Originally published June 3, 2008 at 10:46a.m., updated June 3, 2008 at 11:39a.m.

President Bush welcomes Jayhawks to the White House

Kansas' 2008 NCAA national championship team is greeted at the White House by President Bush.


Bill Self at the White House

KU men's basketball head coach Bill Self and the Jayhawks talk about the championship team's trip to Washington, D.C. and the visit to the White House.

Audio clip

Bush addresses the Jayhawks

— President Bush welcomed the national champion Kansas University men's basketball team to the White House in a brief ceremony Tuesday at the Rose Garden.

Speaking to a large group that included KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway, senators Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts, congressmen Jerry Moran and Dennis Moore and former senator Bob Dole, Bush gave nod to several KU traditions, such as Waving the Wheat and the Rock Chalk chant.

"I know you've got to be excited about winning an incredibly tough tournament," he said. "Your fans are excited, and I'm excited to welcome you to the Rose Garden. It's a big deal as far as I'm concerned to welcome you to the Rose Garden."

The president offered a brief recap of the season, including an early victory over Yale, Bush's alma mater.

"I don't know how you did it, but you pulled it off," he joked. "It was a great victory."

He lauded coach Bill Self, calling him "one of the finest coaches in the land."

And he called attention to the Jayhawks' penchant for sharing the wealth.

"More than one player, Americans will remember the way you played as a team," he said.


flipborder02 14 years, 6 months ago

Hey actorman you're just like my little sister a young LIB that has no idea what they are talking about. I think you should shut your mouth about things like the elections were stolen please you LIBs make up some of the funniest things.

Phillbert 14 years, 6 months ago

Sebelius and the Legislature had already had them over to the Statehouse - this was probably geared toward federal officials so they could get their photos taken with the Jayhawks too.

rawkhawk 14 years, 6 months ago

Thanks jahoward77 for the transcript and to most of the posters for keeping politics out of this. This was a real honor for the 'Hawks!Heres to more visits to the White House in years to come!

RckChalkJeff 14 years, 6 months ago

The boys all look nice in the suits. Mempiss would have shown up in warm ups, and sideways ball caps on.

Oldehawk 14 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for the full trancript. Doesn't matter if you like the president or not. A great honor.

LAJayhawk 14 years, 6 months ago

melrank-Which DVD copy do you have (if there are different ones)? I picked up the one through -- the athletic depts shop -- and the final four games are just highlights. They are cut down to like 25 to 30 minutes. Curious if there is a full version out there of the semis. Also, I have the National Championship on my DVR still in high def, but the DVD is not. Kind of disappointing. Maybe in a few years CBS will put it on Blu-Ray...Btw, I watched the UNC game the other day, and found myself also cheering out loud. I actually started yelling at the refs for a few bad calls. My wife was in the other room... I pretty sure she now thinks I'm crazy. It rocked!I love being National Champions.

RockchalkNup 14 years, 6 months ago

Great post jahoward77.Its great to have the final transcript up for reading.

jayhawktownie 14 years, 6 months ago

disagreeing with a liberal doesn't a moron make...however,thinking that GWB is anything other than an incompetent snake who has done this country irreparable harm certainly does.

flipborder02 14 years, 6 months ago

Hey actorman he is still the president of the usa and yes he has made some mistakes but all im saying is we should show him some respect

flipborder02 14 years, 6 months ago

Good job KU it's been fun watching you this year.

