Thursday, January 27, 2011

NCAA offers Thomas Robinson support

Kansas' Markieff Morris hugs teammate Thomas Robinson before taking on Texas on Saturday, January 22, 2011 in Allen Fieldhouse. Robinson's mother passed away the night before.

Kansas' Markieff Morris hugs teammate Thomas Robinson before taking on Texas on Saturday, January 22, 2011 in Allen Fieldhouse. Robinson's mother passed away the night before.


The NCAA, which has been working with Kansas University athletic department officials since the death of Thomas Robinson’s mother, Lisa, late last week, issued a statement on Wednesday.

In its entirety it read:

“The NCAA offers its deepest sympathies to Thomas Robinson following the tragic events of late in his family. To help support him and his younger sister (Jayla) during this difficult time, the NCAA and University of Kansas have been working closely together to determine how best to assist during these next several days and beyond.

“As a part of this collaboration, the university requested and was immediately granted a number of waivers from general NCAA bylaws, including one that will allow the university to pay for Thomas’ younger sister to return to Lawrence with her brother.

“In addition, a waiver was granted that will allow anyone to donate to a fund created in his sister’s name to support her in the future. KU is able to cover the cost of the funeral for Thomas’ mother, as this is currently allowed under NCAA rules. The NCAA will continue discussions with the university to determine if any further assistance is needed to support Thomas and his family.”

KU associate AD Jim Marchiony reiterated coach Bill Self’s comments — that the NCAA has been quite supportive.

“The NCAA has been great acknowledging the fact this is an unusual circumstance,” Marchiony said.

Marchiony explained that though the NCAA will allow KU to pay expenses for Robinson’s sister, Jayla, to come to Lawrence, “the issue of where Jayla will live is still being discussed.”

Robinson has been speaking with legal counsel about custody issues involving his 9-year-old sister.

“People have called to offer help in any way they can from offering space in their homes to outright adoption. It has been extremely heart-warming to be reminded that people can be so generous and compassionate in a time of such need,” Marchiony said.

Snow can’t slow Jayhawks

The charter flight, carrying KU’s players, coaches and some athletic department members to Washington, D.C., for today’s funeral services of Lisa Robinson, landed safely just before 8 p.m., Eastern time, Wednesday despite heavy snow, which followed an ice storm, in D.C.

Runways were closed about a half hour after KU’s flight landed.

Lisa Robinson’s funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Eastern time (visitation starts at 10 a.m.,) at Antioch Baptist Church (1105 50th Street NE).

The family is asking that, in lieu of flowers or other gifts, contributions be made to the Lisa Robinson Scholarship Fund, for the benefit of Jayla, c/o SNR Denton, 1301 K Street NW, Suite 600, East Tower, Washington, D.C., 20005-3364. The Scholarship Fund will be administered by Christopher “Kit” Smith of SNR Denton US LLP and other fiduciaries selected by SNR Denton. Contributions to the Lisa Robinson Scholarship Fund are nondeductible for tax purposes.

No full obituary for Lisa Robinson has been available for publication. KU officials indicated Wednesday that it is believed Lisa was 43, not 37 as has been reported since her death.


phogthedog 7 years, 3 months ago

Thank goodnes the NCAA finally is getting something right!

FairgroveJayhawk 7 years, 3 months ago

Great news for Jayla and Thomas! Brings a tear to my eye. Great news.

TRUEBLUEKU 7 years, 3 months ago

The NCAA has scored big points with me on this one.

Lindsey Buscher 7 years, 3 months ago

Hope Jayla likes chocolate. Wait, what kid doesn't love chocolate, cmon Russell Stover, pony up!

Stephen Johnson 7 years, 3 months ago

I have bad mouthed the NCAA on a number of issues, but they did the right thing here and I won't forget it.

Michael Maris 7 years, 3 months ago

For all of the negative media that the NCAA has received over the years. For once, it is nice to see that NCAA decision makers have made a common sense decision that is for the good of a NCAA qualified player and his family members (both deceased and living).

Congratulations to Jim Marchiony and the Kansas Athletic Department on their successful campaign to do what is right for Mr. Thomas (T-Rob) Robinson and Jayla Robinson. They should and need to be together in these trying times.

