Thursday, September 8, 2011

Kansas’ Self: It’s ‘crucial time’

Basketball coach remains optimistic about KU's future

Kansas head coach Bill Self smiles as he listens to forward Mario Little's senior speech following the Jayhawks' 64-51 win over Texas A&M on Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas head coach Bill Self smiles as he listens to forward Mario Little's senior speech following the Jayhawks' 64-51 win over Texas A&M on Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Bill Self gave a simple, direct, forceful answer when asked if the uncertainty surrounding conference realignment is something that might someday drive him out of college athletics.

“No. No ... because everybody adjusts,” Self, Kansas University’s ninth-year basketball coach, said Wednesday in an interview with the Journal-World.

“There could be some nervous moments, but we are going to be fine. I really believe that. I have confidence in our leadership. I have confidence in our chancellor. I have confidence in our athletic director. This isn’t going to keep people from watching TV. This isn’t going to keep people from getting excited about the BCS bowls. This isn’t going to keep people from being excited about the NCAA championship.

“This won’t keep people from getting excited,” Self added, “but there could be a lot of frustration and rough times to get to the point where everybody is happy about it. I don’t think it is going to put a damper on coaches’ zest for coaching and players’ zest for playing.”

Self did not wish to discuss specifics about the future of the Big 12: “Our chancellor and athletic director should be the only ones who talk about specifics,” he said.

But Self acknowledged, “this is a crucial time regarding college athletics in the world of which we have grown to know it.

“The television, the networking rights, all these things are to the point where they appear to be unbelievable factors in realignment and changing the scope of college athletics, natural rivalries and certainly in kids traveling great distances — not in their geographical range — in order to participate.”

Self said the move toward superconferences could be inconvenient for student-athletes and fans.

“You have athletes that potentially could miss three days of school a week when they are missing one day of school a week the way it is now,” Self said. “You want to always put these student-athletes in the best position to graduate. It will force schools to step up their academic support staff even more so than what we are doing now. Kids will miss a lot more school. Maybe there are studies they will not miss as much school. It appears to me it’d be very difficult to travel halfway across the country and not miss more school especially in non-revenue-type sports that don’t charter.

“Fans will be affected in a great way if certain things happen. You go from wanting to support your team by getting in a car to travel to supporting your team in an airplane to travel. I don’t think people are making decisions on what fans want.”

As far as the Big 12, Self said he did not begrudge Texas its new Longhorn Network, one that apparently angered Texas A&M; enough that the Aggies applied for admission to the SEC.

“We set the rules. I don’t blame anybody,” Self said. “Everybody looks out for the best interest of their institution, which they should. Hopefully what’s in the best interest of the institution is also in the best interest of the masses. That’s what we have to work on. Everybody is not going to be totally in camp with every decision that’s made. We understand that. Some schools carry a different weight than other schools when it comes to exposure. We understand that. When ESPN is offering, ‘You could make this amount of money if you do this,’ we can understand because we are all in the business of raising money.

“That is part of what college athletics does is generate money. That’s why you have television contracts, not just Texas but the Big Ten network, and things like that. It’s just unfortunate that everyone is not on the same page. You could look at it, ‘Well, this wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for a certain institution,’ but you could also say maybe because of that institution, it’s forcing everybody else to be aggressive and work in a way to maximize your exposure as well. I think it’s the nature of the business, and the rules are in place for certain things to take place, and people are doing things obviously in the best interest of their place.”

He continued: “People were upset at Nebraska last year for wanting out. They were doing what’s best for them. People are upset at A&M; for leaving. A&M; is doing what’s best for them. The way our society is, and the way the structure is set up, it allows for this type of movement. Of course I don’t like it, but it is what it is.”

Self said it was unsettling.

“We are at a crossroads. This is important,” Self said. “This is something that could certainly impact the landscape of college athletics in a way that nothing else has for the last many years. The world as we see it today will not be the same in four or five years. There could be potential positives too. The positives certainly could be money generated through different avenues and that kind of stuff, and maybe that is a positive or aligning yourself with different rivals. Maybe that’s a positive. I don’t know. I personally am kind of old-fashioned. I kind of like the way it is.”


