Originally published January 22, 2015 at 12:10p.m., updated January 22, 2015 at 03:30p.m.

KU basketball players, coaches meet President Barack Obama before speech

Players text Self to say how much they enjoyed 15-minute session with country's leader

President Barack Obama speaks at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, about the themes in his State of the Union address.

President Barack Obama speaks at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, about the themes in his State of the Union address.


Kansas University’s basketball players and coaches presented President Barack Obama with a KU hoops jersey and basketball before Obama’s speech this morning in Anschutz Pavilion.

The Jayhawks met the president in Hadl Auditorium, just a few strides from Anschutz.

“He was great. We had a chance to meet with him before his speech. He knew about our team,” KU coach Bill Self told the Journal-World at the conclusion of Obama’s speech. “He talked to all the guys about his basketball experiences. I know the guys (Jayhawks) felt very blessed to be there today.”

Self said, “it was a huge thrill for everybody. Everybody was proud to be there.”

Self was asked what Obama told him.

“Best of luck and keep working hard. Basically don’t accept being good, strive to be great,” Self told the J-W.

Self met Obama a couple years ago at a reception in Osawatomie.

“He’s a great guy,” said Self.

Self and the Jayhawk players spoke in detail about the experience at an afternoon news conference.

“I think I timed it at about 14 minutes, 36 seconds, seriously probably 15 minutes,” Self said. “He shook everybody’s hand. He wanted to know everybody’s name, took a couple pictures, group pictures. He shared a few words of wisdom.

“He said, ‘You need to worry about your academics, too. You didn’t come here just to play ball.’ I said, ‘Hey Mr. President, overall team GPA 2.93.’ You know what he said? ‘You’ve got to get it up to 3,' which basically tells you, ‘Don’t ever be totally satisfied,’ which I thought was pretty cool for our guys to hear,” Self added.

Self said the Jayhawk players were awed by the experience.

“I think I’ve got a pretty good relationship with our guys, most of them, and a pretty open line of communication. Very rarely do they just text me out of the blue and say, ‘Hey coach, how are you doing today?’ After this today, half the team texted me immediately saying, ‘Coach, man that was awesome, Thanks for allowing us to be part of that.’ It’s a big deal for everybody.

“Look at Svi (Mykhailiuk, freshman from Ukraine). Who knows how Svi has viewed the president of the United States coming from Ukraine or what Russia thinks of us? He filmed the whole thing. He was really into it. Think of kids, especially African-American kids that maybe come from tough environments, Cliff (Alexander) and Jamari (Traylor) coming from Chicago. He wanted to know right off the bat, ‘What high school did you go to?’ and that kind of stuff. He made those kids feel special. I’d think anybody in his business is used to crowds. He certainly made our guys feel good today.”

Noted Selden: “He talked about our last game, the Oklahoma game. He talked about the games we have coming up. He talked about his game a little bit, saying he’s slowing down. He has the nation to take care of and he’s watching our games ... that’s really big.”

Selden added jokingly: “He said if we wanted any tips just ask him. Nobody asked him.”

Perry Ellis stated: “It’s not an opportunity many people get ... to meet him. I’m blessed and honored to get the opportunity to do that. It was an awesome experience. We’ll never forget it.”

During his speech, Obama said: “I’ve got to admit, I took a moment to meet with coach Self and the KU basketball team. I mean, we’re here for other business but while I was here I thought I should talk to some basketball players. And it is January so that means the Jayhawks are at the top of the Big 12 hunting for 11 straight conference titles.”

Obama also joked, “Coach Self won 10 straight. I lost two straight here (vote in presidential elections in Kansas). I might have won sections in Lawrence. That’s a possibility.”

For more on the President’s visit with the basketball team read Friday’s Journal-World and

More Coverage

Obama at KU: Some university community members came for the issues, others for the show

President Obama drops in on Lawrence preschool before speech

Lawrence elementary school student shakes hands with Obama


Mike Tackett 5 years, 6 months ago

Loss # 4 for the Jayhawks. Hope the crud will wash off.

Len Shaffer 5 years, 6 months ago

Mike, you should change your last name to Tacky.

Gary McCullough 5 years, 6 months ago

Even if you don't respect the man, you should respect the office.

Aaron Paisley 5 years, 6 months ago

Here we go again. I think I'll take today off and just enjoy what happens next with a bucket of popcorn.

Andrew McGlone 5 years, 6 months ago

Just what we need...another milk toast Midwesterner eager to sit on their couch and eat carbs.

Aaron Paisley 5 years, 6 months ago

Houston, TX is in the midwest? Thanks for the geography lesson. Also, where did I say anything about sitting on a couch and do you know the role that carbohydrates play in an athletes diet?

Rodney Crain 5 years, 6 months ago

Andrew this is the second article on the visit, the first one a few days ago, generated about 200 posts, a lot with Aaron and I saying similar things you have with a person who agreed with Mike above, we tried very hard to keep race out it....

We are on the same side, respect for the sitting president, and thinking it was nice for the players to meet him.

All he is saying is we are going to let you and Reggie pick up the torch today. We need a break :)

Micky Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

Only if the sitting President is a Democrat right?

Allison Steen 5 years, 6 months ago

Come on, man. It was funny. Lighten up, shall we?

Rodney Crain 5 years, 6 months ago

sorry I mis read your comment retract please.

