, we own everything, we see all.

NYHAwk 11 years, 4 months ago

Talk about reaching for a story. even if there was a "funnel" it would not be illegal. And it is not much of a funnel ... only nine players in eight years? And frankly, what good is a secret funnel if it can't deliver top talent. One of these guys is a walk-on. Mario Chalmers, Good. Brady Morningstar, good but not a starter. And finally what good is a "funnel" if it only delivers people you would probably get anyway. Most of these guys are home town boys. What moron dreamed up this conspiracy anyway??

addlime 11 years, 4 months ago

It is so slow in the summer... I can't believe this is a story and Bill Self has to take time away from anything (including golf) to respond to this BS. For all the above mentioned reasons, its obvious that KU would get players from Pump and Run AAU teams. Furthermore, every time a kid comes to KU and has success, that raises the likelihood that another kid from his former AAU team will also consider/attend KU. Just like this kid from Carl Henry's AAU team that is proclaiming his desire to come to KU without even being recruited yet. You can't tell me X's success last season didn't influence him, or at least give him more insight into the program. Common sense... not a story! Certainly not a funnel.

Steve Brown 11 years, 4 months ago

810 radio funnels it's listeners to their radio owned sports bar taking customers away from Tanner's Johnny's NicknJakes' and other non anti crimson & blue establishments.

for a KU fan to spend one nickel in the 810 sports bar is like buying shoes from the Taliban.

jaybate 11 years, 4 months ago

In which Coach Bill Self takes what they give him and uses it on them. :-)

Heaven help them if he decides to play it any way they want. :-)

Spencer Goff 11 years, 4 months ago

This was a good rebuttal by our coach. He speaks factually, and puts it in a perspective that is hard to argue unless you are just completely biased.

Top schools recruit top athletes, and AAU programs right now as a whole are designed to feature top athletes.

Conspiracy theorists are usually pretty foolish, and saying that some of these players going to KU because of simply playing for the Pumps is assinine. If we are going to go that far, then Texas High School football is a feeder program for Texas University (with OU always stealing some), we probably better ban it altogether.

justanotherfan 11 years, 4 months ago

All I have to say about this is if KC Pump N Run is designed to funnel players to KU, then why is Trevor Releford going to Alabama? I think that pretty well ends that argument.

100 11 years, 4 months ago

Disclaimer: I have blood of each and every ethnicity known to humanity running through my veins and through my heart each and every pulse reminds me how truly equal we all are... But Will Ferrell style basketball humor is such a sweet precious thing if delivered properly.... So please take this statement in the way SNL humor is meant to be taken...

:::My Statement on this matter:::

All of our current players who played for the Pump N run....

ThEy ArE All WhiTe !

100 11 years, 4 months ago

And Will Ferrel says,

"Well most of 'em anyway..."

KU08 11 years, 4 months ago

I get the feeling that Bill Self would have been the best at any profession he chose to do, especially if he would have chosen practicing law over coaching basketball.

dynamitehawk 11 years, 4 months ago

Each time KU signs a pump N run player, I think that Bill Self should shave three Adidas lines on each side of his head and wear a shiny black toupee.

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