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Originally published December 6, 2011 at 04:12p.m., updated December 7, 2011 at 02:44a.m.

Bill Self meets with President in Osawatomie

KU hoops coach learns that Barack Obama is 'huge basketball fan'

Kansas head men's basketball coach Bill Self met with President Barack Obama in Osawatomie on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011, before taking on Long Beach State later in the day. Obama was on the campaign trail and made the stop in the Kansas town. Self also discussed meeting former presidents during his time coaching at KU.

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Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self met with President Barack Obama at a meet-and-greet session before the President's speech on Tuesday at Osawatomie High School.

"Great day. Just met President Obama. So down-to-earth, loves ball. Heading back to Allen to get to work. Game-Day. See you guys at 8," Self wrote on Twitter.

Self during his pre-game KU-Long Beach State radio interview said he received an e-mail on Monday inviting him to meet with the President.

“I said, ‘I can’t make it. It’s Game-Day. I’ve got shoot-around,’” Self said. “They (Obama staff members) e-mailed back and said, ‘He understands. Just come and meet him.’ I drove to Osawatomie and we visited a while.

“The talk of him being a huge basketball fan is not just talk,” Self added. “He asked me about our team. I told him, ‘I like our guys. They try awfully hard, but we need to play at a higher level.’’’

The two shared a light moment.

“I said, ‘With all due respect, Mr. President, don’t pick us again (in his pre-NCAA Tournament bracket).’ He picked us to win it all the last two years. He said, ‘You cost me money,’’’ Self added with a laugh. “I said, ‘Not as much as you cost me.’’’

Self said he was appreciative of the time with the President.

“It’s amazing what the president goes through in daily life. Every second of the day is allotted,” Self said. “He gave me six minutes, and I think we were allotted five. It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

“As an American you have so much respect for that office,” Self said. “For me it was a no-brainer to go.”

Self has now met three Presidents: Obama; President George W. Bush in the White House after KU won the title in 2008 and President Bill Clinton at KU when Clinton visited campus with Bob Dole.

Comments

William Blake 2 years, 4 months ago

I am here today to let all the Jayhawk Nation know about a new political party in Washington, DC.

Our party is called " The Rock Chalk Party" and the first order of business we will conduct once we sweep Congress and the Whitehouse is that there will be no political barfing on our kusports.com site.

The second order of business will involve lobbying the NBA to think a bit more about college basketball by cleaning up their OAD rule.

The third order of business will involve lobbying the NCAA to completely revamp college sports rules.

The fourth order of business will involve shooting the BCS system in the head and adopting a real playoff in college football.

The fifth order of business will be to make a national holiday every time a KU team wins a national championship.

The sixth order of business will be to create a national flood plain over the entire state of Missouri. It will help save a great deal of flood damage to other parts of America.

(This is drgnslayr, and I approve of this message!)

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Brak 2 years, 4 months ago

Wow folks this is getting pointless, you sound like a bunch of MethZou fans arguing over the last line of crank. Regardless of your political affiliation I think we can all agree that Bill Self is the best college basketball there is, and frankly thats all that matters.

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hitme 2 years, 4 months ago

Barack Obama is the Milli Vanilli of Presidents.

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Bangkok_Jayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

On a serious note... I have been in Thailand for less than a year and have met 2 Prime Ministers... I lived in Kansas my whole life and never even saw a US President. Now Obama is close to where I grew up. DANG IT!

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Bangkok_Jayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

I love politics on a sports message board!

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dstnku34 2 years, 4 months ago

Obama is responsible for high unemployment. Obama wants to give money to the unemployed so they can spend it which may actually create enough demand to spur some job growth. But unemployed people are, by definition, lazy. That only hands free money to lazy people, which is disgusting, and creates the need to hire those lazy people so that they can get even more money! Clearly, the only solution is to give tax breaks to the rich so they can hire hard-working people and not the unemployed. What a terrible president.

Disclaimer: this is satire.

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hitme 2 years, 4 months ago

I have to admit, I'm a bit surprised they let Obama have visitors on his first day there.