Cmill1221 11 years, 2 months ago

This could really be bad for KC. It would suck to have the current Big12 break up and possibly pick up some smaller schools farther east. I've heard Lville Memphis and a few other schools that direction. I would HATE to lose the Big12 tourney to some place like St Louis B/C we picked up some eastern schools. Although it would not be so bad to be a Big Fish in a Small Pond. If we picked up a Houston, Tulsa or SMU our football team has a chance to stand out in that league, and keeping the Big12 BCS tie in we would have a real chance at some point to become a regular BCS team. Who knows, but we will land someware and be fine.

Bear86 11 years, 2 months ago

Memphis? Houston? Tulsa? In a conference with Kansas? You must be high. F-Texas!!

Cmill1221 11 years, 2 months ago

All if thoes schools have b-ball AND FOOTBALL teams. And as far as weather they belong or not I bet all 3 schools can beat us in football. We are an average at best football school. Do Iowa State or Baylor belong? How about KSU?? KSU has the smallest enrolement of any Big12 school so why are any of them in the same confrence as big bad Kansas? Who shoud we pick up if the thing falls apart? Notre Dame!?!? HA! They have said F U to the big 10 the last 50 years. Or Arkansas? Kentucky? Yeah right!! Get real man, we aren't that relevant. Our B-ball team is unreal but other than that what do we bring to the table? And it's great that we are practacly tied to K-State BLAH!!! All I want is KU to still play in a BCS confrence and the Big12 tourney to stay in KC.

lee3022 11 years, 2 months ago

No insult intended but your post does not indicate any knowledge of Kansas or where we are. A regular BCS team is a team that competes in a BCS AQ conference. That is Kansas. Perhaps you mean a regular BCS Bowl player? In that case the Orange Bowl was a qualifier for one and the next one could be in another year or two.

But this is a KU basketball blog. KU will continue to be a major power in basketball as Texas is in football. Coach Self has renewed the team each year with an excellent blend of talent and, with his staff, has brought out the very best in them. There is no conference in the country who would not like to have Kansas. If K-State must accompany then that does limit the choices. But even limited KU will be in a BCS AQ conference. I do not see Tulsa, Memphis or Houston as viable options except to gather the Houston market. SMU in the Dallas market does make some sense.

Cmill1221 11 years, 2 months ago

Thoes are just schools that I have heard thrown around. And don't play dumb, you know what I ment by a BCS competitor. A team that actually compeats in bcs bowls regularlu. As far as basketball, DUH!!! we are Kansas we will be fine.

Cmill1221 11 years, 2 months ago

And BTW Texas, OU, A&M, OSU, MU and even Baylor are playing great football and I know you are being optimistic BUT there is no way we go to another BCS bowl in the next couple of years. The leage is way too strong, and now that we play everyone each year we won't benefit from not having OU or Texas on the schedule anymore. The league is extreamy top heavy. And it could be ugly for a long time.

Mike Young 11 years, 2 months ago

No more Texas teams if the Big 12 survives. We've seen how that plays out.

Scott Smetana 11 years, 2 months ago

The sky is falling! This guy just cashed out his 401K to put it all into gold. He thinks Kansas will cease to have basketball and will join the C-USA if we're lucky.

Pitthawk34 11 years, 2 months ago

If that happens I would wish him well and thank him for everything he has done for KU Basketball. WE would hire a top notch coach and and move forward.

overseashawk 11 years, 2 months ago

I personally would love to see KU end up in the Big 10 if they'd take us. That conference has alot of tradition and would provide some great football and basketball matchups. I know the Big East is likley but geographically it just doesn't make sense.

As for adding mediocre schools to the conference...I just really don't agree with it. There's enough fodder in the league as it is.

Bill Pitcher 11 years, 2 months ago

Self's a class act. Everyone is babbling about media revenue and he wants to talk about the effect on student-athletes and fans. Bill's interview ought to be on the desk of every AD and university president in the country today.

yates33333 11 years, 2 months ago

I think Coach Self is correct. Kansas and the United States should do what is best for them. The U.S. should apply anti-trust laws to professional athletics and tax college sports. This way competition would be better in pro sports and college sports programs would have to be pared down. Kansas and the U.S. need the money anyway to apply to "education." I guess education is what the state, nation, and colleges are trying to achieve with the tax and tuition money they collect and spend on public schooling (elementary through graduate and professional school). Maybe I should say I hope that is what they are trying to do.

lee3022 11 years, 2 months ago

All KU athletics are funded by the Athletic Department separate from the University budget. No tax dollars are spent on athletic programs. The Athletic Department, as I remember it, has annually transferred millions of dollars to the academic side of KU.