Chris Weaver 14 years, 6 months ago

mario chalmers for presidentwrite him in folks

jahoward77 14 years, 6 months ago

This 2008 team will be remembered a little differently. More than any one player, Americans will remember the way you played as a team. They'll remember stifling defense. They'll remember the way seven different players led your team in scoring during the course of the season. Teamwork is a testament to the leadership of six seniors. It's a testament, as well, to a coach. Bill Self has proven himself to be one of the finest coaches in the land. And I'm sure -- (applause) -- and I am sure KU fans are delighted to know that he's going to keep coming back for a while. (Applause.) Good move, Chancellor, good move. (Laughter.) The greatest testament to this team is also the character it showed not only on the court, but off. It turns out -- I often say this when I welcome championship teams here to the White House, but character matters a lot in order to become a champion. This is a team that when teammates lost loved ones, they had players-only meetings to help to rally their friends through a difficult time. It's a team that reached out to others in need. Coach Self set the example by launching a foundation to help children in Lawrence build healthier and more wholesome lives. During the holiday, players -- players purchased gifts for needy families. You signed hundreds of balls for charity auctions. You ran free basketball clinics for children. And I'm very thankful that you went to Walter Reed to spend time with America's real heroes, our courageous wounded warriors. (Applause.) I wish those of you going to pro-ball all the very best. Some of us are going to be out of work soon; we may be looking for loans. (Laughter.) I welcome you to the White House. Good luck next season. And may God bless you all. (Applause.) END 10:13 A.M. EDT

SuperHawk211 14 years, 6 months ago

Awesome speech! I'm very proud to see that Jayhawk jersey with Bush on the back. No doubt he will be hanging that in his house for many years to come. All the players and coaches looked very happy and honored to be there... which they should be. You don't have to like the President to respect the office and the history behind it. By the way, I noticed how anyone who disagrees with the liberals here are immediately insulted and called morons. Curse anyone who disagrees with you right? Whether you like it or not he is your President. If you are a U.S. citizen he is your President. You can deny it all you want.. it doesn't matter.

not_important 14 years, 6 months ago

Thank you adamjhwkfan. That is what I was afraid of. I hope his mom isn't having any more problems. Unfortunate that with all the things he's had to go through, he has to miss this trip.

tis4tim 14 years, 6 months ago

Well said, SuperHawk...but what do I know? I'm just a moron :D

bringheatwavewheat 14 years, 6 months ago

If you want to talk politics, go to a different forum. Your opinion's are most likely ignorant and unwanted. Rock Chalk Jayhawk, glad to see them recognized.

fundamental 14 years, 6 months ago

Thanks jahoward77!That was much more informative than the article. Well done.

jahoward77 14 years, 6 months ago

Terrible work LJW. Try this:President Bush Welcomes 2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Champion Kansas Jayhawks to the White House Rose Garden 10:06 A.M. EDT THE PRESIDENT: Please sit down. Welcome. It's an honor to welcome the 2008 NCAA Men's Basketball champs, the Kansas Jayhawks. (Applause.) So when Kansas fans come to the Rose Garden, they don't come to admire the flowers. (Laughter.) They come to "wave the wheat." (Applause.) I just wish Big Jay and Baby Jay could have come with you. Barney was looking forward to meeting them. (Laughter.) I want to congratulate this team. You brought new glory to one of our nation's most storied basketball programs, and you gave your fans all across America one more reason to chant: Rock Chalk, Jayhawk! (Applause.) I appreciate Bob Hemenway, the Chancellor, and his wife Leah. Thanks for coming. Head Coach Bill Self, Cindy, daughter Lauren, and son Tyler -- we're sure glad you all are here. I called Coach after the championship -- I think I might have woke you up. COACH SELF: By a hair. (Laughter.) THE PRESIDENT: Yes. I said, "Would you like to come to the White House? He said, "When?" (Laughter.) And I'm glad you're here, Coach, and congratulations. I want to thank all the folks who represent KU -- the personnel, coaches and players.Proud to welcome the United States Senators from Kansas -- Senator Pat Roberts, honored you're here. (Applause.) KU Law School alum, Senator Brownback -- Sam Brownback -- and Mary, who happened to be a KU undergrad and Law School. (Applause.) KU undergrad and Law School Jerry Moran. (Applause.) KU undergrad alums, Dennis Moore and Stephanie -- thank you all for coming. (Applause.) Doug Lamborn from the great state of Colorado, KU undergrad and Law School alum. (Applause.) Senator Bob Dole, one of the great KU citizens -- (applause.)

