Sunday, January 20, 2013

Family man: KU’s Travis Releford relishes fatherhood

Kansas University senior Travis Releford, left, poses for a family portrait with 2-year-old son T.J. and girlfriend Jennifer Covell. Travis grew up without his father — in jail for second-degree murder — and vowed Travis Junior won’t suffer the same fate.

Kansas University senior Travis Releford, left, poses for a family portrait with 2-year-old son T.J. and girlfriend Jennifer Covell. Travis grew up without his father — in jail for second-degree murder — and vowed Travis Junior won’t suffer the same fate.



Contributed Photo

Kansas University senior Travis Releford, left, poses for a family portrait with 2-year-old son T.J. and girlfriend Jennifer Covell. Travis grew up without his father — in jail for second-degree murder — and vowed Travis Junior won’t suffer the same fate.

Travis Releford hustled out of Allen Fieldhouse on the evening of Jan. 2, 2011, after collecting five assists and three rebounds while failing to score in a 27-point rout of Miami of Ohio.

Then a Kansas University sophomore, his mission was to drive — make that speed — from Lawrence to Overland Park Regional Medical Center in time to join his girlfriend, Jennifer Covell, for the birth of their baby boy.

“He was delivered right after I got to Kansas City,” Travis said of T.J. (Travis, Jr.) Releford. “I was happy. I was shocked. I really can’t express how I felt. I was so happy I made it there in time. It was, ‘Wow, I have a son. It’s a little me.’”

Travis might have missed the arrival of T.J. if not for his caring girlfriend.

“I didn’t want him to miss the game,” Covell said, “(but) I was starting to get nervous he might not make it. My mom kept trying to get hold of him. I didn’t start pushing until he was close, until he was about 10 minutes away. Travis got there at 9:30 (p.m.). T.J. was born at 9:47 (p.m.).”

Travis made a solemn vow as he wiped away tears of joy at the hospital.

“I said I’d make a change in how fathers have been in the history of my family. I made that promise I’d be there for T.J. every day. Since Day One, I have been,” Travis said in an interview with the Journal-World conducted two weeks after T.J.’s second birthday.

Releford holds no ill will against his own dad.

In fact, he speaks with Tracy Releford almost every day — by phone. Tracy has spent the last 20 years in Crossroads Correction Center in Cameron, Mo., where he is serving a life sentence for second-degree murder.

“He’s seen me play. He gets to watch me on TV, but he’s never physically been there,” the 22-year-old Releford said of Tracy, who recently had his annual parole hearing and still has hope he’ll be released in time to see Travis play a game in Allen Fieldhouse and see Travis’ brother, Trevor, play a game at the University of Alabama, where he’s a junior point guard.

“I have a son I would hope one day would grow up and play basketball, too, and I want to coach him and help him out along the way. It means a lot to have a son, especially from how I grew up not having my dad around,” Travis added. “My mom had the same problem. She didn’t have her dad there. Through our generation, it’s been like that. I wanted to make sure I could change that. I’m there every day for my son. I see him every day, and I’m here to watch him grow and teach him.”

Proud papa

Releford, a 6-foot-6 senior out of Roeland Park’s Bishop Miege High, lives in Jayhawker Towers with roommate/teammate Christian Garrett. However, Travis spends most of his free time with his girlfriend and son at their apartment, conveniently located in Lawrence.


Contributed Photo

Kansas' Travis Releford bathes son T.J.

Travis understandably is proud of his son.

“He just went to the doctor’s (office). He was 99 or 98 percentile in height and 92 or something in weight. The chances of him being tall are very good,” Travis said, noting Jennifer, a KU senior, is 5-foot-10, Jennifer’s dad 6-5, Travis’ mom 5-7 and Travis’ dad, 5-9.

“He likes sports. He’s throwing balls, kicking balls, hitting them with whatever he can find. He’s all over the place,” Travis added.

Though Travis can’t remember his son’s first words — “I think it was ‘da-da,” he said — T.J.’s vocabulary is definitely growing.

“He sees me in pictures. He’ll go point to them and say, ‘Da-da,’ or he’ll see the Jayhawk bird and be like, ‘Jayhawk, Jayhawk,’” Releford said. “I think he knows the Rock Chalk Chant. We’ve been teaching him that since he was a few months old. He was just listening. Then all of a sudden he started mumbling and getting clearer. I think his favorite part is the end when they say, ‘Whoo.’ He looks forward to that.”

T.J. attends KU’s home games and sits in a section with family members of the Jayhawk players located on the lower level, southwest bleachers.

Jennifer and T.J. usually sit in the same row as Travis’ mom, Venita, who lives in Lawrence and works at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, plus Travis’ two sisters (Tamara and Katelin) and brother June, who is a sophomore on Free State High’s hoops team.