SaulGood 7 years, 3 months ago

I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw this. Thomas is a lucky guy to be able to receive this kind of aid...but no one can really question that he and Jayla both needed a break like this after the month from Hades. My thoughts are with the team and especially Thomas and Jayla on this undoubtedly painful, heartbreaking day. Hopefully, this will be the day that brings some small stitch of closure for the team, and I look forward to the day when these guys can all just enjoy playing some good ol' fashioned KU roundball together!

Martin Rosenblum 7 years, 3 months ago

Should we read anything into the sentence indicating the KU officials' correction of Lisa Robinson's age and non-availability of an obituary? Why would this be worthy of mention at this time?

SaulGood 7 years, 3 months ago

It's just a tag in the story to inform future journalistic research done on the incident, letting both concerned fans and reporters know what info is available. I don't think there's really any more to it than that. It's also a CYA for to be reporting as accurately as possible.

clevelandjayhawker 7 years, 3 months ago

Even my girlfriend (who has become a Jayhawk fan) can't believe this whole situation for Thomas, it is just crazy and it makes me sad for to see a 19(?) year old kid be forced into this situation and to have to make these kind of decisions. Now the MAN that can control the court is going to have to do the same off the court. We are all praying for you TRob!!!

Randy Glenn 7 years, 3 months ago

Be a good idea to have something set up so we can give to the fund at Game Day and later at the game.

hawkmom13 7 years, 3 months ago

Perfect opportunity with ESPN in town to get the media press and the donations rolling in for the family

NJHAWK 7 years, 3 months ago

My check is in the mail. I sincerely hope that many fans on this site donate for the scholarship fund, too. Every bit will help TRob and his sister.

Mike Joseph 7 years, 3 months ago

I would like to invite Jayhawk Nation to observe a moment of silence at 10:00 as the funeral service begins for Lisa Robinson. May we all offer a prayer of strength and hope for Jayla and Thomas as we all mourn the loss of their mother.

Ed Brown 7 years, 3 months ago

Don't forget that is 10:00 EST so 9:00 for us midwestern folks. Another update, Tyshawn Tayor's mother is now Jayla's guardian and she is coming back with Thomas Friday! FEEL THE LOVE BABY! Thank you NCAA for showing the world your human side. But...above all, give thanks to God for the outpouring of prayers, love and support for TRob, Jayla and the Jayhawk Nation. And to show religious tolerance, for those who don't believe in God, thank you for your support for TRob, et al, through this most difficult of times.

Mike Joseph 7 years, 3 months ago

Service begins at 11:00 EST. Visitation is 10:00 EST. Sorry for the confusion.

Ed Brown 7 years, 3 months ago

My bad...thanks for the clarification.

jpoor 7 years, 3 months ago

Can I ask if this is really true? How did you hear about this? Would/will be FANTASTIC if it is true! Love and prayers to Thomas and Jayla!

selfishhawk 7 years, 3 months ago

If Jayla really is coming back to Lawrence with Thomas this week, I think it would be amazing to introduce her at the game too. Maybe Self could let the fans know that we have a new (resident) member of Jayhawk Nation and introduce her. That should let her and Thomas know that they ain't alone.

Kurt Eskilson 7 years, 3 months ago

You'd hear 16,300 people cheering and crying all at the same time. Neat idea, if Jayla's okay with it!

jalbig88 7 years, 3 months ago

This is a wonderful policy that KU has initiated to start flying students and all their team or group members from all over campus to their homes for funerals. How much is this going to cost though? Has the team even been in class this week? Will they be properly rested for their big game this weekend? Let's remember, they just flew in from Colorado with no rest, and now Washington D.C. The whole team???

Dirk Medema 7 years, 3 months ago

You must have missed the second paragraph that says, "university requested and was immediately granted a number of waivers from general NCAA bylaws".

It's not policy, it is an exception to policy in order to help the team, TRob, and Jayla cope with the horrible circumstances. Sometimes, you just have to do what you've gotta do. The rest of the questions are no more yours or my concern now than they were before, but it is good to see some measure of support for the team.

Kip_McSmithers 7 years, 3 months ago

Kansas Athletics Inc, not The University of Kansas, is paying for the expenses. Try reading the article from yesterday before you go off on something.

Eric Williams 7 years, 3 months ago

Wow, you're priorities are messed up. If KU loses the next game because of lack of preparation, I'm completely fine with it. The KU team needed to be with the Robinson family regardless of schedule.

