Thursday, October 28, 2010


Shhh! You didn’t hear it from me, but … Stanford AD Bob Bowlsby could be up for KU job


This isn’t for publication, so whatever you do, don’t breathe a word of it to anybody.

Kansas University’s search committee to identify an athletic director to recommend to the chancellor has targeted a mystery candidate as an object of its affection and has done a masterful job of keeping that candidate’s identity cloaked. So take this guess as what it is: pure speculation.

Stanford University athletic director Bob Bowlsby could be that man.

Although Stanford has continued its dominance in the national all-sports standings (Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup) under Bowlsby, and Jim Harbaugh was an outstanding hire as the football coach, it hasn’t been all smooth sailing for Bowlsby since leaving Iowa to take the post at Stanford in 2006. He was slammed for his handling of basketball coach Trent Johnson’s departure to LSU, for example. The jury remains out on Johnny Dawkins, the man Bowlsby hired to replace him.

A native of Waterloo, Iowa, Bowlsby held the top spot in the Iowa athletic department from 1991 to 2005. He was chosen as the head of the NCAA Basketball Selection Committee in 2006.

Sound like a reach? KU pays better than Stanford, and this region of the country might fit his personality better than Palo Alto.

— The committee is open to unconventional candidates, so don’t rule out the possibility of Denny Thum, who resigned last month from his job as president of the Kansas City Chiefs, will get a serious look. Thum started with the Chiefs as an accountant in 1974, the same year he graduated from Rockhurst.

— Was that just me or did anybody else hear what that strong gust of wind just whispered, that Tulsa AD Bubba Cunningham didn’t wow every member of the search committee? That’s the problem with committees, you have to please all the people all the time.

— Let’s see, Minnesota is searching for a football coach to turn around the program that headed straight south under Tim Brewster. Jon Wefald, the man who hired Bill Snyder, who executed what many believe to be the most remarkable savior job of a program headed for a smaller division, has strong ties to the land of 10,000 lakes. Before heading to K-State, Wefald was chancellor of the six-state university system in Minnesota. You don’t suppose the U is seeking his advice on where to turn for a football coach, do you?

— Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson, a big-time winner for most of his career, has been tasting the other side of the score too often lately and finds himself on a seat hotter than an Tempe summer. Since the start of the 2008 season, Erickson has a 12-19 record overall, 7-15 in conference.

ASU could be the perfect landing spot for ousted Texas Tech coach Mike Leach’s aerial attack. Canned KU coach Mark Mangino’s area of expertise is offense, and pink-slipped South Florida football boss Jim Leavitt’s is defense. All three coaches’ ousters pointed fingers at rough treatment of players. What better way for the three successful head coaches to rehab their images than to win football games together? That’s the sort of splash needed for the Sun Devils to regain lost turf now that Mike Stoops has things humming in Tucson.


Janet Scott 7 years, 5 months ago

Speaking of unconventional, I still like Kim Jung Ill as the AD at KU. Tough, no nonsense kind of guy. Or maybe Bernie Madoff, who would have the once-crooked KU ticket office humming in no time again; I'm sure the Feds would parole Bernie early if he were offered a decent job on the outside. And then there is Bill Clinton as KU AD. Smooth talker; good at the political side; and knows something about increasing female attendence at events (especially the events he hosts privately). Hot dang, the prospects are lining up nicely!

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Toto_the_great 7 years, 5 months ago

Correct me if I am wrong Sandy, but I didn't think gophers are "the U." I think that is Miami.

meremy 7 years, 5 months ago

As a minneapolis resident, I can strongly confirm that "the U" is very widely used by locals to refer to the university of minnesota. Of course, you're right that miami has the same moniker.

minnhawk84 7 years, 5 months ago

Toto: Stand corrected. In the State of Minnesota, the UofM is referred to as the "U" by the legislature, the media, and citizens.

Thomas Michaud 7 years, 5 months ago

I'm not from Minnesota, nor have I ever heard the UofM being referred to as the "U" -- unlike the "U" Toto_the_great referenced and one that I'm most familiar with as well. SO, when referring to the "U", I'd hazard a guess that the majority of readers would immediately think of Miami (even Google places Minnesota on the second page of a search request) thus resulting in the thought (from me, anyway): "What the **** does the University of Miami have to do with Minnesota's coaching search??!?!" ... Always good to cause confusion in an article without clarification of a fact that hardly extends beyond the border of a state.

SO, how about a little "" next to the "U"() and have a little note: *In the State of Minnesota, the "University of Minnesota is referred to as the "U" by the legislature, the media, and citizens." Heck, the web designer could even throw in some CSS to style it all pretty, so the reader can know it's a special note of reference.

