Monday, May 23, 2011


KU’s year as bad as it gets


Las Vegas offers propositions on just about any sports wager imaginable, but when an outcome is too predictable, it’s taken off the board. No way Vegas or any bookmaker elsewhere working illegally ever would offer odds on which of Kansas University’s 14 athletic teams that compete in the Big 12 will have the best conference finish in the 2011-2012 season.

The only answer, of course, is men’s basketball, which in 2010-11 won the conference with a 14-2 record, won the Big 12 tournament, advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tourney and finished 35-3.

Men’s track and field, which placed sixth at the conference championships, was the only other KU squad to finish in the top half of the league.

Men’s and women’s cross country finished seventh out of 12, and women’s track and field and volleyball were seventh among 11 teams.

More bad news: Women’s swimming and diving (fourth of six), women’s basketball (tied for eighth), men’s golf (ninth), women’s tennis (tied for ninth) and women’s golf (11th) all had forgettable seasons.

Wait, it gets worse. Four KU teams — football, women’s soccer, softball and baseball — all were dead last. KU’s crew team competes in Conference USA, but there was a Big 12 regatta for the four schools that put boats in the water. Kansas finished, you guessed it, fourth.

So it’s an extremely safe assumption that Bill Self’s basketball team, which returns just 29 percent of its scoring and 22 percent of its three-point field goals and does not have a single player who has averaged double-figures scoring for a season of college basketball, will be the school’s best next year with or without undecided recruit DeAndre Daniels.

The Jayhawks’ baseball team lost its final nine Big 12 games, getting swept by Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Kansas State. The 9-9 start in conference games was more surprising than the 0-9 finish, given the team’s shortage of experienced pitchers. KU surrendered at least 10 runs in each of its final six Big 12 games.

Sunday’s results, 13-9 and 10-6 losses to Kansas State in the final games played on KU’s campus in any sport during the 2010-2011 school year, were a pretty fair representation of how things went for all Jayhawks teams, except the franchise.

Why all the losing? Geography and facilities, more than ever, play a big role in success. A clever, hard-working coach used to be able to close the gap by finding hidden recruiting gems, but that’s more difficult to do because nearly every school has work-obsessed coaches now. Sleepers are tougher to find because the best athletes have so many more means for exposure.

Yet, in women’s basketball, the sleeping giant of the Kansas athletic program, neither explanation applies. The facilities are equal to those of the men. Geography? Two Kansas City-area players led Texas A&M; to the national championship. Danielle Adams and Tyra White, the Aggies’ two leading scorers, combined for 48 points in A&M;’s 76-70 victory against Notre Dame in the title game. That was a tough double-whammy for KU’s women’s basketball fans to absorb.

Oh well, at least the year has ended. Look at it this way: Next year can’t be any worse.


Benjamin Piehler 7 years ago

The night is always darkest before the dawn! ......... seriously though, its late.

baldwinjhawk 7 years ago

KU has a rich track history, but I repeatedly hear stories of kids around here going to (gasp mizzou and boston college etc.) because the scholarship levels the track program offer suck! Why is our athletic budget the 4 largest in the conference yet we can't even offer partial scholarships for crew, band, cheer or full ride for track? Yet the cornholers have 23 D1 programs always in the top tier of the conference?> and give the band food money.. Explain please

Spencer Goff 7 years ago

^This. What are we, a D3 or NAIA school?

Spencer Goff 7 years ago

Was waiting for the "Those schools give scholarships to those programs," reply... So I'll make the point myself.

We are behind in the times.

Ashwin Rao 7 years ago

Keegan, you are at your best while writing such morose text... It almost makes you believe the negative insights that you bring! Great job!

persevering_gal 7 years ago

I was going to say, "What an uplifting article this is!" Many Jayhawk fans are fans due to the rich tradition and history of the University. Winning is simply a bonus for true Jayhawk fans.