Secondly, this is a unique circumstance. Thomas has just lost 3 close family members in less than a month. Each KU team would fly a player for a funeral, but in special circumstances those people need support.

Most people would have multiple family members to be with them at a funeral. Thomas just lost most of his family, so he needed that support more than ever.

You seriously need to check yourself, because basketball is the last thing on the agenda right now.

Brian Conrad 7 years, 3 months ago

perfect jhawk613 proud to be part of a fan base of people like you . I totally agree!

Brian Conrad 7 years, 3 months ago

glad you have never lost anyone close. you obviously do not understand. when you loose your mother , looser...if you care. you will not sleep right for weeks. if they were flying around to Hawaii for a Tournament that ok? you are a freak this team is like a family and they all are hurting. very sad you are even putting yourself out as a KU fan. please if you have a thought... asking too much ...

Jared Grillot 7 years, 3 months ago

Obviously somebody over there went to see the Wizard, because the NCAA suddenly has a heart. (Had to get at least one shot in)

Bravo to the Association for making the right decision here. Current rules could have hamstrung any attempts by just about anyone to help out here, just because she happens to be related to a college athlete.

Eric Williams 7 years, 3 months ago

can i agree with you and still hate Texas? is that allowed?

Brian Conrad 7 years, 3 months ago

  • 1 this tragedy and the loss of the OSU 10 really show us the people are way larger than the game.

jalbig88 7 years, 3 months ago

This is a wonderful policy that KU has initiated to start flying students and all their team or group members from all over campus to their homes for funerals. How much is this going to cost though? Has the team even been in class this week? Will they be properly rested for their big game this weekend? Let's remember, they just flew in from Colorado with no rest, and now Washington D.C. The whole team??? Daniel, 1974 Alum.

Marcia Parsons 7 years, 3 months ago

Is there an echo in here? I'd swear I saw this drivel about two posts up.

kubball99 7 years, 3 months ago

Thanks for adding your graduation date to your previous post. The athletics department, not the university itself, is paying for the expenses related to the funeral and to the trip. I am certain the basketball program brings in plenty of money to cover whatever the cost might be.

If the whole team wanted to be with their teammate to show their support, what is the big deal? So they miss out on one day of practice. Your comments surprise me given the recent events with Thomas and his family. Given all the negative around college sports and how the NCAA gets things wrong, this is one time the NCAA got it right. The university and Coach Self are focused on the right thing today, Robinson and his family.

Ron Prichard 7 years, 3 months ago

It's hard to read your post and get a feel for exactly what you are trying to express. I hear the gratitude and concern, but it appears to be tempered by concern about how this might affect the game this weekend. Big game or not, it takes a clear back seat to the events going on right now in DC. KU and the NCAA are doing the right thing. They are doing what friends do, and they are doing what family does.

I am sure you didn't mean to put the game over TRob and his family, but we need to make sure we put our concerns and excitement about this team and this game into perspective. Basketball is a game. Losing a family member is a tragic life event. In 10 years, TRob won't care if KU beat KSU this weekend. But he will never forget that his teammates were with him at one of the hardest moments in his life.

Kurt Eskilson 7 years, 3 months ago

"In 10 years, TRob won't care if KU beat KSU this weekend. But he will never forget that his teammates were with him at one of the hardest moments in his life." Very, very well said. Thanks!

Brian Conrad 7 years, 3 months ago

daniel 74 alum selfish people and giving people .. giver or a taker .. obvious taker please do not let people know you ever went to ku... tell them KSU and then we all understand...

Ron Prichard 7 years, 3 months ago

I agree that the NCAA finally got something right. Kudo's to them, as well as the KU athletic department for pushing the issue and making sure the entire team was able to be in DC for the funeral and to show support for Thomas Robinson and his family.

If the news about Taylor's mom taking care of TRob's sister is true, that would also be great news. I would like to here more about that if anyone has any information. I have an 8 year old daughter and just the thought of her having to go through something like this sends shivers down my spine. I can't imagine how scary it is and how much hurt Jayla is feeling.