Andrew McGlone 5 years, 6 months ago

Hi Mike - Can you even name a policy that Obama has championed that has negatively impacted your life? I suspect like most tea baggers you have no idea what Obama has done for this country. It's okay, but free speech is a lot more productive when the person speaking isn't a combination of an idiot and a racist. Also, your comment is completely disrespectful of the team. I'm guessing you don't follow the team because you might be interested to learn that KU fields a team of largely African-Americans, who for the first time in their lives get to meet someone with a similar background and set of interests who has excelled. It would be like if you got to meet Dan Quayle or Sean Hannity. I can live with Republicans and Democrats....idiots like you only have one true home...Manhattan, KS. Go get some purple because the people of Aggieville have a warm embrace for Mike Tackett.

Reggie Flenory 5 years, 6 months ago

I wish I could like this comment 100 times I am an African American who was born and raised in Kansas City Kansas in Wyandotte County one of the worst and most violent counties in the state of Kansas and in the city of Kansas City and I can remember in the fifth grade at parker elementary when my principal would speak to us about career day he would say I can see the next Doctor in here I can see the next lawyer in here I can see the next president of the United States in this room I grew up in what most people will call the hood and when he said that we could be the President of the United States we all busted out laughing not because his comment was funny but because even in the fifth grade we all knew that there's no way America wcould elect a black president that's kind of been a running joke in our community for a long time so to see President Obama rise and do try to bring about positive change for the country is great even though a lot of people hate on him largely because he is African American and not really on the politics I am proud to be able to say that I seen history being made and I wish I could tell my dread grandmothers the good things and the changes that have happened in this country since they were live #RockChalk

Micky Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

Reggie, I want to ask a question. What if Obama had been a conservative rather than a progressive? Would you respect him then? Because we have Allen West who isn't respected by those that support Obama, calling Allen West an Uncle Tom and in some cases, even worse. Or how about the new Republican African-American from Utah that was elected, Mia Love? You know that she was called a lot of nasty names too? And then there is Doctor Ben Carson, who get's called a lot of nasty names. All three of them are black, but they aren't shown respect by the left.

I worked in Wyandotte County and I lived in Wyandotte County, Leavenworth County, and Johnson County. You might have even met me in person if you visited the place I worked at when I was in my early and mid twenties. Wyandotte County's crime rate has fallen off a lot, and most of that crime occurs east of 18th Street, and even more amplified between 7th street and the state line. When you get out west of the old Indian Springs Mall, things have improved a whole lot. I saw much of it improve in person. There are reasons it improved and it was mostly because of vigilance by people in the community staving it off in their areas, which is why it has become isolated in the inner most part nearest KCMO.

With all that said, Obama has been more divisive and how the media has handled themselves during his Presidency has done damage to race relations, which is hard for some to admit. Even worse than that, the African American community has lost ground since Obama has been President because a completely different standard has been applied to Obama than would have been if he was white. I think having that lower standard because Obama is black is racist. Expecting him to do better than he has done isn't racist, in my view.

Reggie Flenory 5 years, 6 months ago

Assuming that I like Obama just because he is a black liberal is way off base and to say "we have lost ground during his presidency" as a community of black people I completely dis agree because regardless of who is in office black people have to take it upon themselves to continue to move forward yes we like President Obama most of us and he happens to be a Democrat or liberal or what have you but I would like him if he was a Republican to I respect him and I respect what he has done and I feel as though if people can't at least respect that in a country where we were brought here as slaves and treated less than human and for one of us to eventually rise to the highest seat this nation then that person is just completely out of touch and in denial Republican or Democrat conservative or liberal I respect the man I respect what he has done you can't please everyone as president everyone isn't going to like you one side is going to hate you but the hell with it you do the best you can even though I did not like Bush the one thing I could say for sure is I feel sorry for anyone who has to sit in the hottest seat in the world and make a lot of tough decisions that affect millions of people it's inevitable that one side is going to think you are the devil and the other side is going to think you are there knight in shining armor

Micky Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

Well, you can have that opinion, but employment numbers for African-Americans are equal to or worse than when Obama took office. It is especially bad for young African-Americans seeking work while in high school or college. The unemployment rate is above 30% for them.

I think everyone here understands that critics of Obama have been attacked vigorously because they're considered racist to be critical of the President. That should make all black people angry in my view, because if we have to have a different standard for different races, then progressives really aren't supportive of equality, are they?

I appreciate your answer. There are many that do only support Obama because of his skin color and call people racist if they criticize him. That has been divisive for our country and that is where race relations have taken a hit. If you can't criticize the President because he's black, we have big problems.

Reggie Flenory 5 years, 6 months ago

don't get me wrong its ok to criticize the president no matter what color he is but since he has been in office I have seen many conservatives use politics as a cover to express and execute racist comments slurs and views they used people in the Conservative Party as cover who may have legitimate beef and then say and do some pretty vile stuff again as a black person I have had no issues finding work before President Obama was in office during his presidency or after I have been gainfully employed for the Anaheim California School District in special education

Micky Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

To use their political disagreements as racism? Please. Get over that. The excuses made for this President because of his race is as racist as a person can get.

Reggie Flenory 5 years, 6 months ago

I think you misunderstand my point So let me clarify what I am saying I am NOT saying that everyone who disagrees with him is racist that's just silly and stupid obviously politically people will differ but with my own ears and with my own eyes I've seen and heard conservatives call him a monkey hanging noose around his neck in rural areas things of that nature it really has nothing to do politics wise conservative or liberal personally I do not endorse either party there is somethings that conservatives value that I value and there are some things that liberals value that I value depending on the issue

Micky Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

That's all good, but I highly doubt you have witnessed the things you have posted. You might have seen some online, but you really don't know who they are when they post with a name that isn't their own or if they are politically motivated to pretend to be someone they're not to try to shed a bad light on political opponents.