Ashwin Rao 7 years ago

It is funny that some people feel that calling people names is good form. Way to go, MaxHawk!

Michael Auchard 7 years ago

Yeah, but good form or not, he's right.

Funhawk 7 years ago

I enjoyed this morose article by Tom because it did not center on the football program. And, without Bill Self, probably few would be posting on this website. KU sports would be incredibly morose.

That word morose has a fun ring to it, and here is the Merriam-Webster definition for all those who hate definitions:

  1. Having a sullen and gloomy disposition.

  2. Marked by or expressive of gloom.

kujayhawk7476 7 years ago

I agree, it is time for Dr. Zenger to finish his analysis of all athletic teams and create a new vision that he can share with us. I doubt the chancellor cares that much. In fact, it's already past time that the regents cut our losses and send her packing back to Carolina.

Clarence Haynes 7 years ago

While she might not show it, the Chancellor does care, but in addition to athletics, she also has had to deal with a lot of issues. IMO, she systematically has been addressing them. This includes among others, a new Provost, new deans (eg Business School), and assuring that KU remains a member of the Association of American Universities by asddressing areas such as student retention and faculty research. This stuff doesn't sound sexy, but it, as well as a successful athletic program, is critical to the overall success of KU.

LAJayhawk 7 years ago

Oh cshjhawk, get out of here with your logic and level-headed outlook. Don't you know these boards are for irrational, anonymous bashing? I mean, sure we could carefully examine facts and come to reasoned conclusions and then share those conclusions in a respectful and meaningful exchange of ideas, but isn't it better to live in a place where you can unjustifiably vilify others without a shred of proof and no consequences to your borderline libelous rhetoric?

Oh, cshjhawk, you've got a lot to learn.

LAJayhawk 7 years ago

P.S. (taking the tongue out of my cheek) excellent post. Great points.

blackhawkjayhawk 7 years ago

For all of you Lew Perkins apologists, what's your answer? For those of you who think that only two sports matter to the university, I can assure you that this is as bad as I've seen it since the early 80's.

Those piles of money have resulted in a joke of an athletic department. Don't get me wrong....I mean no disrespect to the young men and women competing for the Crimson and Blue. This is an athletic department problem. It needs to be fixed. Our university is too great to be so weak.

Ted Toulouse 7 years ago

Sad state of the department for sure. All coaches much be evaluated, including Self and Gill, as silly as it seems. Change needs to happen in all sports except Men's BBall, football, and baseball in my opinion. As much as I like Bechard, he has under-performed. We also need to equalize the number of men's and women's sports. I'm tired of the the inequality of opportunity, now in the other direction. Minimize and breed success. Then you can add the olympic sports back one by one.

Steve Corder 7 years ago

If I'm not mistaken, Title 9 requires equalization of scholarships between men and women (among other "equalizing" categories). The number of sports is not the issue when evaluating "equalization" between men & women.

Title 9 has placed heavy financial burdens on athletic budgets and reduced the number of mens sports teams as a result.

What I'd love to see from the athletic department is the list of donors by sex (not by name) and to what sport they contribute. I would bet there are very few women donating to womens sports, but I don't expect such a list to be made public.

panalytic 7 years ago

Ouch, that was seriously painful.

Steve Gantz 7 years ago

Don't buy into the group think. Mens basketball has never been that competitive? Are you from KState?

Martin Rhodes 7 years ago

If I understand correctly, the income that KU receives from athletics is in the upper third of the league. If this is the case, we clearly are not receiving our money's worth considering the pathetic results of our teams. The facilities for the non-revenue sports have improved, and I presume that most of this is due to poor coaching and recruiting. Perhaps we should hold our coaches more accountable and demand better results. This should be AD Zenger's priority!