My heartfelt prayers and best wishes go out to TRob and his sister. I am so glad he is a part of a team and an institution that can offer the support he and his sister need at this time. The athletic department has come through big time on this. I can't tell you how proud I am to be a Jayhawk!

jaymar74 7 years, 3 months ago

I'm glad the whole team went, they constantly keep on on school work via tudors with them on the road. I just hope the plane does not get snowed in in DC.

NJHAWK 7 years, 3 months ago

We got pounded last night. 16-20" of snow on top of 4" received on Wed AM.

Alohahawk 7 years, 3 months ago

jhwkfan162515, thanks for the link. That is an inspirational tribute. I marked it as a favorite so I can go there whenever I need my own spirits uplifted.

KU_FanSince75 7 years, 3 months ago

Yea, that was nice! Noticed the guys at Lisa's funeral. Everyone looked very sharp. She would have been very proud of every young man & woman representing KU. See you soon, T-Rob---when you ready, that is!

Chris Bailey 7 years, 3 months ago

Where do we send money? Is there a bank in Lawrence that is holding the funds or do we call the endowment office or what?

Jocelyn Kennedy 7 years, 3 months ago

All good news, way to go NCAA!! I do hope some trips back to DC will be allowed for Jayla, lots of change for the sweet little girl.

dtownhawkfan 7 years, 3 months ago

kudos to the NCAA for doing something right for once

dynamitehawk 7 years, 3 months ago

Basketball seems pretty small right now. I'll be sending a check. Welcome to Kansas, Jayla. It won't replace what you've lost, but you will certainly find much love.

jalbig88 7 years, 3 months ago

The actual concern everyone should consider with all sincerity is that there are thousands of students at KU, and countless thousands of others at NCAA affiliated colleges around the country, any number of whom are likely to have tragedy strike at any time during the school year. So while this situation holds great significance and is genuinely commendable in many respects, it does make one wonder as to the equity of concern and support that is or might be afforded to any of the other students who experience similar tragedy in their lives during the course of their student lives, whether at KU or elsewhere. There is undoubtedly a unique precedent being set here that warrants more serious reflection and honesty about how some are regarded more highly than others.

Roger Tobias 7 years, 3 months ago

How in the world do you know? Do I understand that you are saying "What lucky people those Robinson kids are?" True, tragedy does strike individuals and sometimes entire families. And, often, it is other family members, the neighborhood, or the community, that reaches out with fundraisers, scholarships, memorials, etc. to come to their aid. Do you have any knowledge of who those respective entities would be in this case? Or are you just bitter and negative? Get a life, and hope that someone cares as much about you in your time of need.

Dale Kroening 7 years, 3 months ago

Because the average student isnt governed by the NCAA like the student athlete is. A regular student can work, and could except donations with no violations while a student athlete cannot. Your comparing apples to oranges. And another thing is the student athlete makes millions of dollars for the NCAA, they should step up and help out period.

gchawk 7 years, 3 months ago

Your point is well taken. Profile obviously has a lot to do with this particular situation as Thomas is a very high profile individual, at least in the KU community. The fact that Thomas and Jayla have lost 3 loved ones in a very short span of time, and there appears to be no other close next of kin, also enters into equation of publicity and the outcry to help. People have a tendency to help those out that they have connected with in some way, and in this situation it's pretty obvious. That doens't mean we don't have compassion for those less fortunate, but realistically there's only so much a person can do. That also doens't mean that the only reason we have compassion for Thomas is because he is an athlete, but because of his athleticism we have gotten to know him to a certain degree.

escaped_labrat 7 years, 3 months ago

...or, maybe we should just take this at face value. I prefer to think of the kindness of people trying to help out children in a devastating situation. I can understand your perspective and sure there are countless students at KU and other NCAA affiliated colleges that may experience similar tragedy....however, Thomas Robinson and his sister are experiencing this tragedy now and change has to start somewhere. Just one more thing....the NCAA stands for National Collegiate Athletics Association so I don't think their precedence would really pertain to KU students in general and as was mentioned earlier, the NCAA and the University are not the ones footing the bill or perhaps I misread.

tis4tim 7 years, 3 months ago

Life is not fair. If you're of the mindset that money, property, food and other material possessions should be the entitlement of everyone regardless of whether or not it has been earned that is your prerogative. However, concern and support for a fellow human being are not measurable commodities that can or should necessarily be doled out in an equitable fashion.