jahoward77 14 years, 6 months ago

This team got off to an incredibly fast start -- they won their first 20 games. They managed to beat Yale, my alma mater. (Laughter.) I'm not sure how you did it, but nevertheless -- (laughter) -- it was a great victory. You won the Big Twelve Title. You were the number one seed in the Midwest Region. Blew through the competition early, and then you won a thriller against Davidson, which propelled you to the Final Four in San Antonio, Texas. By the way, to my fellow Texans on the team, nice to see you. (Laughter.) The interesting thing about the tournament in San Antonio was that all number one seeds made it to the Final Four. That's never happened before. It meant the competition was pretty tough. And this championship team gave America an unforgettable show -- really did. In the semifinal match-up against North Carolina, you took a big lead and you held on. It was a team effort, but you got to note that Brandon Rush did score 25 points in the game. (Laughter.) In the finals, you made a great comeback against Memphis. You overcame a nine-point deficit. Mario Chalmers, of course, hit the three-pointer to send you into overtime. (Applause.) The guy is known as Super Mario. (Laughter.) Then he became known as MVP. (Laughter.) I know you got to be excited about winning an incredibly tough tournament. And your fans are excited, and I'm excited to welcome you to the Rose Garden. It's a big deal, as far as I'm concerned, to welcome KU to the Rose Garden. (Applause.) Most of the players on this team have little or no memory of the last time Kansas won a national title, which would be 1988. As a matter of fact, I'm sure some of the players weren't even born yet. It's really hard to envision when you're an old guy like me and Roberts. (Laughter.) The 1988 team became known as "Danny and the Miracles." And Danny Manning, welcome back to the White House. (Applause.)

actorman 14 years, 6 months ago

flipborder, you're a complete moron. Bush is not MY president; in fact he isn't anyone's president considering that he stole both elections.All that being said, it was a nice speech.

Eliott Reeder 14 years, 6 months ago

I think maybe America should change course a little, get away from hiring stand-up comedians as president. I did enjoy it, though, best speech Bush ever made.

sevenyearhawk 14 years, 6 months ago

The other LJW story says:"Several players - like Darrell Arthur, Darnell Jackson, Sasha Kaun, Russell Robinson and Brandon Rush - scattered in preparation for the upcoming NBA Draft. None of those players, nor Brady Morningstar, took the team charter to D.C. on Monday"But everyone but Darnell were expected to be there ...

melrank 14 years, 6 months ago

PS - just got my copy of the DVD with the Final Four on it. Of course, I stayed up half the night watching it. I still found myself jumping up and down, yelling at the TV about 50 times.National Champs - that's soooooo sweet!

actorman 14 years, 6 months ago

To those of you who say he is the president of all citizens and it's an honor for the team and we should just all shut up about it, I ask you this: if you knew for a FACT that both elections had been stolen, would that make a difference? Is someone simply our president no matter HOW they got there? And should players be "honored" no matter what kind of lying, thieving bastard wants to get a photo op with them? Certainly even the "conservative whackos" know that this "president" has sanctioned torture. Should someone be simply "honored" to get his photo taken with someone who intentionally causes irreparable harm to other human beings? This is not a case of liberal vs. conservative, right vs. left, or politics in a place where it shouldn't be discussed. It's about an evil man and his evil cronies, all of whom should be spending countless years in jail, masquerading as our "leader." Go ahead and call me a liberal whacko all you want. Heaven forbid anyone let facts get in the way of name-calling. But where do you draw the line? Would it be okay if Stalin were our president? Hitler? Mussolini? Would you then say that people should be honored and should respect the office? Where do you draw the line, because this "president" isn't far away from those others.

flipborder02 14 years, 6 months ago

Come ESU Bush is your president you can't be saying that kind of stuff just think don't type it. Besides I would rather have Bush as a president then Obama or that one girl. That's just my way of looking at it.