I do stand by what I said. It is as racist as a person can get to hold a lower bar for Obama because he is black than the same people held Bush or other Presidents to. My bar for Obama is as high as it has been for any other President and I'm really sick of the excuses being made for him.

Reggie Flenory 5 years, 6 months ago

No one is holding a bar lower for himI think the fact that black people support him and defend him people assume somehow are making excuse or allotments for him any other president I disagree and I 100 percent stand by what I've witnessed I have no reason to lie to you or anybody else it is what it is 1 thing for sure regardles of who's in office you have to make things happen for yourself and that's the creed that I live by

Galen Wildeman 5 years, 6 months ago

Andrew, I am not a fan of Obama’s policies and I do not condone what Mike has said but I do think he has a right to say. That is the very definition of free speech. I think it's very sad that you automatically assume Mike is a racist for what he said. You have no idea what he was implying and he definitely did not make a blatant racial remark. In fact to me, you have displayed exactly the same type of thinking in which you so hypocritically accused Mike of. In my mind, that type of thinking is equally as bad as racism because anyone who really is educated about racism knows it is just a form of prejudice. Prejudice hurts our country no matter what the form. Thanks for being part of the problem instead of the solution. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!!

Micky Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

Galen, that's just how it's been since Obama has been President. You're right. Defending Obama using race as the reason to defend him is as racist as a person can be.

Allin Herring 5 years, 6 months ago

I think Andrew is the biggest racist in this discussion. It is very typical of the liberal left that it someone makes comment negative towards Obama they automatically play the race card! Andrew is the typical Liberal idiot!!! We says things against his policies not his color!! I respect the office of the President but NONE of Obama's policies. I just can't wait until 2016 and he is out of office!!!

David A. Smith 5 years, 6 months ago

It is equally racist to assume that opposition to the president is based on color.

Micky Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

I can't just name one, but several. If you can't find something about just Obamacare that is negative for you, then I feel bad for you.

Chris Bailey 5 years, 6 months ago

Seriously? He championed the ACA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How the hell was that good????????????? It has done nothing but DRIVE UP COSTS on the MIDDLE CLASS! Stop pounding your chest because you like the guy! I'm so sick and tired of hearing that crap! Every time a conservative doesn't agree the democrats start playing the race card or the tea bagger crap! Grow up! I'm not a racist nor a bigot and for you to assume as much makes you no better! I'm completely fed up with that! And then point to DAN QUAYLE? I guess in reality he's about as good a leader as Obama so props on the comparison. Growing up in the midwest doesn't make me or anyone else a bad person! I will bet I am far more philanthropic than you! Being a liberal democrat shows a complete lack of knowledge of fiscal policy. Spend spend spend eventually that will fix everything. Large government doesn't make for better lives for us it simply puts a larger tax burdon on the middle class. Your comments are out of line and completely disrespectful and show a complete lack of respect for your fellow alum! My beliefs are firmly planted. I support the right mostly because they are fiscally conservative. That makes me nothing of what you have said. If another democrat calls me a racist for being conservative I may punch them in the proverbal sack! I love diversity. It makes us all better. I don't care what color you are what religion you are if you treat me with respect I will in turn treat you the same way. Stop listening to everything you hear on TV! And for God sake stop with the racist crap! It's a dead horse. Racists exist in BOTH parties period.

Micky Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

That's right Chris. It does get old. You're not the only one that feels that way. I've received emails about this topic since the first article came out on Tuesday.

Cody Riedy 5 years, 6 months ago

The ACA was born in a conservative think tank. That's actually it's biggest flaw: it tries to work within the current market, which means it leaves in place a system in which, not doctors, and not even so much insurers, but hospital execs continue to gouge us. But as a conservative, I assume you believe that nothing works unless someone is allowed to get rich off of it, cause of course a hospital wouldn't function without an MBA figuring out how to suck a profit out of someone else's misfortune - say by charging $40 for a bandaid (geez, if only I had an MBA, I'd have such brilliant business acumen like this too!). I'm just glad that the doctors, nurses, and other staff that work in hospitals didn't follow the dictates of the market-god and only make choices based on potential profit or they would all be sitting in front of computers right now leaching in millions through high-speed automated trading or would be in their garage right now trying to invent the next obnoxious phone app to sell off for millions, instead of treading among our suffering and often filth to heal and care for us.

Chris Bailey 5 years, 6 months ago

Do you enjoy insulting people? I mean seriously? I find it funny that you play like your the nice guy and do nothging but name call. Isn't that ironic! And I work in healthcare. It's not all rosey like you seem to think. I work for a nonprofit that invests everything back into improvements for the institution. Oh and for the record nothing is stopping you from receiving that MBA. This site that talks about KU sports there is a university affiliated with it and if you apply they might take your money and if you do all the necessary work they might give you that MBA. Don't cry to me about what you don't have like it's on me. It's not. I was raised poor but worked hard to get where I am. It's funny that 50 years ago we celebrated hard work and now we seem to act like it's a bad thing.

