Sunday, June 5, 2005

Self to determine Giddens’ fate as Jayhawk


J.R. Giddens may not play basketball again at Kansas University -- even if the junior-to-be is cleared of wrongdoing during a recent melee outside a Lawrence bar.

"It is safe to say that J.R.'s return will be my decision. And then after it is my decision, it'll be J.R.'s decision to decide if, in fact, he can live by the terms of his returning," KU coach Bill Self told the Journal-World on Saturday night in an interview from a Las Vegas hospital.

Self was in Nevada visiting the mother and grandmother of KU sophomore-to-be Darnell Jackson. The women suffered injuries in a recent car wreck.

"My decision," Self said, "is to initially decide based on the facts I get (from police investigation), and J.R.'s decision is to decide if he can live by what criteria we will have for him."

Self wasn't prepared to reveal the criteria, though it is easy to imagine the player's life consisting nearly entirely of basketball and study hall if he's allowed to return.

Giddens may not be in town this week for the start of summer school.

"J.R. is at home with his family (in Oklahoma City)," Self said. "We have visited as a group. We will allow J.R. to be treated for rehab (on right calf, which had an artery slashed) when he is well enough for that to occur. But at this point in time there has been no official decision made on any penalty or his membership with our basketball program.

"We are still waiting for the police investigation to conclude, and commenting further than that would be probably unwise with only holding 50 percent of the information at best."

Self is not dismayed the police investigation is ongoing.

"I'm not upset with the process. I'm disappointed we're dealing with this. I understand these things take time," he said.

¢ Jackson's relatives: Jackson's mother and grandmother suffered severe injuries, including broken bones, in the car wreck in Vegas. The two were visiting a family member.

"Shawn (Darnell's mom) is doing well, and her mother is stable," Self said.

Jackson's grandmother is in an intensive-care unit.

"Both will have an extensive rehab period. It's hard for Shawn to get comfortable right now," Self said.

Darnell Jackson has made one trip to Vegas to visit his relatives.

"It puts so many things in perspective," Self said. "Both are tough and have great attitudes. It was a severe enough accident that it was life-threatening. Certainly the most important thing is they survived and now hopefully soon will be able to start a rehab process."

Las Vegas media sources indicate one person in the other car died, and the other two passengers remain hospitalized.

¢ Facial hair: Self took advantage of the long Memorial Day weekend to experiment with some facial hair.

"I didn't shave for four days and said, 'I'll see what it looks like having a beard.' I had more grays than I thought I would," quipped Self, who shaved the growth after six days. "No, it wasn't stress or anything. I just didn't shave a couple days."

¢ Kleinmann cited: KU red-shirt freshman Matt Kleinmann in April was cited by police for being a minor in possession of alcohol.

"Matt is a good person, usually responsible," Self said. "On this occasion he did not represent himself and our program in a positive light. We have dealt with it accordingly. We have talked about the relationship he'll have with us (in future)."

Self does not publicize his disciplinary actions against players.

¢ Simien looking good: Wayne Simien's NBA Draft stock is rising after ESPN Insider revealed the ex-KU forward measured in at 6-foot-8 without shoes and 6-9 with shoes. It'd been rumored he was 6-7 at best. Simien, who Insider projects as a top 20 pick, will undergo a physical exam at this week's NBA Draft camp in Chicago. Aaron Miles and Keith Langford will participate in games at the camp as well as taking physicals.

¢ Henry to learn fate: C.J. Henry, who recently orally committed to play basketball at KU, will find out Tuesday where he'll be selected in the major league baseball draft. Baseball America lists Henry a top 20 prospect, comparing him to Vernon Wells of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Henry has said he likely would not go to college if he was tapped in the first three rounds. A pro team could allow him to play both pro baseball and college hoops, though unlikely, if Henry receives a big signing bonus.

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