LAJayhawk 14 years, 6 months ago

Mel, thanks.jujubean,My agency currently has a digital verison of my resume on (and perhaps other places I'm not aware of) complete with clips from my reel. My name is not well known, which is the case with about 99% of working actors, but perhaps you can figure out who I am by my KU degree listed under my training. I am a member of several unions including SAG, AFTRA, Equity, and WGA. Anything else you wish to know? Or were you just simply being disrespectful? You clearly know nothing about this business, so I suggest you refrain from commenting on it as it will undoubtedly make you look foolish. Additionally, that conversation was between rcaltrider and myself. It had nothing at all to do with you and has already been resolved. Yet another way you have made yourself appear foolish.Now, care to share YOUR resume with us? --"it's refreshing to see some class displayed." --Ironically, we are still waiting to see that from you.

JayCeph 14 years, 6 months ago

Mario looks like he's wearing Darnell's suit. Funny...Champs!! Wa-hoo!!

hometownhawk 14 years, 6 months ago

Please no one take the bait from halogenlamps. Absolutely no need to start down that path again.

not_important 14 years, 6 months ago

I noticed Darnell was not in the picture with the whole team. Anyone know where he was at?I hope he didn't drink about 15 Dr. Peppers and had to go pee. But seriously, I'm hoping it was because he's working out for some team so he makes a roster somewhere.

Mike Blur 14 years, 6 months ago

I haven't yet seen Bush wearing a Jayhawk logo--and I don't ever want to see it.I wouldn't cross the street to slap that guy in the face.

adamjhwkfan 14 years, 6 months ago

Darnell was in OK for personal reasons I read

Gordon Penny 14 years, 6 months ago

Bush is such a dolt. I guess no one ever said he was a competent speaker.

14 years, 6 months ago

KU won the 2008 National Championship!!Woo Hoo!!At least that's something great we can all agree upon (except for Soobawls, APD, and nicka of course).

rcaltrider 14 years, 6 months ago

melrank--Yes we should have called a timeout! Bill Self needs to learn how to manage the end of games better if he is ever going to be a top notch coach!! (I'm sure most of you could see the tongue-in-cheek, but for those who don't...relax, it was sarcasm!)eastTXjayhawk--Nice! :)

eastTXjayhawk 14 years, 6 months ago

i'm playing here all week...all ages show at 7:30, adults only at 10

Drew Bender 14 years, 6 months ago

Did anybody notice Bush trying to dribble the ball that was signed by the whole team??? WTF???

rcaltrider 14 years, 6 months ago

Just to clarify, I am not calling all liberals whacko's so save the retorts. I'm just calling out the ones who get on here and talk about stolen elections and slapping the President and calling him a moron. This is not the place and it is ridiculous frankly a bit embarrassing. I am not trying to start a political discussion because this is not the forum for that. This is about the Jayhawks and their being honored at by the President at the White House. And no matter who that President may be, it is an honor and they should feel proud. Congrats again 'Hawks!

Toto_the_great 14 years, 6 months ago

www.bushorchimp.comBut it would still be cool to meet the president. And I bet he would have been one fun SOB to hang with back in the day.

Whetter 14 years, 6 months ago

Hey guys...the entire transcript is, and has always been, on the site as an audio clip. Before you rip the people who work hard to give you KU specific content as quickly as possible, use the links provided. Also, the audio is provided because it's a better way to get the story. You can actually here the President cracking jokes. Comments are great, but telling people who work hard around here they do a terrible job is unnecessary.

LAJayhawk 14 years, 6 months ago

rcaltrider,I'm glad you clarified yourself, but as a working actor in Los Angeles, I find the phrase "Not exactly surprising that someone with the tag "actorman" is a liberal whacko talking about stolen elections..." a rather insulting one. This is the exact blind vitriol that I posted about above. You know nothing of my political beliefs or general character, yet through your anger toward actorman, you placed me in your neat little category of "liberal whacko" simply based on the fact that I work in a particular field and live in a particular area. I do not believe there is any other way to describe that action other than close minded.If you do truly wish to honor the Jayhawks and not start a political mud fight, then I suggest you rise above the negativity of those so-called "liberal whackos" instead of engaging in it yourself. If you lower yourself to that level, then calling it "ridiculous" and "a bit embarrassing" becomes hypocritical.I apologize to the rest of you, and I hope you will forgive me for getting off the article topic.