Cody Riedy 5 years, 6 months ago

I don't mean this in a snobby way, but I'm not sure you understood my comments or at least, I don't understand how your comment is replying to mine. Mostly what I see is the same old self-righteous paranoid reaction about how you work so hard (and apparently no one else does) and that somebody is trying to take your money (which, I'm certainly not asking for and if I got to make policy would not be asking for). I don't want an MBA, I was being sarcastic in implying the irony that the market confers more money on an MBA than an MD even in the field of healthcare.

Chris Bailey 5 years, 6 months ago

Well yeah I read that all wrong then. My bad. And I was being sarcastic on the MBA as well. This is dumb. I doubt any person on here is racist regardless of politcal affiliation. We all love our university. I don't hate Obama the man. I don't hate democrats. I want them to all work together. My bad man. Don't take it too seriously. ROCK CHALK

Cody Riedy 5 years, 6 months ago

Small government? Fiscal responsibility? These are entirely meaningless concepts outside of concrete context. Let's take a really simply example and discuss it in really simple terms. What is something the oligarchs have convinced you of? Oh yes, poor lazy people of color living in the hoods of the big cities are living off you, you hard-working tax payer. How to solve this problem? Tax cuts for the 1%! Well, besides the fact that every part of that claim is either false or so decontextualized as to be false, it's also wrong in terms of the supposed consequences. Take food stamps. Food stamps can only be spent for one thing and in one place - on food items in the local economy. So, the government gives poor people some money to help them have food to eat. They get food. The money goes directly back into the local economy - some money goes to the local grocer, some to his employees, some to food producers, including farmers, etc. A stimulus, a multiplier. Now the Wal-Mart's of the world ask for a tax cut, even though the food stamp program is already feeding their workers for them since Wal-Mart doesn't pay enough to keep even a full time worker out of poverty. Let's say the wealthy shareholders gets his/her tax breaks. Does it trickle down? Do they hire more people? No, because the 1% aren't people running factories any more. They make the bulk of their money in investment, meaning, there is nothing for their money to trickle down to, it just goes back into more investment. And as has been duly commented upon - Wall Street has been doing great and it isn't trickling down to Main street.

No, not liking Obama doesn't make you a racist, but then again, it's no coincidence that gun sales sky-rocketed (even though absolutely nothing has ever been done to restrict gun rights at the federal level) and you had Tea Party groups showing up protesting with guns and talking like we were on the verge of a new civil war and the immediate rise of paranoia (Obama is not even a citizen, but a undercover Muslim dictator who will lead the ghettos in an uprising, etc etc). But, there's nothing American's are more incapable of discussing than the complex issue of race. My point is that the hatred for Obama seems to be of a peculiar kind, different than say the hatred for the much hated Bill Clinton.

Whatever, this site isn't for politics and I agree even though I still posted this reply. I'm a hypocrite. Sorry.

Chris Bailey 5 years, 6 months ago

Gun sales? Really? Gun sales increased due to Newtown. Remember that school shooting in 2012! The spike in gun sales had nothing to do with Obama the person but everything to do with his agenda to impose gun bans. And please explain to me how a DEMOCRAT led house and senate allowed republicans to champion that bill? A bill that most want to overhaul. It was Nancy Pelosi, a complete nut job, that said we gotta pass it to see what's in it. That wasn't a republican. You can throw dirt on the right all you want. And you can talk about the 1%. The hatred for Obama has to do with his smug arrogance and his manipulation of the media. Your argument is so far out in left field I can't wrap my head around it. Your disdain for conservatives and all we stand for is just your head being filled with what the media wants you to hear. Stop with racism. Stop it! I'M NOT A RACIST! NOT AT ALL! Do you think I don't feel for the poor? You're nuts! I do what I can often to help charities. I don't boast about the things I do to help others. I need no pat on the back to sleep at night. Things bother me in this country but wreckless spending isn't the way to fix it. Stop pounding your chest and stop calling me a racist. I cannot tell you how much that bothers me. I live my life and I challenge you to find anyone who could say a bad thing about me as a person unless you're going to count my political stance. I don't owe you an explanation for my beliefs.

Cody Riedy 5 years, 6 months ago

Gun sales were going up before Newton. Absolutely nothing has been done to restrict the rights of you to build your private arsenal since the early 90s. Nothing significant passed on the federal level and what has mostly tried and in some cases been passed on the federal and/or state level is just stronger demand for background checks and this was only asked for in consequence of little children having their brains smattered about a grade school class room. Yet, within two days the NRA was already whining that they were the real victims.

No one called you a racist. In fact, I agree that very few people are ideologically racist today. However, varying degrees of racial prejudice, whether we are conscious of them or not, still impact virtually all of us on a personal level and there is still much systemic racial disparity. Disliking Obama doesn't make you a racist, I'm only saying that race has been, in some degree, on all sides, a factor in our political perceptions and that among a certain subset of people, it's been a stronger factor, whether any of those people are conscious of it or not.

Any time someone talks about race, people on the right fulminate about the "race card", the irony is, that I think that while many on the right talk try to talk about "free markets" and "small government" and the constitution, what really drives them underneath is their own emotionally charged identity politics.