On DD - it seems to me that he is just keeping his options open, and I doubt that he will ever attend KU. If he wanted to play for KU, he has had plenty of time to sign up, and I just don't see this happening. If he and his father are at odds on this, I'm not certain how effective he would be for us if he does not want to be here. I am alarmed about our men's BB recruiting the past 2-3 years. Supposedly, after our championship in 2008 and the upgrade in facilities; we were going to have a big upgrade in BB recruiting, but if anything, it has been worse. Perhaps it is time to consider replacing one or more of our recruiting assistants. We always seem to be in second or third place and/or just being used to increase a recruits profile.

Jacobpaul81 7 years ago

Wow. Proof that negativity can look really stupid when it comes to Kansas Men's Basketball.

Since 2008:

McDonald's All Americans: Selby & Henry

Rivals Ratings::

1 - Josh Selby - 2010

8 - Xavier Henry - 2009

24 - Elijah Johnson - 2009

29 - Marcus Morris - 2008

31 - Thomas Robinson - 2009

34 - Ben McLemore - 2011

49 - Markieff Morris - 2008

70 - Travis Releford - 2008

77 - Tyshawn Taylor - 2008

92 - Naadir Thorpe - 2011

120 - Royce Woolridge - 2010

124 - Tyrone Appleton -2008

141 - Jamari Traylor - 2011

149 - Quintrell Thomas - 2008

Braeden Anderson - Unranked Mario Little - Unranked

Jacobpaul81 7 years ago

NCAA Champions:

12 - Mario Chalmers - 2005

13 - Brandon Rush - 2005

16 - Darell Arthur - 2006

21 - Sherron Collins - 2006

25 - Roderick Stewart - 2003

27 - Russell Robinson - 2004

30 - Cole Aldrich - 2007

34 - Sasha Kaun - 2004

54 - Darnell Jackson - 2004

109 - Tyrel Reed - 2007

Brady Morningstar - UNRANKED Jeremy Case - UNRANKED

Left before title:

7 - David Padgett - 2003

8 - Julian Wright - 2005

19 - JR Giddens - 2003

28 - Micah Downs - 2005

56 - Omar Wilkes - 2003

62 - CJ Giles -2004

65 - Alex Galindo - 2004

Nick Bahe - UNRANKED

Yep, Our top 2 recruits and 3 of the top 6 in the pre-2008 Bill Self era did not play for a National Title. Those 3 that did were at least 2 year players and required a great deal of support from 4 year Seniors.

Michael Auchard 7 years ago

Man, this is awesome. As Zach de la Rocha once said, you've just "Shut down the devil's sound!" on the haters.

Jacobpaul81 7 years ago

I don't buy into the one-and-dones. Never have, never will.

To win at a high level consistently, you build a team. It requires longevity, discipline, and player development. One-and-done players will not give you that.

Jacobpaul81 7 years ago

I'm a librarian. I can pull up these stats in less than 5 minutes.

Steve Corder 7 years ago

No Tom, it's not as bad as it gets. Basketball (do we really need to differentiate between men & women?) could end up not making the NCAAs and end up behind MU, KSU & Tx Tech in the conference. Now that is a gruesome year!

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years ago

Gee, it kind of sounds like what Ive been screaming for the past year. I would add the hiring of Zenger to the last place move list then put the blame on two groups of people.

First the board that governs high school athletics needs to adjust it's rules and allow more off season practice times for teams. We are doing local kids a disservice by not allowing them the same amount of team/practice time that other states do, hurting Kansas at the high school and colligate level.

Second, homers! You guys that show up or buy season tickets to these below average squads. Imagine totally empty football, volleyball, baseball, etc stadiums next year. Ya think that might send a message?!?

Robert Brock 7 years ago

I don't think that having a joke of a football team does a lot for a school's prestige. Maybe KU could pick it up a little there.

vd 7 years ago

IMO it doesn't matter. It matters only if revenue is affected. If tennis, volleyball, and swimming became national title contenders, would revenue increase? FB, WBB, and baseball improvement would increase revenue. I just don't want to be a KSU fan. "Our women's basketball team beat yours, Ha Ha." ....... "That's true, but how did you do in FB and MBB against us?"

nlk21 7 years ago

59-7 in FB, split the MBB games. 15-1 overall against you guys this year in the listed sports. "Ha-ha."

vd 7 years ago

Yes, I know. Maybe I should have said in my lifetime. My point is when I get crap from KSU fans, it's because of their dominate WBB team.

justinryman 7 years ago

Tough times never last. Tough people do.