melrank 14 years, 6 months ago

I remember when the big debate was whether we should have called a timeout at the end of the OSU game. Those were the days.

rcaltrider 14 years, 6 months ago

Not exactly surprising that someone with the tag "actorman" is a liberal whacko talking about stolen elections is it? Pathetic! I'm sure some of the players and/or staff have their own personal feelings towards The President that may not be favorable. But, luckily for them and for us they were raised properly and taught properly by the coaching staff to keep their personal feelings personal and show gratitude and respect for the honor of being invited to the White House. Congrats Hawks for representing your school, your family, your fans, and yourselves in a classy manner. Maybe some on here could learn a thing or two from your actions.

frompekka2sasha 14 years, 6 months ago

jayhawktownie and others- Way to ruin another celebration for KU basketball. Pathetic.

melrank 14 years, 6 months ago

rc - yes, I got the sarcasm and gave a chuckle. Nice work. But, it was funny how Bill took a beating over NOT calling a time out at the end of that game when we ran the EXACT same play for Mario and we didn't make it. Gosh, it's good to be an arm chair QB.LA - I got the same one and was a little disappointed, also. Quality was not so great and there was too much deleted. Not sure if better DVDs are available. My wife shares the same sentiments as yours apparently. She thinks I'm an idiot for yelling during a game that was played two months ago.Tex - stalin comment was very funny. I hope you didn't offend any communists!

rcaltrider 14 years, 6 months ago

LAJayhawk--This is the last I'm going to comment on this because this is a bit of a stupid discussion to be having on a sports website. I apologize if you were offended by the comment, I was not intending to offend you. I'm not sure that I exactly placed you into a certain category by what I said about actorman and the other children taking shots at the President in the wrong forum. But regardless, that is how you perceived my comments so I am sorry if they came off to you that way and you were offended.

LAJayhawk 14 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for the transcript jahoward77. That was actually a great speech... can't believe I just typed that.I'm surprised Gov. Sebelius isn't there. She is a KU alum, correct? I'm guessing she couldn't fit it into her schedule.Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

LAJayhawk 14 years, 6 months ago

Phillbert-That seems logical, thanks.SuperHawk211-It seems to me the vitriol exists on both sides. While trying not to sound superior, I think there is a dogmatic rhetoric that borders on propaganda from both the far left and right in people supposedly representing "media" in this country that flies in the face of the democratic process. I say that because both "congregations" are filled with those who blindly follow the political doctrine without actually processing the information for themselves. And so we are left with individuals who are hated simply for the political symbol which follows his or her name. I have my opinions about the current administration, but I do believe you are absolutely correct in feeling that the Office of the President deserves a level of respect, whether or not you believe the man (or perhaps someday woman) does. I'm sure our players and coaching staff offered nothing less, regardless of their political beliefs.I apologize for the political comment. I know it drives a lot of you nuts, and I tried to refrain as long as I could.Rock Chalk to you all.

LAJayhawk 14 years, 6 months ago

rcaltrider- I appreciate the explanation, and I accept your intended interpretation. I look forward to future discussions of Jayhawk athletics.And to all of my fellow Jayhawks, I would like to echo txrockchalk: We are national champions.Rock Chalk Jayhawk.

eastTXjayhawk 14 years, 6 months ago

i hear Stalin had a wicked crossover dribble

Dan Cook 14 years, 6 months ago

Actorman is lost. He must think he's on Larry King and can parlay his way into a paycheck. Unfortunately for him, he's a nut and everyone but him knows it.As for LA Jayhawk -- a rational man he seems. Though I love the whole "... as a working actor I'm offended" thing. Care to share with us your resume? If not, stick to KU sports. If so, get it on.We are national champs and we went to the White House. I don't care who the f-ing President is, he/she/it deserves the respect of invited guests and our guys were superb in their behavior. Ever been to the White House? If not, you have no idea what the hell you're talking about when you downgrade the experience, regardless of whatever politics you think you own.Thank you to the rational and logical posters on this forum. I visit infrequently and it's refreshing to see some class displayed.Truly yours,Defending National Champion

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