“He’s waved, pointed, actually tried to get down on the court,” Travis said of T.J.

Proud of papa

T.J. has become quite a fan of his daddy, who is a fifth-year senior starter who averages 12.9 points and 3.4 rebounds while also playing a role as the Jayhawks’ defensive stopper.

“Every time we go to a game and they go to the free-throw line, he says, ‘Whoosh,’” Covell said. “He does the cheers and chants. Every time we drive by the fieldhouse, he knows it’s the fieldhouse and says, ‘Jayhawk.’”


Contributed Photo

T.J. Releford plays video games with his dad, Travis Releford.

Jennifer says that T.J. is a “brilliant” child who looks like he’s 4, not 2.

‘“Eat’ is one of his favorite words because that’s all he does. He likes noodles, junk food, juice, candy. He eats almost all the junk I eat. His favorite food is probably waffles or mac and cheese,” Releford said.

Travis actually is a softie in supplying T.J. what he wants/needs, says Releford’s Towers roommate.

“It’s cool to watch ‘Trav’ spend time, hang out with T.J. when he’s not playing,” Garrett said. “T.J. is always around, making a mess, having fun. Travis is a great dad. He really wants to be a great father to T.J. and is doing a good job being there, showing love. I think when the season is over, he’s going to experience a whole new level what it’s like to be a dad. He’s growing up fast in it. He’s doing well.”

Garrett said the funniest thing, “is a lot of times I’m not there, and T.J. sleeps in my bed. So the little guy is in my room. We joke that T.J. is taking my spot as his roommate.

“Sometimes I feel like an uncle. I think everybody on the team feels like an uncle to the cutest kid I’ve ever seen. He’s so cute and cool. Everyone says, ‘That’s our little nephew,’” Garrett added.

‘A special thing to see’

One of Releford’s mentors — his AAU coach L.J. Goolsby of KC Run GMC — says he simply loves watching Travis and T.J. together.

“It’s a special thing to see,” Goolsby said. “Travis loves T.J. and wants to be a role model for him, especially as he (T.J.) gets older. Unfortunately, (Travis) didn’t have that father in his life. He doesn’t want that to be the case with T.J. It’s awesome to see how he treats him, acts around him, the way they act around each other.”

T.J. already has bonded with another child of a KU player — Amara Grace Tharpe, who lives in Worcester Mass., but visits her dad, KU sophomore Naadir Tharpe, from time to time.


Contributed Photo

Travis, left, and T.J. Releford share a father-son bonding moment.

“He calls her, ‘Baby.’ He knows she’s just a baby,” Releford said of the 1-year-old.

“He takes care of her. He gives her her bottle, binkie,” Covell added.

Travis said his own son inspires him and has made him consider his own future.

The plan is to play in the NBA or overseas after this season, and after his playing days are finished to pursue coaching as a career.

“There are so many good things. I can’t point out anything bad about being a dad,” said Releford, who has teamed with his girlfriend — a former KC Winnetonka High basketball, tennis and soccer standout — to make sure their class schedules allow somebody to be with T.J. at all times.

As students not yet in the workforce, they can’t afford the cost of day care.

“Some people think, ‘Ah, he (Travis) is in school and has a kid, and that could be the worst thing.’ I don’t think it’s the worst thing that could ever happen, especially the great situation I’m in with his mom and the way I handled it,” Travis said. “It hasn’t taken anything away from school or me performing on the court. I feel this has made me want to work harder so once I leave here I know he and my family will be taken care of.”


chriz 7 years, 10 months ago

Beautiful family, Trav. Now make that commitment and marry the woman, don't cheat on her even when you feel like it, and love her even when you don't feel like it. Have a few more kids, keep loving your kids like you are, and show the world what it really means to carry the Releford name. You're a man. You're a daddy. Soon, hopefully, you'll be a husband.

vd 7 years, 10 months ago

+1000, at least though his kid isn't 1000 miles away like tharpe's girl. Rules to being a good father: 1) love their mother 2) spend time with the child

PSM 7 years, 10 months ago

I don't think you have to get married to be a good father or partner. What are you his grandma or something?

Steve Gantz 7 years, 10 months ago

Marriage seals the deal, makes it permanent (at least in theory). It makes the relationship have a much better chance of lasting which is what is best for the child. I wish him well, but agree with the original post that marriage works best.