It does not make sense to tax college athletic programs. The effect of such tax is to cut non-revenue sports and decrease the number of student-athletes. It would not even cover a day's worth of the deficit each year (currently $4B per day.)

yates33333 11 years, 2 months ago

You miss the point or at least your reply seems to miss it.

I assume the truth is that the athletic department pays its own way. (At KU that means basketball pays much of the way.) I wouldn't expect the state to tax itself, and I'm sure it wouldn't. Athletic departments everywhere are being run as businesses and ought to be treated as such. Oklahoma and OSU wouldn't or wont enter the PAC 12 because of competition. You saw what OSU did to Arizona last night. They would enter it because of the vastly larger market. They'd keep recruiting in Texas but selling the labor of the Texans in California and Washington.

Furthermore, competition in these conferences varies over the years. The Big 12 was once the Goliath of football, now it's the SEC, once it was the Big 10, etc., etc.,. These mergers are exactly that, market mergers, business ventures. Why not tax businesses?

Cutting down the size of university athletics would be a good thing as well. Most of you are too young to remember when less than great players put forth the "old college try." They were fun to watch. Grantland Rice wasn't being snide when he wrote something like, "it's not if you win or lose but how you play the game." I think it would be great to have student athletes playing these games again.

If taxing their millions or billions would get the job done. I say do it. Of course, I know that will never happen. Too many folks like you. Too few like me.

yates33333 11 years, 2 months ago

You've got a point about the government wasting funds. I bet funds are wasted by athletic departments as well. That is, those funds not snitched. (See the recent ticket selling scandal at KU.) I realize athletic departments don't have the practice elected and appointed government officials have. They haven't been at it as long.

I said nothing about taxing public schools, elementary through high school. I am not sure a tax on these academic departments is taxing a public school. I see it more as taxing a business.

If you have time and read this please note my comments above.

BTW consider voting for the Tea Party candidates.

REHawk 11 years, 2 months ago

The way I see it, the Longhorn money machinations have run off the Huskers and Aggies. It appears that Bill Self would prefer that the league stay intact with nine teams, and that Kansas and the other 7 bite the bullet over the huge financial imbalance created by opportunistic Texas.

Ludwig Supraphonic 11 years, 2 months ago

Of course all the Chancellors, ADs, and Boards of Regents for each school are selfishly looking out for their institutions best interest. There seems little point in demonizing schools for having the self-interest we hope our AD and Chancellor are providing for KU. I do find fault legally and ethically with those schools who choose not to honor contracts. I understand that in athletics coaches are upwardly mobile. Coaches choose what is in the best interest of their families. I want to think a Universities definition of family is more inclusive and I was delighted to hear Coach Self address the interests of student-athletes and fans; who may not be well-served in the financially driven conference alignments. I'm not expecting blind loyalty. However, every choice has a cost. The initial encounter with my paramour may be more exciting than the security of my marriage. If I leave my Wife and marry the paramour there will be no trust. We both will know marriage is not sacred and when the call comes late in the evening saying "I'm tied up at work" we know what to believe. I'm hoping there is a cost for schools that fail to honor promises.

David Brown 11 years, 2 months ago

Did Nebraska see the future when they moved last year? Were they ahead of the curve? Coach Self is exactly right in his views on travel distance/time for both students and fans. Texas or Oklahoma is no more "Pacific" than KU is "Big East", in my view. And, what of Commissioner Beebe of the Big 12? Is his legacy an "epic fail"?

RockChalk26 11 years, 2 months ago

Thought I would share this article about what the Big 12 should do, written by Mark Cuban. Pretty good stuff.

Funhawk 11 years, 2 months ago

For the Love of Money. “Call it lean, mean, mean green. Almighty dollar.
I know money is the root of all evil Do funny things to some people Give me a nickel, brother can you spare a dime Money can drive some people out of their minds. Got to have it, I really need it How many things have I heard you say Some people really need it How many things have I heard you say Got to have it, I really need it.”

lee3022 11 years, 2 months ago

Actually the quote is "For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil" (1 Timothy 6). That does not change your point much unless your focus is on the spiritual.

John Randall 11 years, 2 months ago

You do make the point in a succinct manner.