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Jared Grillot 2 years, 4 months ago

Going to have to call the principal with all this teenage "I'm gonna smack you/you can't touch me/go ahead and try it" testosterone flying around here. Glad to see the 10th grade is well represented on the boards these days. Let's face it, just about every one of us, if faced with a one-on-one meeting with a sitting president, regardless of party, would become mindblown and "Yes sir, no sir" at best, and slack-jawed gawkers at worst.

And there's nothing wrong with that. It's called respect for the office. It's gotta be the hardest job I can think of, and I know I wouldn't want it. Just because I don't agree with the way he does things, didn't vote for him, and won't vote for him next time either, doesn't mean I wouldn't show the man the utmost respect. I wish I could expect better from the folks on here.

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Randy Maxwell 2 years, 4 months ago

Obama has been known as a big basketball fan for 3 years now, is this news. Self even though he is a huge Republican should go and meet the president and show respect for the office, which he did

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Geekinout 2 years, 4 months ago

Barrack Turner Obama Gill... Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world's first bionic man.

The New and Improved Hybrid President Coach that can and will destruct anything that comes across it's path...

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Lance Hobson 2 years, 4 months ago

I met the president a year ago in Afghanistan. I had a whole list of pertinent topics I planned to discuss with him, such as KU basketball, the burn pit there that was giving us all cancer, the bombs I dropped that day, ROE, and his favorite beaches in Hawaii. However, when the time came, all I could muster was a weak "Uhh." He said thanks and was gone. I only had about two seconds, not having the pull of a Bill Self.

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DDDHawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Obama really is a true basketball fan. I hope they show us a pic of him and Self together.

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louisvillejayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Sounds like many of us need to stick with basketball and let others figure out politics. I would like to be able to support our current president but in all honestly, his policies have been extremely detrimental to our economy. I manage money for several mutual funds and consequently have the opportunity to talk to the management team of many large Fortune 500 companies on ocassion. Most will tell you that Obamacare, the new financial regulations that are still not finalized, and tax uncertainty are delaying them from making strategic investment and hiring new employees. Class warfare was not what allowed this country to become great and differentiate ourselves from the rest of the world. If high taxes and lots of governments entitlements were good for an economy, Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal would be leading Europe not begging it neighbors for lifelines to avoid bankruptcy. Do tax cuts solve every problem of course not but we need to implement policies that help the US compete with other countries. Having a corporate tax rate that is at or below other countries would be a good start since our companies already start behind the eightball with a more expensive labor force. I could go on but I will stop here as hopefully people can discuss issues rather than name calling and threats of lawsuits/violence.

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lawrenceguy40 2 years, 4 months ago

I have never liked bill self, and now I learn he is a raving, liberal sycophant. We do not need his type in Kansas. How long before he goes down to osu and we are rid of him and his brown nose?

335

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commonsenseanyone 2 years, 4 months ago

I hope we treat long beach state like the republicans are going to treat Obama come November. ..... Run them/him out of town.

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James McGuire 2 years, 4 months ago

Since no one can seem to leave politics out of this discussion, can we all agree that not one single person is responsible for our nation's deficit, unemployment, and other problems?

I would like to suggest that almost every one of our current problems can be blamed on politicians and lobbyists Not just republicans and conservatives, or liberals and democrats. All of them are responsible.

On a much happier note: hopefully we take care of the ball tonight and destroy Long Beach State. Rock Chalk Jayhawk.

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Keith Hummel 2 years, 4 months ago

Sigh! Just when I think I've found a safe haven from the political insanity, it shows up on my favorite sports site. Is no place sacred?

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lathamhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

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

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Hank Cross 2 years, 4 months ago

There's no doubt it was an honor to have Self meet President Obama. But, Obama's predictions of KU winning the NC for the last 2 years have the same success record as his predictions about how the economy would improve. Just sayin'.

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KEITHMILES05 2 years, 4 months ago

Obama garnered more support than any Dem. candidate ever with 42% in 2008. The only Dem. to carry the state was LBJ IIRC.

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KEITHMILES05 2 years, 4 months ago

Obama garnered more support than any Dem. candidate ever with 42% in 2008. The only Dem. to carry the state was LBJ IIRC.

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LngTimeFan 2 years, 4 months ago

Today has to be the absolute point of Self's existence.

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barackchalkjhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

I heard someone calling my name? I agree, tremendous honor for Coach Self and KU. Let's just leave it at that and focus on the game tonight. RCJH!!!