Jim Johnson 7 years, 10 months ago

It is a shame for this country that they have dumbed people down to the point that this is even a "good" story in this country. Yes I'm glad Travis is doing this without a doubt but the shame is that young people don't feel any guilt of having kids without marriage. The government and others have been telling the young that single marriage is just OK no problem at all, even praising them at times, is part of the problem this country is facing and it is intentional. No morals is the way to a lesser society and that is what their intention is, anything goes, and away this country goes. Can anyone say "One World Government"? Wake up people it's almost too late.

longhawk 7 years, 10 months ago

Well, I would certainly prefer all babies be born in marriages, as well. But I'm also not a fan of society using abortion as a solution to our mistakes either, and I appreciate it when people live up to their responsibilities. Travis didn't have the "right" example in his life, but I'm glad he's doing the right thing now.

iowajhawk81 7 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, Travis having a child out of wedlock is a sure sign of the Apocalypse.

Cameron Cederlind 7 years, 10 months ago

Agreed, we should definitely judge him with our super high morals.

tical523 7 years, 10 months ago

"almost" is being optimistic. well said

Ryan Wood 7 years, 10 months ago

If you want the honest truth, I was much more offended that he feeds the kid junk food.

KEITHMILES05 7 years, 10 months ago

Bag all you want on his situation but seriously why not look at the 50% divorce rate of this country? Don't act like having kids out of wedlock is the deterioation of the country. Well, you may feel that way but you obviously just got out underneath of a huge rock. LOL. I admire Travis for talking openly of his situation. That is part of the process of growing into a man. Lastly, before you throw stones at him why not look in the mirror and get your life in order?

chriz 7 years, 10 months ago

Thanks, bring up some good points here. If anyone is making comments on here with a spirit of judgmentalism, that's too bad. Travis has done more with his life than any of us likely will, particularly considering his circumstances! And the 50% divorce rate is bad, indeed, and is an indication that we don't know what marriage is. It's not "till death do us part" anymore. Now it's "till Beth do us part". We've grown into a society that is spoon-fed by Hollywood (what's the divorce rate in Hollywood?), and we're surprised at the demise of our morality.

bradh 7 years, 10 months ago

But you have no qualms about casting stones at someone you know nothing about? Maybe you should take your own advice and look in the mirror and get your own life in order?

kranny 7 years, 10 months ago

As a life-long educator, I've seen many married fathers care less and spend less time with their kids than fathers out of wedlock. Not condoning the situation but unfortunately this is the reality. Bottom line is: be good parents to your kids, teach them that hard work and respect will carry them farther than, selfishness, underachievement, and making the quick buck at anybody's expense.

Jack Jones 7 years, 10 months ago

jjinks, "ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT!!!!" Can anyone say, " TASTELESS PARANOIA ?" Keep your extremist, right-wing "morality/political " opinions off this site. Absolutely inappropriate response to this terrific story about Travis, Jennifer and T. J. The failure of you, and your ilk, to acknowledge the realities of living in the 21st century is a far, greater PART OF THE PROBLEM. Travis' story serves as inspiration to ALL FATHERS - married or not - to become even better fathers for their children. Congratulations, Travis - you are indeed a "stand-up" guy, off the court, as well as on.

Max Ledom 7 years, 10 months ago

Relax and put your tin foil hat back on buddy.

JayhawkinMD 7 years, 10 months ago

Considering they are both college students without full-time jobs it makes sense they are not married, that way both the mom and TJ can likely stay on her parent's health plan. That's a reason many young couples don't rush to get married if something unplanned happens these days.

Not that it's any of our business.

ku_foaf 7 years, 10 months ago

An unmarried couple had a child. You don't approve. OK. You think it will lead to a World Government...Ooookayyy....

Ray Winger 7 years, 10 months ago

Lawyers, divorce, lawsuits, prenups, legislation, IRS 'Marriage Penalty, etc. have made marriage not an unrisky institution. Sometimes, you just do your best, and that, is good enough.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 10 months ago

I'd also love to see Trav embrace family values and marry his girl friend. My wife and I were about that same age when our oldest daughter was born. His story reminds me of my family because about the same relative age, my oldest was born. We took her to all the games and had her doing the Kansas stuff as well. What a great ride it has been. Hopefully we'll have a TJ in a Kansas uniform in about 16 years. Hopefully Self will be at Kansas so he won't recruit TJ away like he did Brian Cook, son of KU's Norman Cook.

Michael Pannacciulli 7 years, 10 months ago

We don't have the authority to tell another man, one we only know by his on court play that we love how he should conduct his personal life. Let this man handle his own business.

Alohahawk 7 years, 10 months ago

The human nature stories about Jayhawk players (such as the one which recently appeared about Traylor on ESPN) are always an interesting contrast to the on court/practice side of Jayhawk sports. If anything was mentioned previously that Travis had a son, I must have missed it. Thanks, Gary, for adding to our appreciation for a great Jayhawk and father.