FinalFinal 7 years ago

We ran out football success because of image and people want to complain?

Self can give us 50% and bring more than the current level of coaching in Lawrence. And that is about the effort he gave to VCU and recruiting.

Fish spoils from the head down. Bernie needs to go.

drewdun 7 years ago

Uh, just one thing. In Mangino's last year, we finished dead last in one of the worst divisions in major CFB history. We hardly "ran out football success" from Lawrence. Mangino's last year would fit in well with the rest of our crappy (non-MBB) AD. We seriously went 1-15 against KSU in all sports this year? Heads need to roll - that is COMPLETELY unacceptable.

Steve Gantz 7 years ago

Man I wake up and see Missouri got slammed and it makes all of this small change compared to the people in Joplin.

LAJayhawk 7 years ago

I understand your point, but, respectfully, I don't believe a terrible disaster where over 100 people are dead should be referred to as an "issue."

Clarence Haynes 7 years ago

Recruiting has become a serious problem. Recruiting in all sports seems to have fallen off and this includes losing too many athletes from our base (KC, Wichita, and other metro arears near KU).

Despite facilities enhancements in recent years, the limitation of financial resources to implement the "Olympic" facilities development plan for the smaller programs is likely affecting recruitment of more quality athIetes in such sports as track and field, softball, volleyball and soccer. Also, I sense that the ticket scandel and other events surrounding Lew Perkins' final days, might have given other schools the ability to disuade promising athletes from commiting to KU.

In effect, if he has not done so already, Zenger should make it a priority to sit down with the coaches and other staff to discern how best KU can can get back to a level of recruiting that makes KU competitive in the Big XII and nationally as characterized by njjawk earkier. Part of this includes re-addressing the Olympic facilities plan that might be extending the implementation period. Notwithstanding, the top priority should be to move the track out of Memorial Stadium to its envisioned area with the ability to have permanent and temporary seating (10,000 to 15,000) to accomodate the KU Relays. We then have the makings of a stadium complex fully dedicated to football (and graduation) and the preservation of a highly prestigious track ad field event.

Clarence Haynes 7 years ago

Also, why come to KU if the local paper does not cover secondary sports?

Jim Williamson 7 years ago

"It is time for Zenger and Gray-Little to step forward and share their vision for KU sports..."

If you enjoy KU sports, you don't want Gray-Little's vision. She hates athletics. They're a nuisance and, I'm sure, a corruption of the purity of higher education blah blah blah to her. I have no idea why she chose to work at schools like North Cacklacky and Kansas when she is so clearly anti-athletics.

John Boyle 7 years ago

In darkest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight. I see you Keegan!

Dyrk Dugan 7 years ago

this is the ultimate slam to Lew's legacy. all the increase in money raised, the new mens baskeball seating plan, the donor increases, the MU-KU game at Arrowhead....all for naught.

that's truly what this means. it's all basically worthless, without the right people to execute a plan....and the right folks at the top being held accountable.

Lew has hired the womens and mens golf coach, the womens softball coach, and the womens basketball coach.....all of these programs are in the bottom half of the league. the football team had to start completely over....we'll see how that goes...but it reached the pinnacle and then fell off a cliff under Lew's watch.

all of the success from our non revenue sports occurred early or mid Lew's tenure....(sans track and field....they're still representing) when nothing he did affected the teams. womens soccer and VB, haven't qualified in years for the postseason...and our soccer team, which won the league in now a true bottom feeder. Baseball is all over the place...and it doesn't look good for the near or far future.