Chris Bailey 5 years, 6 months ago

Guns are not bad man. If you weren't raised around them then you will never understand that. People were murdered long before the days of guns. Taking guns out of citizens hands weakens the innocent. You'll never convince me otherwise. And had a member of the faculty been armed in these school shooting and especially Newtown many lives could have been saved. If you don't believe me let me ask this. Would you have shot Adam Lanza if you had been armed at that school that day? Would you have felt right taking his life to save others? I understand that each side has these knee jerk reactions. The 2nd ammendment provides us the right to keep and bare arms and as such it is protected. Background checks are fine. Problem is that most people who commit crimes don't follow the law. You and I understand and follow it. I wouldn't ever shoot someone unless my life were in danger or protecting someone else. This seems logical to you and I but sadly the crazies don't follow the law. I'm not here to offend you man. Got no problems with you. I could sit down with most people and have a good conversation about anything other than politics. We're good man. Take care! ROCK CHALK!

So how about that football team???

Cody Riedy 5 years, 6 months ago

No problem. It's hard not to get charged up when talking politics. I yell at the TV watching the news more than when I watch a KU game and I'd be pretty embarrassed if someone recorded the crap I say. I'm an idiot though and can't help but talk politics when the chance arises even though I often annoy myself with my own blabbing. So yeah, on to an 11th conference title and a new era of KU football!

Micky Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

Yet, Newtown, Connecticut has not lifted the "gun-free zone" non-sense. No teacher was allowed protect the children. Six adults tried to intervene by "talking to the perp", and they're dead too.

Micky Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

"However, varying degrees of racial prejudice, whether we are conscious of them or not, still impact virtually all of us on a personal level and there is still much systemic racial disparity.

There is so much wrong with that statement. You're implying people have biases, whom you don't even know because someone said it on TV. I don't watch Cable TV News for this very reason, but I do get accused of watching Fox News or being owned by the Koch Brothers(which is said on TV by those attacking people like me), but they don't know. They try to isolate someone and then they try to pile on. WHen they find out it doesn't work on someone, they move on to the next target, until they find one that will back down so they can claim they won.

Cody Riedy 5 years, 6 months ago

Believe it or not, some people's opinions about issues of race don't come from what TV commentators say, they come from living in the real world and gasp having relationships with minorities and taking seriously what they say instead of just telling them that they are just lazy and making excuses right after I insist that I'm not a racist. Racism today is not people in white hoods. It's systemic racism that has been entwined into and evolved in our institutions and culture over decades, systemic racism that we often can't see because of remaining personal biases. Biases are almost inevitable because America remains radically segregated - i.e. many white people still live lives where they have few to no meaningful relationships with people of color. I know this is hard for many a white conservative male to grasp, but when people like me talk about racism we are not saying that every white male in the world is an evil minority hating racist. Lots of good well-intentioned people, in fact almost all of us, are prone to seeing the world through certain kinds of biases - some of which are just silly some of which can be damaging. That's why people have these conversations - they're humble enough to think that maybe the way they see the world isn't the only way.

Micky Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

It is systemic within the welfare state, for sure.

Micky Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

Gun sales sky-rocketed because of the threats of stricter controls on them and other parts of people's private dealings that the government has intervened into. For example, requires that you give your bank account information before you can even shop. WHAT? Why do they need that?

I had a short discussion with Mark Lamont HIll that was online, not on TV or Radio, about this topic as well. He ended up blocking me because I wouldn't back down and called him out on his hypocrisy. He get's a big platform on CNN to spout that crap about people he doesn't know. He's a professor at Columbia(I believe it's Columbia), he makes good money, and he's still going on about "white privilege" stuff?

John Pritchett 5 years, 6 months ago

He's the President of the United States. Thankfully we are allowed to find fault in our president. He's not Kim Jung Un. Or Chavez. Or Putin. We don't have perfect leaders in this country. This president has made his share of mistakes. If you don't know that, then you're the one who's being unreasonable.

That said, this has nothing to do with the policies and politics of this president. It's great that the president took time to visit our school and our team. I appreciate that. And when it comes to common ground, basketball is a pretty good one. I can find a lot to agree with him on there.

Rock chalk!

Ashwin Rao 5 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for the voice of reason. I hate it when people bring in politics in inappropriate places. You are absolutely right about freedom of speech, and about EVEN the President being human.

Now let us move on... It was a great event that folks enjoyed... next stop TX!

Micky Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

His entire visit, even in his own words, was about his policies. Otherwise, this isn't even a story.

Micky Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

Another thing is highly hypocritical of this post and those that liked it, calling conservatives "teabaggers", while so many have complained about not being respected. This is how we know the left are the true haters and bigots.

Walter Bridges 5 years, 6 months ago

Why respond to the morons? Does anyone here really want to know my political outlook? Want to know if I watch FOX or MSNBC.

AND why slip in your political retort while at the same time calling on a ban for politics. As Rodney said: respect the office, also other FELLOW KU fans and the LJW.

Micky Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

This goes to show that you can't say anything negative about Obama, but you can say anything positive about him and nobody would care. You can see the posts where it's positive about Obama, and nobody says a word. It is kind of funny that they don't realize how hypocritical they are.

Reggie Flenory 5 years, 6 months ago

Glad the players had a chance to meet the pres something I'm sure they will remember for a long time

Michael Lorraine 5 years, 6 months ago

Sounds like it was a big deal for coach Self as well.

Nathan Scholl 5 years, 6 months ago

I agree with some of the above. I don't necessarily agree with the majority of his politics, but I DO respect the office of the President of the United States. Neat that the team was able to be a part of that history. A good experience for them, and an admirable nod to Coach Self, the players, the program, and the undeniable impressive history of Kansas Basketball. Rock Chalk.

Walter Bridges 5 years, 6 months ago

And he took time out of what I am sure is a very busy schedule to meet the team. I'm sure they will all be telling their kids or family about their experience many years from now...