Are all tragedies equal? Is the loss of two grandparents and a mother the same as losing only a grandparent or parent? If not, then why should the level of support be equitable in all cases?

That aside, for a couple years now, we have welcomed T-Rob into our living rooms on game days and have watched him grow as a player. We have read articles about him on this site and have "watched" him grow as a person. We have laughed with him and have now cried with him too. The mantra of this team is FOE, and because of the things I mentioned above, T-Rob is in many ways a part of all of our families. When family members are in need of support, other family members come to their aid. It just so happens that the entire Jayhawk family is a rather extended one and the outpouring of support for the young man is a reflection of that.

I don't think you can say that his situation in any way marginalizes the tragedies that befall others or suggest that they are in any less need of support any more than you could argue that all tragedies are alike.

GeoHawk15 7 years, 3 months ago

I'm very happy and appreciative that the NCAA is actually using common sense and doing the right thing. However, I'm not quite ready to change my negative opinion of the NCAA just yet. Historically, there are too many examples of irrational decision making and stubborn rule enforcements. Hopefully this is a sign of changes to come...

Scott Smetana 7 years, 3 months ago

Seems like when there's a big loss, many pour their energy into work. I see this team becoming incredibly close, focused, and absolutely pounding K-State on Saturday. I only wish we were playing Mizzery this weekend. It sure will be nice to get TRob going again down low.

7 years, 3 months ago


Yet another story that shows how precious life is. You never know when it is going to be your time. Don’t wait to tell your family you love them. Live every day to the fullest.

KU_FanSince75 7 years, 3 months ago

Great story. When I look at coaches, I look at those who impact lives, both on and off the court. This guy was an "A+" guy. I think we have an "A+" in Bill Self. Thanks for sharing, txrockchalk!

7 years, 3 months ago

You bet, KU_FanSince75. No doubt regarding this coach and Bill Self!

gchawk 7 years, 3 months ago

If you wanted to send a card to Thomas and Jayla, send it to: KU Mens Basketball % Thomas Robinson 1651 Naismith Dr. Lawrence, Ks. 66045. Do not send any funds to this address, all memorials have to go to the Washington D.C. address listed earlier.

ZDKC 7 years, 3 months ago

I'm curious as to why the donations are non-deductible? (ie people could donate more if they could deduct.)

gchawk 7 years, 3 months ago

Because it's not going to a 501(c)3 entity, meaning, a not-for-profit organization, kind of like a political contribution, they're not deductible either.

Eric Williams 7 years, 3 months ago

that's a sticky area that I'm sure the NCAA wouldn't budge on. You could then have wealthy boosters donate lots more money that would be a "write-off".

I think this was a simple deterrent to keep certain people from writing a check for tens of thousands of dollars.

Marcia Parsons 7 years, 3 months ago

No, it has nothing to do with the NCAA, just the IRS. You can only deduct donations to charitable organizations.They just want people to be aware before they donate in case they think all donations to anything are deductible.

mispay4ku 7 years, 3 months ago

I'm not worried about Saturdays game...if the guys are tired and for some reason things don't turn out in our favor, then so be it. I'll cheer them on every step of the way--on and off the court. The guys are right where they need to be and I'm proud they are with TRob in his time of need. The bond they share is amazing and that is what makes KU an amazing team. Never been more proud to be a Jayhawk than I am right now. The NCAA has been great and the fans have been great!! Thanks, gchawk for posting that, I was wondering about a card to TRob. My check is already in the mail but I'd also love to send a card (no money, of course, although I wish we could) to Thomas. I think it would be great if he got a huge outpouring of cards to show that our thoughts and prayers are with him.

MrPilot 7 years, 3 months ago

Indeed. Some things are more important than a basketball game.

jayhawkintexas 7 years, 3 months ago

Thank you NCAA for showing a lot of class. Thomas and Jayla. I know this is a terrible time for you but there is much love and support around for each of you.

Matt Gauntt 7 years, 3 months ago

Exceptionally nice move on the NCAA's part. Never thought I'd live to see the day that they exhibited common sense. My heart goes out to the family, especially a little girl who's life has to be in complete turmoil. Hang in there Jayla and Thomas.

Helen Gross 7 years, 3 months ago

In a year or two I'm going to remind some posters what they are posting now.It is more important to remember this, than worry about free throws and win loss.

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