Too many (nearly all) people measure "best interest" purely on finances. Coach Self can afford himself the luxury of taking other things and other people (students, athletes, fans) into consideration.

Some would counter that insane travel arrangements and ephemeral loyalties or traditions are just a better preparation than "the old way" for the kind of world we are and will be living in. Nobody is all wrong or all right and few enough are even half right.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

"Situation Critical, Alright, and KU Basketball Matters Most"

Self seems to be preparing KU fans for a move to the Big East, while saying he wishes things would stay the same.

This seems to imply that he is not at all sure that things are going to work out as he wants.

Self also seems to be intent this time on not jumping out front. He is leaving responsibility for this fiasco directly on the door step of CBernie and Zenger.

This seems to imply that CBernie and Zenger have failed to win his trust enough to make him step out and carry water for them yet again.

Unsaid is that Bill knows Illinois would take him back in a pico second.

CBernie and Zenger better heed this.

Bill knows he could have any top opening in the country in college ball.

CBernie and Zenger are going to have to sweeten his pot to get him to do what they need this time.

Bill is saying that playing in the Big East is going to be a real travel grind for all sports including basketball.

This means Bill is laying the foundation for an expectation of a massive ramp up in required overhead to get him to compete in the Big East, if KU jumps there, or the Pac Ten+N.

And this point is what he will use to exit, if resource commitments are not to his liking in whatever conference KU lands in.

Self has just made a classic move on his part.

After waiting what now seems an interminable length of time for CBernie and Zenger even to comment on the situation publicly, he is taking what they give him, which is nothing so far, and he is saying publicly that the ball is in their hands, not his.

Michael Bratisax 11 years, 2 months ago

Honestly jaybate,, you have a real gift for writing, even when I disagree. Zenger has been publicly supporting the Big 12 until OU said it was interested in the Pac 10/12/16. He made a public statement saying he was disappointed w/OU but its time to stop being reactive and be proactive.

KU basketball is a national program and will enhance any conference even if football is the revenue driver. KU can pull its own weight just as UK, UNC, UCLA, IU, etc. does.

And we have played and won a BCS Bowl in the last 5 years, not something a very large percentage of D1 Schools can claim If anything, its KSU NOT Kansas football that holds us back... Although I think abandoning our in state brothers would be selfish at best, this is put KU first time.

As much as I would love to see KU join the Big East (I would be able to see KU play at least once every year), imo the Big 10 is the best outcome.

Geographically, the Big East doesn't make sense plus do we want to be part of a 16-20 (basketball) member conference? Our football team might thrive but there are no natural rivals..Miami? Rutgers? The 'glove' doesn't fit. An East Coast time zone is not worth it if that's a driving force.

No easy answers, a lot of bad scenarios... Is Zenger and our other leaders up to the task? I hope so...

lee3022 11 years, 2 months ago

Whatever it is you are imbibing, perhaps you will share with everyone here to make us see the undercurrents as you do. The commitment of coach Self to KU is very strong. Perhaps this is a time for the University to give him and his staff a bump in salary. Perhaps this is a time for the University to acquire a basketball aircraft, if they have not already done so, dedicated to the team and coaching staff. Something on the order of a 30 passenger corporate jet.

But the only factor I can see to cause coach to leave is to be unable to recruit to the team because of the new conference. That has not happened and I do not believe it will happen.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago


Its the recruiting, stupid!

I've been saying this for awhile now. None of us could figure out why Self was having so much trouble landing 4-5 stars recently. None of the hypotheses fit. But now this conference instability fiasco brings things into focus. Self has been recruiting up hill with this monkey on his back and its been hurting him. Coaches and administrators and recruiters inside college basketball have apparently understood the problem for quite a long while. Scalpinggate, Manginogate, Lewgate, NormRobertsgate (staying loyal his friend who got run by a bunch of shoe whores and AAU pimps), and persistent Big 12 instability have converged to neutralize one of the game's great recruiters--Bill Self selling stability and fun and The Legacy. The negative recruiters have probably been telling kids that the Big 12 is in such deep doo-doo and KU has been so under a cloud, that nothing Self can do has been able to change the perceptions. Of course Self will leave, if he can't recruit to KU. And he hasn't been able to recruit to KU at his usual high level for two seasons now; that's part of why he has to depend on Tulsa-grade guys (his own words) like Jamari and Braeden, if they ever get cleared.