And, congratulations to Travis for having the desire to 'be there' for your son, which, unfortunately, your father hasn't been able to. Would love to hear your name announced during the next NBA draft. Hmmm. Sixteen years from now the Jayhawk Nation might be cheering for another Travis Releford in AFH.

milwaukeeJAYHAWK 7 years, 10 months ago

Great story! I didn't know he had a son. Is neat seeing other sides of players.

I have a 2-year old son, too. It's not hard to be proud of your little man when they grow up so fast and emulate everything you do. He sounds like a great pops.

Best of luck to Travis!

jaybate 7 years, 10 months ago

Could be wrong, but this seems like one of those pre-emptive stories you run before going to a hostile gym.

In any case, more power to Trav, his significant other, and his son. Beautiful couple. And a beautiful baby.

stm62 7 years, 10 months ago

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

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years, 10 months ago

Check that...didnt someone already do it...pollard maybe...someone help me out!

Brak 7 years, 10 months ago

Big props to Brother Solomon for stepping up and being the anon moral authority at You may remember him from other famous posts such as, "Morris Twins are Thugs!" and "Sherron ain't got no seats, because he's livin in sin." He'll be here all week ladies and gentleman, stick around for the 4:30 show because it will be completely different.

vd 7 years, 10 months ago

Preach it brother. You are the only one with the moral authority to judge. Preach Brother Brak, preach.

KEITHMILES05 7 years, 10 months ago

So how do you reconcile the fact Travis and his siblings were raised by their single mother? Is he and his siblings "bad" in your books? Does he have no chance in life?

Of course it's nice to have both parents in your lives but when straight people are divorcing at 50% rate in this country then YOU need to back down and look at the real reason for the breakdown of the family.

jhox 7 years, 10 months ago

Really cute little boy. I'm glad they're already brainwashing him with all things Jayhawk. With all of the height and athleticism in his family, hopefully he can wear a Jayhawk uniform someday. Maybe they can get Hudy and Goolsby working with him at a very young.

jhox 7 years, 10 months ago

Hey, whatever works, as long as he's a Jayhawk, I'm all for it.

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 10 months ago

brainwashing would indicate that there is something in the brain already that has to be removed.

HawksWin 7 years, 10 months ago

Trav, Doing the right thing will always takes more effort, time & commitment. Marry the mother of your son - show him how a man does it. Teach your son how to love his wife, his family & his life with your actions & decisions. Marriage has taken a bad wrap and the media is telling the youth to discount it, of its value and tradition. Love has become an instant gratification in the eyes of media & our culture. What is not addressed is that broken marriages lead to broken families and the result is a broken society for our future generations. Our actions today have consequences for our young. Everybody makes and will continue to make mistakes in life, but it takes a man to correct his mistake. Be a man Trav. And once married, stick to and by her. God bless you & your beautiful family.

Andy Tweedy 7 years, 10 months ago

When I saw the black and white picture (and didn't look real close), I figured it was a picture of Travis' parents, and thought "Damn, that dude just looks just like his dad!" I should look closer next time.

FearlessJayhawk 7 years, 10 months ago

Doing the right thing means getting married first, then having a child. Unfortunately, this is the way the younger generation does things today. The greatest desire a child can have and the greatest security he will have is knowing that his dad loves his mom. The proof of that is making a marriage commitment. It's easy to say your going to make a commitment, it's another thing to actually do it, Come on Travis, make that commitment.

Jack Jones 7 years, 10 months ago

Respectfully, love is love is love. Based on this story, my guess is that T.J., at this point in his life, feels as secure as is possible, and most importantly, knows his father loves his mom. I would suggest that commitment to another person transcends the official marriage ceremony - unfortunately, as the divorce rate in this country demonstrates.

farnamjayhawk 7 years, 10 months ago

Glad to see that the interior of the Towers hasn't changed in 20 years

Ron Franklin 7 years, 10 months ago


Getting married does not prove anything to your son. He does not care if you sign nuptials. He doesn't care if you go to Vegas or if you get married in a Temple.

The only thing that matter is the relationship and bond that you develop with your partner and your child. Demonstrate love, and educate him on the beauty of this miracle we have all been given when we entered this universe. Teach him right from wrong and follow through with consequences, just as Coach Self does for you. Teach him to love humanity and to work every day to make our world better. Let him make mistakes, and help him work through them when he cannot. Openly love your partner and show your son you are filled with love for her. Your daily actions, over time, will be much more impactful on your son than one single day where you make a 'commitment'.

Make a commitment everyday that you wake up to nourish, love, and protect your family, and you will be fine.

cool_beans 7 years, 10 months ago

finally someone who isn't a product of an older generation thinking that just because they have a kid means they have to get married

chriz 7 years, 10 months ago

Here's what getting married does: If you value your words, if you mean what you say, and if you have witnesses there to your commitment, you are much more likely to stay married than to divorce. So when you say "till death do us part", you mean it and people hold you accountable for it. Marriage is only as good as the people getting married and their community.

