Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Coaches Self, Gill challenge KU freshmen

Kansas men’s basketball coach Bill Self, left, and football coach Turner Gill were on hand for Traditions Night on Monday at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas men’s basketball coach Bill Self, left, and football coach Turner Gill were on hand for Traditions Night on Monday at Memorial Stadium.


Kansas University’s eighth-year basketball coach and first-year football coach exited Memorial Stadium together Monday night after speaking to several thousand KU freshmen and transfers on hand for Traditions Night.

As they headed to a southwest exit, Bill Self and Turner Gill marveled at the size and clarity of KU’s new videoboard and discussed the relative good health of Gill’s inaugural Jayhawk team and enthusiasm for the 2010 campaign, which opens with a 6 p.m. home game Sept. 4 against North Dakota State.

“Bill and I ... obviously we are buddies, we are colleagues, and we know we represent the greatest university in the United States of America, the University of Kansas,” Gill said, revving up an already-enthusiastic crowd.

Gill asked the new KU students for their support.

“We want to hear your excitement. We want to hear your energy. We want to hear your enthusiasm at the beginning of the game and the middle of the game and also at the end of the game,” Gill said to loud applause — most of these future fans unaware that students left in droves at halftime of games during the 2009 season.

In a video, senior defensive end Jake Laptad asked the fans to take part in a “new tradition” on kickoffs.

The student fans have yelled a vulgar cheer from the movie “The Waterboy” in the past.

“On kickoffs in Memorial Stadium this fall, let’s show the world why KU has the best fans and traditions of any college campus in the nation,” Laptad said on the big screen. “Let’s greet every kickoff this fall with the most recognizable college chant in the world. We are asking all fans in Memorial Stadium to join us during kickoffs in chanting, ‘Rock Chalk Jayhawk, KU.’”

Go to class: Self challenged the first-year students.

“Unfortunately some of you that are here tonight may not be here at this time next year,” he said, aware many freshmen flunk out, “but I will tell you this. There is a direct correlation between going to class and making good grades. Get your butts to class, all right? You’ll make better grades. Look out for each other. You should buddy up. You should be smart. Take care of each other. All right?”

Good team: One student yelled, “Bill you’re the man!’’ as Self headed to his car. Self has the chance to be a mighty popular coach again this season.

“I think we have a chance to be really good, but it’s too early. We’ve not had a chance to start working out yet,” said Self, who will begin individual drills with players Monday. Players — who worked in the weight room while in town in July for summer school — will resume lifting weights with the start of classes Thursday.

“I’m excited for football season, and I’m just excited to feel the energy back in town. I think this will be a fun year for us, selfishly. I think we’ve got a lot to look forward to from a basketball standpoint.”

Selby talk: Self said there’s no update on the eligibility of freshman point guard Josh Selby. The NCAA is looking into a relationship between the Baltimore native and his mentor, Robert Frazier, who is Carmelo Anthony’s business manager.

“Josh is here, and I don’t think we’ll get an answer on that situation totally, maybe for a while,” Self said. “I don’t feel bad about it at all. We’re just hopeful that can be resolved very soon. I know he’s here and we’re hopeful we can get that past us. We plan on him being in class Thursday.”

It could be awhile before Selby is cleared to play in games. Last year, the NCAA didn’t render a decision on Kentucky freshman John Wall’s eligibility until Oct. 30. Wall ultimately was suspended two games and had to pay back $788 worth of travel expenses incurred on unofficial campus visits his junior year of high school, following an investigation into his relationship with his former AAU coach, Brian Clifton.

Jordan camp: Self is looking forward to an upcoming stint as a coach at Michael Jordan’s Fantasy Camp, which runs Wednesday through Saturday in Las Vegas.

“I’ll actually coach the adults, just like you would if they are on your (college) team,” Self said, noting Hall of Famer Jordan is in attendance for the camp.

No more beard: Self was clean-shaven for Monday’s appearance at Traditions Night. He’d grown a beard the last week or so as he did last year at this time.

“I grew it over vacation. It was probably better,” he kidded referring to this year’s beard compared to last year’s.

Recruiting: KU is no longer in the running for Jabari Brown, a 6-5 senior guard from Oakland (Calif.) High, reports. Washington is considered Brown’s leader.

Two of Brown’s Oakland Soldiers teammates — Josiah Turner, a 6-3 senior guard from Sacramento (Calif.) High and Nick Johnson, a 6-2 senior guard from Findlay Prep High in Henderson, Nev. — will be making campus visits to KU this semester. ... Travis Jorgenson, a 5-10 sophomore point guard from Rock Bridge High in Columbia, Mo., will make an unofficial recruiting visit to KU for the Oct. 15 Late Night in the Phog, reports.


David Lara 12 years ago

A kid from Columbia, MO? Coming for a visit? Eat it tiggers!!!!

Jacobpaul81 12 years ago

It kills me how ridiculous some of you sports writers are sometimes... especially when you cover the same university week in and week out. If you actually knew anything, you wouldn't write: "he said, aware many freshmen flunk out"

Kansas has an 82% freshman retention rate. That's exceptionally high Mr. Bedore. The public university I work for is constantly fighting to stay above 60%. Kansas has ranked amongst the top 35 public universities for my 30 year lifetime. Yes, many freshmen will flunk out. Happens at every school. They also transfer, drop out, die, etc. Thats all competing over 18% of the freshmen pie at Kansas. So saying "aware many freshman would flunk out" seems pretty ignorant and quite frankly rather insulting on your part. Maybe 8-10% of the Kansas Freshman Student body flunk out.