Rodney Crain 5 years, 6 months ago

So, for those keeping count that is 8 for ( I vote Yes) and 1 Against so far, thinking this was a neat thing for the players and our program, and had nothing to do with Politics.

It is great to see that most of our fans respect the office of the president.

Aaron I too will take the day off from defending respectful comments from those that are not. I see others have taken up that torch.

What an honor, and thrill for everyone involved with our team.

Aaron Paisley 5 years, 6 months ago

I can't lie, I wanna see Micky's reply and the s-storm that happens afterwards.

Rodney Crain 5 years, 6 months ago

Just a recap...

He had about 18% of all posts, over 3 time periods as of 7am ct. in just 18 hours. Amazing. :)) That is commitment.

To 9 different people I think, without mentioning the basketball program in about 86% of his posts. So I guess it is all about the polictics :)

He posted Aprx. 38% of the entire comments section talking about his point of view. Impressive.

Micky Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

You're still trying to make this about me? You posted quite a few times here before I was even on this particular thread hypocrite.

Rodney Crain 5 years, 6 months ago

Aaron although I agree I cannot say that, since that is what set him off before..... :))

But yeah it should be interesting to see how this goes today.

Micky Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

Rodney, you act like that this a Democratic website now? Two days ago you said it wasn't. You really do contradict yourself often, don't you?

Sylvie Rueff 5 years, 6 months ago

I'm sorry the Women's team was unable to be back in time to be part of the action, Especially after last night's remarkable victory. Bravo to everyone on the team, and bless you Asia!

Michael Lorraine 5 years, 6 months ago

So Aaron Rodgers, Reggie Jackson, the girlfriend of Jason Sudeikis and now the president. Who else?

Michael Lorraine 5 years, 6 months ago

That's 3 likes for Olivia and 0 for Rodgers/Jackson/Sudeikis/Obama combo.

Joe Ross 5 years, 6 months ago

Sometimes, unavoidably, sports and politics do intersect. How can you avoid it for this particular story? There are people who are politically opposed to BO, and I am among them; and yet, meeting a President is a pretty cool thing to do. If anything, I have a problem with the timing of the team meeting the President. If I had my druthers, they would have met in June or July.

Aaron Paisley 5 years, 6 months ago

Why do you have a problem with the timing of this?

Micky Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

Because it was two days after the SOTU, and it was a distraction for the team. But Joe is right. Politics do intersect with sports, but nobody ripping me here ripped the Baltimore Ravens or the Washing Redskins when they did, just before a game at that. Nobody rips it if they agree with the politics. Only if they don't agree. That's what the problem was with the other article. Biases blinded people and prevented civil discourse. It happens when people think they have a right not to be offended, because that isn't a right.

Joe Ross 5 years, 6 months ago

It's not that I really have a problem, Aaron. It's just that team's that meet with the President in June have normally just won a National Championship.

Tom Jones 5 years, 6 months ago

A lot more than Micky's, anyway...

"Because it was two days after the SOTU, and it was a distraction for the team."

So what?


What? The team shouldn't take advantage of a chance to meet the leader of the free world because they have a game in a couple days? Really?

Walter Bridges 5 years, 6 months ago

I've made several other comments here supporting the team's meeting the president. Not sure how anyone could read anything into this comment anything other than wanting to win a championship.

So Tom..get over yourself. Grow up and find whatever it is that you ared lacking in life.

Rodney Crain 5 years, 6 months ago

Aaron I think what Joe is alluding to is if they meet him in June or July it is because they have won the National Championship...

Uconn Mens BB met with Obama in June of last year after they won it all.

At least that is the way I took it.

Aaron Paisley 5 years, 6 months ago

What bothers about that statement is I don't see how meeting Obama today takes away from the goal of cutting the nets down in April and going to the White House over the summer. It's not like today's visit means that KU can't also meet him again this summer and it's just coming across to me like how people are viewing today. This isn't a one or the other deal.

If KU delayed heading out to Austin and wasn't rested enough or if practice was canceled to meet Obama, then it's an issue. Today had zero impact on travel, rest, practice, or the chance to meet Obama in Washington this summer. Joe's the 4th or 5th poster who said KU should not have taken advantage of the rare opportunity today and should only get to meet the president if they win a title.

Joe Ross 5 years, 6 months ago

Youre reading too much into it. The comment I made basically distills to what Rodney has concluded. Very simply, "It'd be cool if we won a Championship." Im not trying to get all technical about " does meeting the President today take away from the goal" and so on? KU should not have taken advantage of the opportunity? How does that square with (paraphrasing), "Meeting the President is a really awesome thing to do?"

Rodney Crain 5 years, 6 months ago

I understand, but he did say it was a pretty cool thing to do in his post as well.

Only he can explain what he meant but I think his comment was about meeting them after we win it all.

Of all the stuff we have seen about this visit, it was fairly calm, even supportive considering all the bile we have seen.

Remember we are enjoying our popcorn... :)

Chris Bailey 5 years, 6 months ago

Whoa Joe. Does that make you a racist now? You're a young black man that obviously understands conservatives are not racist. I'm so fed up with the media feeding this liberal agenda. Meeting Obama would have been cool on this level I get that. But because we don't agree with him politically doesn' make us bad or wrong. Bush stunk it up and I wasn't afraid to admit it. Glad to see someone else thinking for themself. ROCK CHALK Joe Ross! Thanks for your comment! They're always insightful!