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Bill Shaw 2 years, 4 months ago

Unlike 60% of the voters in the county that I live in (Pope), I voted for the winner in the last presidential election, not the loser.

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BillSelf4Prez 2 years, 4 months ago

i thought Kansas was Republican.....and my name says who should be president clearly.

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kusportsdotcom 2 years, 4 months ago

Politics and anonymous message boards are a terrible combination.

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slantrox 2 years, 4 months ago

I agree. He is the president of the United States, so be respectful of the office, show up, say hi and enjoy the moment. I'm sure the president was as excited to meet HCBS as vice-versa...given HCBS's celebrity status.

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Danny Hernandez 2 years, 4 months ago

Great that the President of the United States had time to meet with our great coach, Bill Self...a great day to be a Jayhawk and an American.

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phi4life940 2 years, 4 months ago

Politics aside...our beloved Coach met the President of the United States today. Good for him. Hope you have an equally as good a night Coach!

Rock Chalk!

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Alohahawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Just remembered:

Self came to Hawaii (for the Maui tourney).

Obama came to Hawaii (for the APEC meetings). Which created a real traffic flow fiasco in Honolulu for about three or four days.

Self returns to Kansas.

Obama visits Kansas.

So, who's following who?

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slantrox 2 years, 4 months ago

I wish Obama the best of luck as he "Occupy's the golf course" for his 17 days in Hawaii!

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jhox 2 years, 4 months ago

Bill Self for Prez. I'd like that if only he could still coach KU on the side. I have no doubt he would be better at it than the last two guys. He could actually bring the parties together instead of spue poison at the other side.

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tanaumaga 2 years, 4 months ago

How hot do you think Bill Self's tweeter is?

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Kent Kossoy 2 years, 4 months ago

And all this time I thought that my fellow alumns were smart people. Personally I would just assume that the Great and Wonderous Oz from DC stay there and fix the problems that he promised to fix instead of taking a VACATION. Perhaps he should be taking a STAY-cation like the rest of the world. I am still going to root for my Jayhawks, but I think that I will sit in another section.

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slantrox 2 years, 4 months ago

With 57 states, Obama can't keep them all straight!

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oldalum 2 years, 4 months ago

Not Obama. I've never understood why people fight so hard to win that position. It's just asking for abuse no matter what you do. On second thought, maybe the two positions are a lot alike.

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Robert Moore 2 years, 4 months ago

I want to PUKE. Just became a Wildcat fan

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blindrabbit 2 years, 4 months ago

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

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slantrox 2 years, 4 months ago

I want to personally thank Obama for giving me the time to sit on this chat site instead of having a job!

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William Blake 2 years, 4 months ago

I'd like to know if Coach Self and President Obama were asked if they would like to swap jobs, would either want the swap?

Which one has the best job in America?

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kusportsdotcom 2 years, 4 months ago

If will smack somebody on the spot if I hear Barack Chalk Jayhawk. It's a good thing we're behind computer screens Darius.

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alor 2 years, 4 months ago

Do you suppose HCBS invited Obama to the BB game tonight? That would have been priceless!

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ManginoRevenge 2 years, 4 months ago

As Obama was starting his speech, he said "It's great to back in Texas!" (oops, I was giving Bill Self trouble earlier)

Nice attempt at saving your blunder...but made zero sense...

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frompekka2sasha 2 years, 4 months ago

President Obama is a great guy. Unfortunately I know way too many people who are unemployed because his greatness is not in understanding an economy.

Still cool that Self got to hang out with him. Heck I can't imagine meeting two Presidents in such a short span.

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Darius80 2 years, 4 months ago

The Pres picked us to win it all two years in a row...it is obvious he supports our 'hawks. Barack Chalk Jayhawk!

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misfire 2 years, 4 months ago

Let's keep politics out of sports.

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jhawkrulz 2 years, 4 months ago

No practice with the team? Personally I would have loved to see TRob swat one of the President Obama's shots back to Washington.

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mjhawkchalk 2 years, 4 months ago

Two great people. Too bad Bush was on office when KU won the National Championship.

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Bruce Bertsch 2 years, 4 months ago

Bill Self could make it, but our Guv was too busy to see the POTUS.

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