It's not easy. Stuff happens, you get in fights, you have financial hardships, you have kids, more responsibilities, etc. When things aren't going well, you see the "happily ever after" junk on TV and you start thinking "What if she's not the right one?" Well, the answer is, she IS the right one because you've committed your life to her on your wedding day. Lasting love is a verb. You can choose to love. It's not something that just happens.

So when you divorce, even if you and your wife still love the kid, the kid sees that bailing out on a promise is okay. He'll see that if things get hard, it's okay to quit. Not to say that there aren't exceptions, but as a general rule, this is quite obviously the case.

If we go our whole lives without committing to people, we're in trouble. And it seems only natural to me that if we're going to commit to being good fathers to our kids, we should also commit to being good husbands to their mother. And since we're not perfect, we make promises and we invite witnesses to hold ourselves accountable for these promises.

Having said that, I am certainly not judging Travis for having a baby out of wedlock. If I grew up in his situation, I probably would've done the same thing. In fact, I admire his commitment to his trade. To get where he is, you have to not only have talent but will power, and that's impressive.

But he has an opportunity to do something even greater. He can start a lineage of strong families with strong fathers. He can plant the seed for future generations of Relefords that he didn't have with his. And I think he'll do it. But it takes hard work, self-denial, and sacrifice.

cool_beans 7 years, 10 months ago

you know what i'm just going to stop before i bring up something that's just going to get people mad and just say have a nice day

Jack Wilson 7 years, 10 months ago

chriz -- Appreciate your comments. Excellent thoughts. Of course, whenever one makes comments such as yours, you'll be a target. Being right doesn't matter.

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years, 10 months ago

You know how I know you're gay (calm down censores, it's a movie line)? That post.

Steve Gantz 7 years, 10 months ago

BlownJay, I agree with everything you write. Except the first line. Marriage makes the relationship last. When there isn't marriage, walking away becomes an easier option when things get tough. By all means, unmarried parents do wonderful jobs of being parents, but it works better, and I know statistics bear this out very clearly, children of married parents have a much better chance of thriving in this world.

Ron Franklin 7 years, 10 months ago

Hi Wissoxfan, I enjoy your comments. I'm not trying to establish right from wrong here. I'm just saying Travis isn't better off one way or the other; marrying or not marrying. Marriages are failing at a 50% rate, so your statement about marriage making things last isn't quite true. What is important are his words and actions.

Steve Gantz 7 years, 10 months ago

Thanks for the nice comment. I decided to look up the 50% number since a lot of people quote that, liberals and conservatives alike, and it's probably an exaggeration, although maybe not by a huge amount. I saw a 40% rate, although it's much lower for college graduates and those who marry a little older, of which Travis, as a 5th year senior is nearing the older category.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 10 months ago

Oh my goodness. my wonderful Mom had a whole bunch of those "getting a bath in the sink with your little member hanging out" photos!! It's good to see some things never change.[except my member, thank God].

No moral judgements from this poster....their committment to their son and each other is enough for me.

T.J....start practicing that defense footwork and your three pointer!!

Mike Del Vecchio 7 years, 10 months ago

Didn't Pollard propose at Late Night? Big props Trav! Awesome story.

Jeff Lough 7 years, 10 months ago

I wish I had noted that Travis had a younger brother at Free State so I would have watched for him at the recent McPherson tourney that Free State was part of.

iowajhawk81 7 years, 10 months ago

Good for you Travis, congratulations on your son and on what looks like a wonderful family. Don't let all the proselytizing from the KU Sports morality police diminish the commitment you have made to you child, and his mother.

Ray Winger 7 years, 10 months ago

Gary, Check the height of Travis' Father. Height and intelligence are polygenic, and will be a composite of the genes of both parents. You said the grandfather(Travis father) was 5' 10"? Son (Travis 6'6") and that TJ was in 98%tile.

onetime_77 7 years, 10 months ago

as the dad of a 5 and 3 year old, I can say I am very impressed at how Trav has taken on being a dad. You can ask anyone around him, this article is about as true as it gets. He loves to be around his son any moment he can. When little T was born I wondered how it would affect his school and playing, and it hasn't in the least. It's been great watching Travis mature from a HS sophomore to where he is today.

lv_jhwk 7 years, 10 months ago

Wow...the sanctimonious smugness of some people never ceases to amaze me.

Read the article again and you'll see that Travis seems to be doing everything to be expected of a true father. The lack of a signed certificate or "Official Blessing From Above" isn't a hindrance to TJ's upbringing in any way.

vd 7 years, 10 months ago

Preach on brother. Only you have the moral authority to judge. Preach brother, preach.

