Saturday, July 16, 2005

Boschee received two gifts


Jeff Boschee says, yes, he received a pair of graduation gifts from boosters after leaving Kansas University in 2002.

He's not hiding the fact. In fact, he's proud of it.

"It was nothing big, a card saying congratulations and some money. I don't remember it being a lot," said former KU guard Boschee. "I think it's harmless, a nice gesture."

KU reported boosters giving outgoing seniors graduation gifts in a report of possible NCAA violations to the NCAA on Friday.

"Somebody is getting out of school trying to make a living and gets a graduation gift and it's a violation? If that's the case, I think it's ridiculous," Boschee said. "The NCAA needs to chill out a little. ... The NCAA is just a cult."

Boschee -- he said he picked up a card sent from booster Dana Anderson in his KU mailbox in June of 2002 after working at his job cleaning pools in Lawrence -- is upset that boosters providing gifts of $50 to $400 is a violation, though likely a "secondary" one.

"My time at KU is over. I'm an alumni of KU. It's harmless giving a card to somebody trying to get started making a living. The NCAA makes billions of dollars and we athletes don't make a cent and they get on us for getting a check for $300 as a graduation gift?"

Boschee said booster Bernie Morgan and Morgan's wife took him to dinner and a Royals game the summer after his senior year. He threw out the first ball at the game.

"To say that's a violation is stupid. It has nothing to do with basketball. It has nothing to do with coming to school. It's congratulations on leaving school," Boschee said, laughing at the fact no booster can give a player a gift from the time he enrolls at school until the time he dies.

"What if Danny Manning gives me $10? Do we get put on probation? It's a joke," he said.

¢ Self's take: KU coach Bill Self on Friday assessed no blame for the current situation -- not to boosters who provided gifts to graduating seniors, not to the players, not to former KU coach Roy Williams.

"I hate that we are dealing with this, but these things happen. I believe these things to be unintentional," Self told the Journal-World from the recruiting trail.

"I believe wholeheartedly this was not done with any intention of hurting the program or trying to do anything outside what the rules stated. Unfortunately in our business there are things that do occur and sometimes you don't like what does occur and have to deal with it. I'm sure there was no ill intent by all the parties involved."

Self said this should not hurt recruiting. "I'm sure there will be some things we'll have to say to clarify the situation, but that's it. I just want to say I can't be more excited about this upcoming season."

¢ Wright has sore foot: Guard Julian Wright has been wearing a boot on his left foot while walking on campus. He's missed a few days of pick-up action but thinks he'll be playing ball again by next Wednesday. He does not have a stress fracture.


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