DevilHawk 12 years ago

Using your figures:

Although an 18% dropout/transfer rate may be low relative to other schools, it still is a statistically significant percentage and applies to nearly 1 in 5 freshmen.

Jeff Lummis 12 years ago

As one of about 10 Rock Bridge Grads who are also Jayhawk Fans. It's great to hear a kid from my Alma Mater is considering KU.

kvskubball 12 years ago

I hope he still feels that way after his first year of coaching here! I hope everyone gets on board and supports the football program and it's new coach!

hawk316 12 years ago

Hey! I like Jake Laptad's suggestion for the new yell during kickoffs. I mean, it makes perfect sense when you think about it. As Jake pointed out, "rock chalk Jayhawk, KU" is one of the most recognizable college chants in the nation. It's a fabulous tradition in Allen Fieldhouse. Why not adapt it for this purpose, as well?

It definitely exudes much more class than the alternative. I vote class over crass.

Brad Miller 12 years ago

Class, pride, tradition. Outstanding idea!

Tony Bandle 12 years ago

Jabari Brown must have seen a tape of Ben McLemore.

Rivals .com had KU at high interest yesterday, now we're out of it. One thing about recruiting, it ain't over until it's over. { Or in Calipari's case, until the check clears!!!}

Nino Jackson...come on down!!

Josiah Turner is still a major get for HCBS...I'm sure Bill is taking nothing for granted.

It seems we hear time and time again how high school stars who are friends pledge to stay together to the next level.....and time and time again it rarely happens.

Is it against NCAA rules for the LJWorld to report on the summer progress of the current roster?

Some important questions include:

If the porn starlet has been made an honorary cheerleader ala UK's Ashley Judd? Is Tyrell Reed's sister still the team manager? Has the little red-heared girl from Texas transferred to Kansas?

We need these and many other critical questions I'm sure that many other posters on this site have to be answered!!!!!!!

jaybate 12 years ago

"Equal Signs"

“Bill and I ... obviously we are buddies..." = I'd be a fool not to try to ride the coat tails of the most popular man in Kansas sports.

"There is a direct correlation between going to class and making good grades." = I'm putting this as simply as I can, because person stupid enough not to go to class would not possibly grasp a more sophisticated exposition.

"I’m just excited to feel the energy back in town." = Nothing like tanned, nubile coeds and keggers to get the blood pumping again.

"...I don’t think we’ll get an answer on that situation totally, maybe for a while..." = Even Einstein couldn't sort this mess out.

"“I grew it [a beard] over vacation." = Oral Roberts taught me a long time ago that guys in the spotlight have got to let their hair down, when they can, or they'll go crazy and start buying homes in Bel Air and going to Hef's place, during the season.

okiedave 12 years ago

My theory is that about 10% of any population group is low class. The K.U. student body is no exception. We need to adjust to the fact that this 10% will continue with low class acts and slogans, even though the 90% adopt the cheer suggested by Laptad. Laptad is a class act and comes from a class family. The 90% simply needs to ingnore the10% and drown them out.

lee3022 12 years ago

Given that MU runs 90% low class, doesn't the averages drop KU to below 10%? Especially as KSU sucks up most of the knuckleheads from the other side?

Tony Bandle 12 years ago

I sugggest with each kick-off we all chant, "Frendo Suum Caput Capilis"!!!!

That's Latin for "Crush Their Heads."

KU_FanSince75 12 years ago

Travis Jorgenson, a 5-10 sophomore from Columbia, Missouri, maiking a visit to KU? Wow! This could be interesting!!!!!!!!!

Matt Hothan 12 years ago

I have been a season ticket holder now for seven years. Each year I hope and hope that the student section would grow up. It hasnt happened yet. We will see if they give Turner Gill any respect this year. I have been to a lot of football games at other schools. At every one of them the students were fantastic. Classy cheers and stayed for the whole game. Sorry KU students, but you are not even close to being great fans. You stink, when it comes to football. Its like you dont know how to be great fans. Which is hard to understand, because in Basketball, you are great fans. What gives? Show coach Gill the same respect you give coach Self.. Show some class..And stay for the whole game..

DevilHawk 12 years ago

Certainly, a "true fan" should stay and watch the game from beginning to end regardless of the score.


  • If you are up by 20+ at halftime, then you would like to believe that the team isn't going to give up that lead and allow the opponent to win. Therefore, you leave before everyone leaves and you follow the rest of the game to make sure that the team actually won.

  • If you are down by 20+ at halftime, then you tend to give credit to the opponent for shutting down your team and leave in order to move on with your weekend. This doesn't apply as much when the opponent is a much worse team or when the team has shown that it is extremely explosive.

KUBlue0809 12 years ago

Who do you think has better calves? Bill or Turner?

Martin Rosenblum 12 years ago

Do either one of these men look like farmers?

You better be talking about cattle and not their legs! Talk about a disjointed comment!

Benjamin Clay Jones 12 years ago

Unfortunate that the Journal-World chose not to identify Jim Carothers in the photo cutline (the man to the left of Self). Carothers has been an important figure at KU for decades, and his speech to the freshman class is an integral part of Traditions Night. Shame on the J-W for not acknowledging him in the cutline!

kubball99 12 years ago

My guess is Nick Johnson from Findlay Prep will not be making his visit to KU as he just gave a verbal commitment to Arizona...

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