Steve Gantz 7 years, 10 months ago

We love statistics here at KUSports. Check out the statistics on children of married parents and children of unmarried parents.

HawkKlaw 7 years, 10 months ago

Oh look everybody, it's a bunch of religious do-gooders judging the s*** out of a decent human being again.

Steve Gantz 7 years, 10 months ago

Maybe we just ought to stick to basketball on this site then?

Marcia Parsons 7 years, 10 months ago

Has anyone ever thought that maybe Travis wants to get married and the girl doesn't?

babyjay456 7 years, 10 months ago

No it's not that way. If they didn't have TJ they probably wouldn't be together honestly.

esque 7 years, 10 months ago

Perhaps both Travis and his girlfriend are waiting til after graduation to get married as the article indicates she also is a student. Once gainfully employed, he then can fully honor any commitment to provide for a wife and child as marriage requires.

The most challenging obstacle he's already met which is recognizing the impact being raised without a father can have on a family. His own words indicate his determination to break that cycle and ensure his child has the best possible chance to develop and succeed in this world with his guidance and influence, support etc.

I would hope that all of us continue to support him without the judging and proselytizing as there is more than one path through life. He seems like a great kid which is why we all like him, he's always carried himself very well and I expect he'll continue to present a positive image of the program and university.

MrPilot 7 years, 10 months ago

Congratulations on your beautiful family, Travis. You sound like a terrific father.

Ben Kane 7 years, 10 months ago

I love listening to everyone tell a young man how he should live his life. He wants to be a great father and I think that's great. however, all this get married or not stuff is none of our business. Your ethos doesn't have to be someone else's and you shouldn't force it on him. Clearly Trav is doing great and it's wonderful to hear.

jayhwkr77 7 years, 10 months ago

People need to quit telling Travis to marry her. If that's what they WANT to do, and what they think would would work the best for them, than that's what they should do.

But I don't understand why anyone on this message board thinks they have the right, or wisdom, to tell him and her how to live their lives. 50% of marriages in this country end in divorce, so them getting married really doesn't guarantee anything.

How about we tell our athletes to continue striving to be great models, and let the two of them decide what kind of relationship works best for them and the baby.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 10 months ago

Problem is that our society ends up footing the bill for the single moms that have 4 kids with three different guys, and for the kids with dads that don't support their kids, and who father children with multiple women. This is big picture, not directed at Travis, as noted below.

A married family has a signficantly lower chance of falling into that demographic. Your argument that marriage doesn't "guarantee" anything is the typical liberal strawman argument that proves nothing. Of course it doesn't. But it puts a kid a path that has a much better chance of being positive than the other path. That's the point.

Reality is that it is an epidemic in the black community -- father's not supporting their children. An epidemic that has struck at the core of black families, and an epidemic that has helped perpetuate the cycle of poverty and crime. Families and marriage provide stability. It provides commitment. And it provides a kid a better chance to have a positive path in life that isn't reliant upon the government (some may not see that as positive, but I would assume that is positive). Nothing's perfect. But we know what's better.

Better, though, is big picture -- when looking at multiple instances and examples. It has nothing to do with Travis Releford and what he can do with his situation. That is up to him and he certainly seems to have a tremendous perspective on priorities.

KEITHMILES05 7 years, 10 months ago

Why are you equating Travis and the "epidemic of the black community" when in fact he IS providing for his child? Your post smacks of racist attitude as it's black people who are making the country "bad" as you see it. That is just plain incorrect and ignorant. Shame on you.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 10 months ago

Keith: Don't make me cite statistics to you. Clearly, you can't avoid stats and numbers. However, I clearly see that nothing going on is related to one being black. It is the circumstance,deteriorating culture, and cycle of poverty and crime that has placed many black folks in the spot they are in.

I figured someone would go there .. it is easier to pronounce one's indignation than to actually think it through a bit. Your response makes you feel better.

HawkKlaw 7 years, 10 months ago

"It is the circumstance,deteriorating culture, and cycle of poverty and crime that has placed many black folks in the spot they are in."

Let's not forget the circumstances that Africans were brought into upon arriving in America. Let's remember who the first absentee fathers of African servants were (they sure as heck weren't black). Trace it back far enough and you'll see why certain demographics are more afflicted with crime, poverty, single parenthood and violence than others.

But none of this has anything to do with Travis Releford being a good dad.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 10 months ago

Time limits me a bit today .. but don't you think that marriage provides a tool of improving one's economic status?