I'm with Toto--I'm thinking Miami too ... However, thanks for the clarification, since Keegs wasn't willing to make the effort to begin with.

NorthStarHawk 7 years, 5 months ago

The University of Minnesota has been referred to as the "U" for decades. A few of you folks need to get out and see what's happenin' north of the Mason-Dixon line once in a while.

Thomas Michaud 7 years, 5 months ago

Outside of the state of Minnesota? Really? I've lived in California, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, and now Michigan (heck my family has roots in Minnesota) and never heard the gophers referred to as the "U" ... I think I've watched ESPN since it's first year and can't recall them ever giving the "U" to Minnesota ... Someone in Minnesota needs to start doing a better marketing job, because Miami has their "U" (on their helmet even!).

That's it, I'm only referring to the UofM(innesota) as the "U" as a new campaign to dislodge it from Miami.

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years, 5 months ago

so far i've asked 100 people and nobody has told me university of minn is "the u"

Benjamin Piehler 7 years, 5 months ago

i hate to break this to you, but for 90%-95% of americans; "the U " is always going to be Miami.

Also, Kansas was considered North of the Mason Dixon Line......

Mike Nicco 7 years, 5 months ago

That's a good one NorthStarHawk. A Minnesotan telling other people to get out and see the rest of the country.

LAJayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Someone ask Cole Aldrich if he's ever heard the University of Minnesota referred to as "The U."

I have been to Minnesota countless times and grew up in Chicago. Never have I heard Minnesota referred to as the "U."


TopCityHawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Hiring Lane Kiffin to repair the program in Los Angeles is risky... KU handing the reigns over to Turner Gill is riskier... But the 3 Amigos (Leach, Mangino and Leavitt) together again in Tempe is riskiest...

That being said, I'm buying it! No risk = No reward... ASU might as well go all in... Plus the Pac10(11,12?) needs a spicier image for their newly branded league...

esj2003 7 years, 5 months ago

Someone I keep mentioning for AD is Kevin Pritchard. KU guy who was GM of the year in Portland. He turned them around from their Jailblazers days. He was fired, but the reasons seemed to be dumb. He's young and he could be here for a while if we wanted him to be.

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years, 5 months ago

Too bad Asu ad released a statement yesterday saying hcde will be back next year. Details. . .

Ron Prichard 7 years, 5 months ago

What the heck is the focus of this article? Halfway through the list of KU AD candidates it switched to who ASU might hire as a football coach. And what on God's green earth does the U have to do with any of it (and I've never even been to Miami...I mean Minnesota!!)?

Sam Constance 7 years, 5 months ago

Was wondering the same thing. Poor writing, imho. Don't they employ editors to catch this sort of thing?

kcglowboy 7 years, 5 months ago

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Keegan, where logic, journalistic standards and good writing take a back seat to speculation, lazy writing and disregard of facts.

Sf Boggsz 7 years, 5 months ago

What the heck is going on in the Sports Department of Journal World? First we get this article a few days ago quoting a rumor, "Shelby is being investigated for academic reason". The the following day Self has to come out and make a statement because of rumor mongering the NCAA investigation is only focusing on the academics.

Now we have a headline that appears to be fact and upon reading the paragraph it really is a mystery man and this is who we think it is.

good grief. slowdown boys.

Sf Boggsz 7 years, 5 months ago

self edit comment: my apologies of course it's Selby not Shelby as my fingers typed faster than my brain. Pardon.

redlegger 7 years, 5 months ago

Do you think 15 mil would buy you a life?

Ryan Mullen 7 years, 5 months ago

Just as long as he brings Bowlski's to the football team I would be happy.

kuhawks28 7 years, 5 months ago

Jim Leavitt accepted the D-Coordinator job yesterday I heard. No ASU for him. He'll probably follow Great Grandpa Bill when he finally retires.

Topcitykid10 7 years, 5 months ago

Keegan how much do you get paid?? Cause I could have wrote this too, plus I need a job. I wouldn't mind having one that deals with sports on a daily basis

kcglowboy 7 years, 5 months ago

Hey it could be worse. He could publish a column suggesting that Arkansas and Notre Dame are interested in moving to the depleted Big 12. Oh, wait, he actually did that. Never mind. OK, I know I'm risking ridicule, but I'm going to go ahead and say it: I miss Woodling.

Jeff Coffman 7 years, 5 months ago

This sounds like our football coach search. We have a contract inked out with some guy from Stanford, and the next day we hire someone from the MAC.

I hope that we don't revisit that fiasco.

Gig 7 years, 5 months ago

ESJ, Kevin Pritchard will always be one of my favorite KU players, but I don't think he would be a good choice for AD. He will always be known as the GM who selected Greg Oden instead of Kevin Durant. Given the way he blew that easy decision, I wouldn't trust him to make the correct decisions for the KUAD.

LAJayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Portland also selected Sam Bowie in the 1984 draft ahead of Michael Jordan.

Yeah... they tend to make stupid choices up there.

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years, 5 months ago

They didn't select kd because they already had Brandon Roy. So the fact that go has not panned out should not be placed on kp. Details!

LAJayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

While my point had nothing to do with Kevin Pritchard -- instead talked exclusively about the legendary Sam Bowie pick -- it was clear to anyone who saw Durant play for 5 minutes that he would be absolutely dominant. And he has exceeded that expectation. By a ludicrous margin.

It was also clear to anyone who saw Oden struggle through injury that he was... well... injury prone. And what happened in the pros?

You simply can't pass up a once in a decade or two type talent that Durant is, regardless of who is on your squad. No matter how you try to spin it, Oden over Durant was a bad choice. As GM you are paid a lot of money to make the right choice. That wasn't.

Details AND big picture!!

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years, 5 months ago

You should start you second and third paragraph with "in hindsight" DETAILS

LAJayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

You're right because any decision you make that is wrong is really okay and faces no consequences as long as you toss the phrase "in hindsight."

"In hindsight, this is the wrong choice, but don't blame us for failing. Reality doesn't matter because you are looking in hindsight." Works for every other CEO out there, right? They don't have to make the right choices as long as the choice they made "seemed" right at the time...... The reality of it be damned....

The only way to look at your choice is in hindsight. That's when you determine if it was the right choice or the wrong one. Kevin Durant dominates. Greg Oden does not.

He made the wrong choice. Simple as that.

In hindsight or not.

LAJayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

"That's kind of an ignorant view."

Argumentum ad hominem.

I don't quite see how my opinion -- and the opinion of many that I knew, especially those who saw the kid go off for 25 in the first half in Allen Fieldhouse -- on how I viewed Kevin Durant pre-draft is ignorant... ESPECIALLY when that opinion has been proven absolutely correct. Yes, many analysts were saying the Blazers should take Oden, and I was screaming how stupid that was (In fact, I believe I made several statements to that fact on this website if you care to go back through my comments). Simply put, those analysts were wrong. If a CEO chooses to invest money in something, and it doesn't pan out, investors aren't going to say "well, you lost our money, but other people were saying it was a good direction to go in, so no big deal." It's a business, and wrong choices have consequences.

To put it another way, every analyst in the world picked Oklahoma to easily knock of Boise State in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. Now, those who wagered money on Boise State and won a lot, were they ignorant for going against these so-called "analysts"? What about those who lost a lot of money on Oklahoma? Were they smart? Reality has consequences.

"And it's because of Pritchard's guidance that the Blazers are actually a competitive team."

This is what is referred to as a Red Herring. It deviates from the main point of our discussion in order to distract from the actual argument. My point had nothing to do with what Pritchard has done for the Trailblazers as a whole. I simple said picking Oden over Durant was the wrong move. Clearly it was. There really is no arguing that point. Durant dominates; Oden does not.

Sam Constance 7 years, 5 months ago

Stop with the cutesy Argumentation 101 terms. I think the point people are trying to make is that the choice between Oden and Durant is not the obvious, no-doubt choice that you are now implying in hindsight.

If you were touting Durant over Oden before the 2007 draft, then more power to you--you were correct. But that doesn't change the fact that most people around the world of college and professional basketball were split on who was the better choice. That's because both players were seen as franchise building-block type players.

Calling the selection of Oden "stupid" is akin to calling someone's choice "stupid" when they bet Red on a roulette table and it comes up Black. Knowing the end result doesn't change the nature of the choice (difficult v. easy, obvious v. unclear).

They are completely separate issues:

1) Whether or not a choice is difficult or easy

2) Whether or not the selection made was correct or incorrect.

Whether or not someone's selection ends up being correct doesn't change whether or not the original decision was hard or not.

Sam Constance 7 years, 5 months ago

To pretend, in hindsight, as if the choice between Oden and Durant was an obvious one is revisionist history, pure and simple.

Sorry, but not even the biggest Durant optimists could have possibly imagined how he'd break out. And not even the biggest Oden skeptics could have possibly imagined how much time he's spend sitting.

At the time, the consensus was that you couldn't go wrong with the 1st or the 2nd pick in that draft. Acting like it was an obvious choice and that choosing Oden was foolish is, well, wrong.

caribhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

SHHHHHH yourself, I heard the new AD will be Verne Troyer, Lew Perkins Minnie Me! He will eat less, can travel as economy or in someone else's briefcase, cannot use regulation size tread mills, and has the same track record as Lew in hiring successful coaches at KU (0)!

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