Mr. Zenger has his work cut out for him...and the league now is tougher sans Colorado, because now our schools will have to compete with the South a lot more...and that means trouble. so the bar is being raised, at a time when KU athletics can hardly get off the ground.

this is why it is sooo disappointing about mens basketball when they fall short in the NCAA tourney....everything in the world rides on them...KU fans have nothing to hang their hat on anymore, except this sport. and it's not fair to mens bball, but there it is.

if anyone wants to argue about how great an athletic director Lew Perkins was, the proof is in the pudding of the last two atrocious overall sports record, K-State runs rings around us...and they don't even compete in all the sports we do! Lew got what he wanted with this gig...a way to cash out at the end of his he wouldn't have to work another day in his life...and if he left KU sports in shambles, so be it.

mission accomplished.

beenahawk 7 years ago

But I was told so many times that Lew was the "answer"! Sing along with the Perkin's Alma Mater

Far beneath the bottom dollar Glorius to Lew Stands our hobbled Alma Mater Once known as KU Lift your wallets ever higher Reaching out to Lew Hail to thee our gracious savior Hail to BIG mannnnn Leeewwwww Rock Chalk Jayhawk Paaaayyyyyy Leeeewwwww

Bob Strawn 7 years ago

your new k-state athletics director should help with the step-back from big lew's era atop mt. oreo. emaw.

redlegger 7 years ago

I believe it is "elaw"..."every loser a wildcat"

beenahawk 7 years ago

When your "signature" hires have records like Gill and Bonnie, your AD was asleep at the wheel....maybe he was just getting drunk at the Wheel. In any event Lew left KU with a very tarnished image and horrific sports...

DB Ashton 7 years ago

The problem is not that Lew did not deliver. He did exactly what he was hired to do. This state of affairs is the inevitable result of the unrealistic vision of an influential few. They know who they are. Some of them even admit they were delusional. Given geography, population, funding, tradition, equal opportunity and weather, eight out of twelve overall in this conference is a reasonable expectation. Basketball will continue to be sublime and we are never going to beat all those Texas kids sprinkled around the conference on the football field.

Frightwig 7 years ago

Given the choice between A) a top-notch basketball team, great sports facilities and doubled revenue vs B) weak income, lousy facilities and mediocre teams across the board, I'd take option "A".

How many of those complaining about the standings have actually attended a women's swim meet to support the team?

Dyrk Dugan 7 years ago

you, like a lot of folks....are missing the whole point. NOBODY goes to swim meets...or soccer matches or track and field events. who watches a college golf match? or a softball game? so getting 100 or 200 or 300 more people to attend, will not matter one iota in increased victories.

have you, been to a volleyball match recently? i have, and it's quite exciting at the Horejsi center. does it mean we have won a lot of matches in recent years? no. womens basketball, vs. the rivals, will generate multiple thousand people in attendance...and all we have are losses.

Jeff Coffman 7 years ago

There are rumors that the BCS Power conferences are going to start paying athletes about $3-5000 per year on top of scholarships. The key will be for KU to be able to do this. This will give KU an advantage over the likes of Conference USA/MWC/WAC among others.

If we aren't able to do this, we will fall further behind.

kureader 7 years ago

Leave it to Keegan to start the week off with a negative article about KU athletics. This would have been great (had it appeared in the Manhattan, Kansas newspaper).

There are certainly negative things to talk about, but they don't only apply to KU. One could write similar articles about MU, K-State, Iowa State, Colorado, and Oklahoma State. KU is clearly average or below average in most every sport, except basketball. The Texas programs are tough, there's no question. KU's over all athletic performance is disappointing, for sure, but I wouldn't say KU's year was "as bad as it gets".

Instead of being overly dramatic and negative, how about something constructive, Keegan? Do some research. Spend time with each sport, do a fair analysis of each program. Interview coaches and players. Compare us to other schools. Talk about the bad AND the good. You'll generate lots of good conversation and a greater appreciation for your work.