Walter Bridges 5 years, 6 months ago

Who wouldn't want to meet the leader of the free world? 44 Presidents in US history, I couldn't imagine passing on the chance to have missed any of them...especially in my college years. I remember when Jessie Jackson came to the Miami Bch USCG base and when John Anderson (not the ESPN reporter for you young guys) brought his campaign to Hoch Auditorium.

Great experiences that I was thankful to have had the opportunity to be there.

Rodney Crain 5 years, 6 months ago

I agree Walter. What a great opportunityto see one of 44 people to hold the office.

What an honor.

Robert Brown 5 years, 6 months ago

Of course he does. I travel a lot internationally and am amazed at how much people in other countries are tuned in to the politics in the US.

Joe Ross 5 years, 6 months ago

That's true. Even when many countries of the world hate us.

John Brown 5 years, 6 months ago

My experience as well. I hiked the Tour du Mont Blanc and the European people that I encountered were very educated on the US Presidential race at that time. You will hear in the US Press report how bad the French or European medical system is because of this political reason or that. The opinions of the US Press were not represented by the Europeans, including European physicians, who I encountered on my trip.

Charles Shirley 5 years, 6 months ago

I just want to say that I did not vote for Obama (I held and my nose and voted for McCain and then Romney--they weren't the best either!) But getting to the meet the President is a once in a lifetime experience and he is our President, regardless of how we voted. I'm glad he visited Lawrence, that's pretty cool. But having said that it is just plain wrong to assume that because I have never voted for O and I do not agree with O more than 10% of time does not mean that I am opposed to him because of his skin color. I oppose his politics, not him as a human being. Don't jump to the flat out wrong conclusion that I dislike O's politics because of his skin color. O's skin color has nothing to do with it. I just don't agree with his very left of center policies and his questionable use of Presidential Executive powers. That has nothing to do with skin color and do not make that numbskull, ignorant assumption about others that disagree with him either. There are legitimate political reasons to disagree with O's politics. He seems like a great father and a good husband and his heart is in the right place, in what he wants for the country, but I do disagree with his policies to get us there. KU should have taught you better than that. Grow up and represent KU better. Geez!

Chris Bailey 5 years, 6 months ago

Standing ovation! Very Very TRUE!! And if we all thought like this (meaning the left and right) we'd get A LOT more accomplished!

Cody Riedy 5 years, 6 months ago

I'm left of center. Obama is not "very left of center" in any context - not in terms of what is considered left in other nations and not even in the context of our own American political history. Obama is what we call a centrist technocrat. He still fundamentally believes that a capitalist system, with a few checks and balances by the federal government, is the best way to lead to prosperity and he still talks about prosperity almost exclusively in terms of economic growth and consumer purchasing power.

Leeben Woo 5 years, 6 months ago

I hate to a start post on a Sports blog with politics,but I guess I'll have to put in my two cents worth in just too keep up. Being a old Codjer I know what it's like to live under a republican administration as well as a democratic one. I'll take the Democratic one every time, simply because they have compassion, and I think you must have compassion to go Govern, and I don't think Republicans know how to spell the word. By the way the post is about The presidents visit with our players and what a wonderful experience that they will never forget. Rock chalk Jayhawk........

Walter Bridges 5 years, 6 months ago

I disagree...both parties have shown compassion to not only fellow Americans but citizens of the world. They have both shown compassion even to our enemies. Keep your two cents and politics elsewhere.

Ronald Maroria 5 years, 6 months ago

Hey Chris, I know of this guy who said premium went up to $2,000 a month and he makes about 50k a month. I know mine went down, how did you do?

Chris Bailey 5 years, 6 months ago

For the record mine went up. A guy making 50K a month doesn't cost anymore to insure than a guy making 5K does he? I'm not at all against taxing the super rich a bit more. I find it funny people like Warren Buffett complain about the system but take full advantage of them. He doesn't have to take all those write offs but sure as heck does. For the record I work I in a hospital and our insurance premium has gone up to over $600/month plus a $6500 deductible per person max out of pocket deductible is $13,000. Could you afford that? I don't know many average people that could. If you meet your deductibles plus premiums you're out close to $20,000 for the year. Five years ago that deductible was $1000 out of pocket was $2000 and the premium was around $400/month. If that's progress I'd hate to see regression.

Michael Leiker 5 years, 6 months ago

Presidents throughout history have tended to have some connection or affinity for sports or sporting activity be it big game hunting, horseback riding, football, baseballl, sailing, etc. I think it's great when leaders recognize the value that sports and sporting endeavors play in our society in building young people's leadership skills, work ethic, perseverance and the like. While I abhor the man's policies and politics, he's a pretty funny guy and I'm glad he's continued the tradition of associating the presidency with athletics when opportunities have presented themselves.

James Hubin 5 years, 6 months ago

Obama is a Republican [1]. The ACA was thought up by the Heritage Foundation and enacted by Governor Mitt Romney in Massachusetts. Obamacare has greatly slowed health inflation [2].

[1] [2]

The Taxed Enough Already Party was developed at a time when taxes were at an all-time low, funded by wealthy republican donors to move the party further to the right [3].


Obama is the smallest government spender since Eisenhower [4].


It appears that maintaining the right vs left war is more important to many conservatives, than realizing that we're all getting hosed by the left and the right, who only seek power and wealth. It's easier to blame Obama, rather than research the facts.