You have fallen in the same trap -- you say about my position: "Specifically that marriage/commitment is the source of the benefit to the child." The key word is "THE." I never said that. I never said "THE." Use the phrasing "A GREAT SOURCE OF" instead, and that's my position. And it eliminates your argument. What I said was that marriage provides a kid a "BETTER CHANCE."

You exactly what I was referring to. You created a strawman.

Look, there is a segment of our society that works very hard to demonize or at least diminish the value of marriage. Your arguments falls into that category. Most have their own particular reasons.

You say "The only reason it looks like marriage has any effect is because people of means are more likely to get married than poor people and people of means are more likely to delay having children until later in life when they can better provide for them better. That's where the magic happens"

What? That's the point. Ok, poor people, do this .. get married more often. Delay having children. Right? That will help your economic situation. The idea is to suggest the value of marriage (and not having kids early, and without a marital partner) to the folks that traditionally don't get married at the rate others would. And to folks that traditionally have kids out of wedlock. A two parent household is more likely to escape poverty, and to not fall into poverty. To keep their kids out of trouble.To keep kids in school. To provide supervision. To provide parenting direction. It's hard to supervise a kid as a single mom when you're working 70 hours a week to make ends meet.

I have no problem with your ideas, but I think you need to open your mind a bit on this topic and not work so hard to devalue marriage.

jayhawker010 7 years, 10 months ago

The amount of people telling Travis on the comment thread to "do the right thing" and marry her are making me laugh. As if he will read your comment and suddenly come to the realization that the way he wants to live his life and the way he and his girlfriend conduct their relationship is morally wrong and that they must change right away. How Travis conducts his personal life is not only his decision, but it is no one else's business to comment on. Shame on all of you for thinking that you know how to live Travis Releford's life better than Travis Releford knows.

chriz 7 years, 10 months ago

So we should instead say, "There is no right or wrong"? Or say nothing? Why can you make suggestions for us but we can't make suggestions for others? If it's no one else's business to comment on it, then shouldn't you be blaming Maybe they forgot to tell Travis that people will comment on the story...

Steve Gantz 7 years, 10 months ago

Right before saying "it morally wrong aned should be frowned upon" you make the worst comment on this entire thread.
Please post a picture of yourself and/or your girlfriend/wife so we may also comment on it.

greg robinson 7 years, 10 months ago

I only have one problem with this story. Travis, before it's too late. Stop your son from saying "whoo" during the Rock Chalk chant!

Steve Gantz 7 years, 10 months ago

Fathers matter. Travis is doing his best with a far less than ideal role model. Interesting to compare his situation to his teammate Traylor.

It's interesting that the people criticizing those wanting him to get married don't see that we are giving him advise that will help him, not hurt him. Marriage is great we're trying to say. It's great for your kids, it's great for yourself and your partner. It's great for society.

Steve Gantz 7 years, 10 months ago

Hah! No, just a public school teacher! Probably, sadly, there'd be good money in this country being one though.

milehighhawk 7 years, 10 months ago

Lotta people dispensing life advice here.



Good going, Trav.

jaybate 7 years, 10 months ago

"Some Rumored KSU Signs that ESPN Will Probably Not Show the Viewing Audience"

~"Beware All Who Enter the Octogon: Wildcat Spore Tastes Good."

~"Wildcats Eat Their Young When Overstimulated; then Lose Bowl Games."

~"KSU Cheerleaders Act as Surrogate Mothers for Cattle Embryos: Go Cheerleaders!"

~"Smoking a Bale of Blue Stem Will Take You Higher Than Meth, But Not as High as Eating Bull Biscuits Soaked in Anhydrous Ammonia"

~"Canzaz Stayt Spellin' TeEm Winz NCHayHay"

~"KSU: First in Chem-Bio Autoexperimentation"

~"Purple Is the Color of Championship Frustration"

~"KSU Scientists Genetically Modify Ecoli to Produce Manure"

~"Visit the KSU Spore Sculpture Garden Outside Bramlage: Go Right Till You Smell It, Left Till You Step in It"

~"Forrest Gump New KSU Chancellor: Spore Is as Spore Does"

~"KSU Professor Discovers Biodegradeable Substitute for Metal Fence Posts: Wood

~"KSU Prof Studies Interim Coach Weber: Wins Nobel for Mediocrity Theory"

(Note: All fiction. No malice.)

Jack Jones 7 years, 10 months ago

Bate - "no malice"? "If it, it must be...." It's OK to express malice if that's what you feel. Malice toward K. St., esp. before a big game, is a normal expression.

Steve Gantz 7 years, 10 months ago

You don't think we want what's best for Travis and his son? I think that's all most are trying to say, although some say it more harshly than others.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 10 months ago

Six words should sum it up for all of you.