Sometimes, like today, your stuff is "about as bad as it gets".

murph 7 years ago

This is some day to post that pathetic headline, Keegs! Check the news out of Joplin and get a grip.

Lance Hobson 7 years ago

What happened to KU athletics? We once won a bowl game, went to the Final 4, and went to the College World Series in the same year.

lionhawkward 7 years ago

True godbless those in Joplin! What we need now is the stability of a strong AD. Bob was a good AD, this was a tough year. OU is ranked #1 in football and raided Kansas for 2 of their best football recruits(Bell and the DE from Hutchinson). We need to put the lockdown on home talent.

Mike Barnhart 7 years ago

FIVE Kansas City area women's soccer players won a national championship this year while playing for Notre Dame!

Jack Wilson 7 years ago

Seriously .. all that matters is how the KU men's basketball team does. That's it. That is all that matters.

If there is a hot women's soccer player, ok, that might count a bit. But the ladies don't play in thongs. At least I don't think they do.

Women's basketball might count when the a good team at Robinson wouldn't kick their tails up and down the court.

And football. We got rid of the best coach in school history because of a politically correct witch-hunt. By people that don't understand the game.

All that matters at KU is men's basketball. God bless America.

orbiter 7 years ago

politically correct witch hunt? Mangino? Really? How many domestic disturbances where police are called to your house do you need to have it go beyond "political". Get over it. That wife beating bully that left our program with no talent is the reason our program looks like it does--not his firing.

Jack Wilson 7 years ago

Yes, really. It was a joke. He didn't fit the mold; he screamed and demeaned players; he was way, way overweight; he had an explosive temper.

All good, mind you, when we were winning. And the only coach that actually really won. Then his method were targeted when he had a bad stretch and weenie players complained.

Witch hunt.

gorilla10 7 years ago

This is sad to read. We are the worst athetic program in the big12......We can't even compete with Kstate for crying out loud. The blew our programs out this year. It's clear what changes need to be made if you ask me. Facility upgrades, coaching changes are among the top priorities now that we have a good A.D. I don't see KU competing in any fall sports.......sure, basketball will be alright but don't we want more than that here in Lawrence people. I support all KUathletics and the people I CAN'T STAND are those who cheer only for basketball. Get those losers out of here. You support the SCHOOL OVERALL or get the heck out of town..........MAKE CHANGES KU!!!!!

David Atchley 7 years ago

As long as the Jayhawk Nation is content with mediocre hires in coaching and athletic administration, and is loaded with the many apologies for the mediocre results from these hires, nothing is going to change. I can't imagine any of the top tier Big 12 schools, much less the top tier national schools that would have considered any of these recent hires. If you want to be the must have a search committee that has a remote clue what that resembles, much less have any modicum of evaluation skills.

actorman 7 years ago

KSUck fans are so predictable -- classy as always. How about you guys actually win a championship -- as in ONE -- in ANY sport, then come crow to us??? But of course the truth is that even if your pitiful "school" was better than us in every sport, I still would be ashamed to be from the miniscule apple.

As for you, HighElite, it's so disappointing to read your drivel about Mangino, given how articulately and intelligently you discuss most matters on here. Aside from the fact that Mangino's won-loss record wasn't actually that impressive (yes, he had one glorious season, but his record otherwise was nothing special, and he also lost countless games over the years with way-beyond-bizarre decision-making), he was an abusive a-hole to EVERYBODY. That means he didn't just abuse his players, which was bad enough. (And when I say "abuse," I don't use that word lightly. It went way beyond simply screaming at people, and the players absolutely despised him.) But he treated everyone like crap, including people who worked for him. When people sign on to work as, say, a secretary for the athletic department, do they deserve to be treated the same way as football players? I am so sick and tired of people trying to defend Mangino. Good riddance and the less I hear about him the better. Whether or not Gill works out, at least we can know that we won't have a serial abuser representing our football program.

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