Good conservatives like Bob Dole and Ben Nighthorse Campbell have been replaced with Sam Brownback and Ted Cruz. Luckily, I left the state shortly after Sebelius, because Brownbackistan is not looking to be the trickle down utopia Kansans had hoped would develop under Governor Sam [5].


I am afraid Kansans are willing to follow the far right agenda until the state becomes a complete and total disaster. At which time they will once again elect another moderate republican like Sebelius, Obama, or Clinton to fix the mess they've gotten into, while complaining about what a horrible liberal governor / president they have to endure.

Brett Glover 5 years, 6 months ago

Barack has literally done nothing wrong his entire presidency. If you say otherwise you're racist.

Ashwin Rao 5 years, 6 months ago

He has done a lot of right, and a lot of wrong... and I don't believe saying that is not racist...

James Hubin 5 years, 6 months ago

By your standard, I guess I must be a racist. However, "It appears that maintaining the right vs left war is more important to many conservatives, than realizing that we're all getting hosed by the left and the right, who only seek power and wealth. It's easier to blame Obama, rather than research the facts."

Micky Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, if you want to talk about the facts, and then if you still support Obama after you research those facts... I'll know we're in trouble as a country.

Elias Dunlavy 5 years, 6 months ago

Sorry to interrupt the political debate but ROCK CHALK

Leeben Woo 5 years, 6 months ago

Yes Walter America has shown compassion all of the world if you can call sticking our nose in other peoples business compassion if you can call trying to eliminate The American Indian from the face of the earth compassion, and if you can call the indefensible position they have taken against anybody that is not like them, as if they have the right to be in charge of you compassion, yes there is a lot of compassion in this country I'm just waiting for it to show its face.....

Walter Bridges 5 years, 6 months ago

Sorry Woo but I come here to talk Jayhawk sports. Whatever agenda you have, I could care less.

Forrest Ranjer 5 years, 6 months ago

Jayhawks, Jayhawks, can't we all just get along? No, okay then.

First, the president has a white mother and a black father. I don't like Demopublicans nor do I trust Republicrats. I honestly don't know which side of him to blame for his actions and policies.

Second, as far as the hood comments, be aware that Santa Claus is a black man. Otherwise, how could black children go to sleep on Christmas Eve thinking the enemy was going to come down the chimney in the middle of the night?

Jesus was not white, either. That's just a fact. (What the hell, if we're going to talk politics, we might as well talk religion.) Oh, and God is a woman. If it was a man, women would not have been told to be embarrassed by their appearance and to cover themselves. They'd be running around naked to this day. And that would have been okay.

I discriminate. Over the course of my careers, I have personally decided on or been involved in the hiring of a few thousand individuals. Only one came from a former Big 7, 8, 12 school, now in the SEC. And I fired him after 90 days on principle. Now that, my fellow Hawks, is discrimination.

If anyone here really discriminates, then I imagine you drive no car, since several colors of hands and minorities are involved in building them, rarely visit fast food restaurants because the food may have been handled by multiple races at some point, nor do you dress well, because the only clothes made by the hand of someone you trust would be spun, woven and knitted by your mommy.

If you drive, eat out (which my father couldn't do until a year before I was born, because of racism), or wear clothes not made by your mommy, and claim to be racist, then you are a hypocrite and are probably mind-controlled by someone with less intelligence than you. And that would be the media.

Personally, I don't like the President's policies or politics. But I'd love to be in a room with him and only 15 - 20 other people. The most powerful man in the world. That would be cool. The closet I've ever come was to party with Bob Marley behind the curtains at Hoch Auditorium. However, I did agree with his politics.

Janet Olin 5 years, 6 months ago

For heaven's sake, people, enough already. A sitting president has not visited Lawrence since 1911. This is a sports post. Why can't people just say it's a great opportunity for our players to visit with President Obama and leave it at that? I would love to see the team travel to D.C. this summer to meet with the president, because it would mean they won the national championship, but I am grateful people in Lawrence had a presidential visit and will remember it for a long time. Save your political rants for the Op Ed section.

Janet Olin 5 years, 6 months ago

No, stupidity isn't against the law, and internet sites protect/encourage anonymous rants that wouldn't be aired normally. I'm for freedom of speech, but most adults also know that what may be legal to say is not necessarily always appropriate. Let's stick to sports-related issues here, please. Our players will remember a presidential visit for their entire lives. Let them enjoy it.

Rodney Crain 5 years, 6 months ago

I think you missed my point, but that is ok...

Rodney Crain 5 years, 6 months ago

I know this is not the right time, nor the appropriate place, but does anyone have any comment on how KU will do against TX tomorrow? Anything about the basketball program, the players, the coach? Anything? Bueller, anyone, Bueller?

Just checking...

Sorry about this comment I know it is out of place here.

I think it will be a close game and KU wins by 1.

Walter Bridges 5 years, 6 months ago

You are way out of bounds talking Jayhawk BB on this political forum.

I saw Alexander go head to head w/Turner and did well with Alexander winning the tournament MVP so I think we have a decent shot on picking up a tough road win.

Micky Baker 5 years, 6 months ago

There are some keys for us to win. We need to play with a higher tempo, and we can do that as we have proven the last two games scoring in the 80s. We have to win the battle on the boards, which we can win the boards with energy and hustle. We have to force their bigs to move back and forth and get them out of position so that we can get to the free throw line. If we do these things well, we will win today unless Texas makes contested shots at a high percentage. They're going to be up for this game just like we should be. Everyone wants to end the streak.

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