"Judge not lest ye be judged."

chriz 7 years, 10 months ago

People quote that verse all the time. If it means that only perfect people can make recommendations to others, then obviously no one would be able to make recommendations. So what do you think it means?

Jack Jones 7 years, 10 months ago

It means stay the hell out of other people's lives. Live YOUR life however you want, and stay out of mine.

chriz 7 years, 10 months ago

So the only recommendation you can make is to say that no one should make recommendations? What if you have kids...can you make recommendations to them? What about other family? Friends? I thank God for some of my friends who have told me to change my ways.

chriz 7 years, 10 months ago

Thanks, Ralster. I personally think you nailed it on the head with your first sentence. I also think it's possible to judge the action without judging the person, although some people have a hard time differentiating.

I don't think that having kids before marriage is a good thing. Heck, I don't even think having sex before marriage is a good thing. And Jesus said it best--probably to prove your point--that if we even LOOK at someone lustfully, we're committing adultery in our hearts. The point is that we've ALL got issues, which is why we shouldn't take the attitude of being "better" than someone else.

If Travis's dad is currently in prison, I can imagine that Travis had a hard time growing up. Taking that into consideration, he appears to have done a heck of a job for himself (and that's an understatement). Probably better than I would've done in his circumstances.

It seems that my initial comment may have come across as self-righteous...that wasn't my intent at all. I just don't want to ignore the elephant in the room just for the sake of not rocking the boat.

jaybate 7 years, 10 months ago

Hey, every body, this is the 'bate typin'.

We got a big game against a small rival upcoming.

I wrote some funny stuff to try to divert this thread and it didn't seem to work. I will of course try for funny bone again, but you b-rats gotta meet me half way.

I reckon there is not much more to Trav's situation than what the story says and there is not much call for any of us to get worked up about it one way or the other.

I just figured the story was run to kind of protect Trav and the program and pre-empt hostile KSU signage in Kraplage Mausoleum about KU players with children out of wedlock.

Everyone knows this is a sensitive subject with people on lots of fronts.

The idea is to hang together as the Jayhawk nation, and not let some belly crawlers over in Kraplage upset anyone's apple cart, especially Travis'.

Travis, the young woman and the child are who need protection here.

Trav is still pretty young. I am old as Potters Lake silt and I can still get my feelings jumbled about things in my private life. And I don't have to "play through" them. The young man is carrying a man's load on the floor, in school, and at home.

We must not let the threats of belly crawlers in purple deter us from the appointed task.

Cheer for Travis and his band of ballers.

Destroy K-State.


Rock Chalk!

chriz 7 years, 10 months ago

I've heard that "Diversity does not create unity. Unity allows diversity." One of those one-liners that I'll always remember.

jaybate 7 years, 10 months ago

"Some Memorable Quotes by Bruce Weber Since Bruce Read the Quotes of General George S. Patton"

"We herd sheep, we drive cattle, we lead people. Lead me, follow me, or hire Bill Self.

"If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody is thinking like me and that isn't thinking."

"A mediocre plan poorly executed now is better than a mediocre plan executed next week."

"The object of coaching is not to outsmart your opponent, but to make your opponent outsmart you."

"Accept the doubts so that you can feel the anxiety of uncertainty."

"Don't tell people how to play the game, tell them you're not as smart as Bill Self and let them surprise you with their results."

"KStaters play to not quite succeed at all times. I wouldn't give a hoot and hell for a Wildcat who finished second confidently. That's why KStaters have never won a ring nor ever lost with dignity."

"Mediocrity is doubt holding on a minute longer."

(Note: All fiction. No malice.)

nostradavid 7 years, 10 months ago

Great story, Gary. Thanks. The pictures show a fine family.

KansasComet 7 years, 10 months ago

I am happy for Travis Releford. He seems to be doing quite well on and off the court. KSU game coming up. This should be a good game. These are the type of games that Kansas needs. I said before the beginning of the season, that we are a top 5 team and I stand by that. For all those that said EJ is not playing well and we need Naadir Tharpe in the starting lineup, I respectfully disagree. How can you turn on EJ so quickly? Where is the commitment through the good times and bad times? Now that is not the way to stay married, is it?

greg robinson 7 years, 10 months ago

I still think our biggest concern is the "whoo" during the Rock Chalk chant.

Steve Gantz 7 years, 10 months ago

Since Jaybate's trying to get us fired up for tomorrow here's a little story: When Bruce Weber was coaching at Illinois his brother was coaching a high school kid at Glenbrook North (or south, forget which). He had one of the nations' top players Jon Scheyer. Slam dunk easy recruiting for Weber right? Wrong Scheyer went to Duke. A lot of Illinois people just assumed Scheyer was theirs by virtue of Webers' brother coaching him. This guy's not going to make it at KSU.

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