Now, regarding your take on the corporate jet.

Sure, a thirty person corporate jet is just perfect for 15 guys, 5 coaches, 2 trainers, a doc, 5 tutors, and some family occasionally, if they all sit sardine style and waste all their time looking straight ahead and shuttling to and from hotel rooms!

Jesus god, tell me you aren't in charge of logistics for anything more important than tiddledy winks!

Players on the road for three days need to be able to sleep in the jet, and have class in the jet, and probably get some treatments on the jet, or these guys are going to get eaten alive by the travel.

All pros have to do is plug in the ear phones, light up and pass the time between games and shoot arounds. They don't have to go to school! They don't have to study. They don't have to do dick but eat, bath, sleep and shop for bling.

These are college kids hanging on to eligibility often by the skin of their teeth as it is!

Its going to take more than a 30-person corporate jet to make this work.

And whatever you're mainlining, stop it!

yates33333 11 years, 2 months ago

I think lee3022 is a Texan. He likes everything bigger. To each his own.

I like your analysis Jaybate even if you are too gungho over modern basketball.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

Further, Self appears to be implying, okay, if you ever do get around to dealing with this situation, and if you're going to make us play in a Big East Conference, where my staff and boys and I have to travel all the time, and play stiffer competition, just so you can have more money, then a lot of that money has to filter down to me and coaches and my team.

Players needing teachers/tutors on the road is the essence of Self's gambit here. But coaches and staff will need more money to compensate them for being away from home from their families even more. And families will have to be brought on the road with coaches. Teachers and/or tutors have to be brought on the road, etc.

Basically, Self is implying something vaguely like: he is going to need a fully outfitted Air Force One style 747 to get him to compete in the Big East, or Pac Ten+N. The plane has to be big enough for coaches and their families, players, and teacher/tutors. The plane has to have suites aboard and class rooms aboard. Self is saying to his bosses that if you are going to choose to take me away from the situation I prefer in pursuit of more money, then its going to cost you.

Self seems to be implying, if you don't provide all the things we will need to turn KU basketball into a full time road show, then I am going to announce to the public that I can no longer in good conscience coach basketball at KU, because my players cannot get the quality of education and the time in the class room that I think players need and deserve, because of the travel requirements in the new conference.

No wonder the guy wins 83% of his games.

This ploy lets Self exit with the upper hand. Most fans and the media will side with Self and be angry at CBernie and Zenger and Texas for having brought this all on.

Self will put himself up for auction in the college and pro ranks.

Self will become not just a rich man, but an exceptionally rich one.

Yes, Coach Self, this is a critical time.

And you have just brought it to a head by not committing to KU.

Can't say as I blame you either, from a strategic and professional stand point either.

Benz Junque 11 years, 2 months ago

You have serious issues. Quite the Conspiracy Theory. I think you might be a bit carried away.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago


Oh, no, not another gnat brain that cries conspiracy theory every time he can't figure out what time it is!!!!!!

If you need some firm grip for your barca lounger, get some, but try to keep your eyes on the real world, will ya?

Self has seen how CBernie unloaded Perk.

Self has seen how CBernie struggled to bring in a second, or third, choice in Zenger.

Self is not some schlub with a five hundred record that has to say "how much?" when the boss says "Take some flak for me on this one, Bill, and I'll owe ya one."

KU gave Self F-U money.

Self gave KU an 83% W&L statement and a ring.

Every program in the country would mortgage their future to get Bill Self, if they had a need.

The Illini have a ton of monster rich alumni and a need. And Self has already proven what he can do recruiting in Chi. Deron Cherry. Julian Wright. Sherron.

Pickens has probably had just about enough of Travis Ford not being able to recruit guys any taller than he is to Stillwater.

UCLA desperately needs a coach.

Coach Consonants will be retiring soon.

Roy ought to retire.

Calhoun could flat line at any second.

Michigan would tell Beilhin to take a hike in a second for Self.

And Calipari could blow up under NCAA scrutiny at any moment in Lexington.

And so on.

Self would be treated as the second coming in any of these places.

And he wouldn't have to wonder what conference he was going to be playing in, and he wouldn't have to wonder when his Chancellor and his AD were going to step out of hiding.

Hell, if he can win 83% of his games at KU with Vitale and ESPN/CBS hiding him and disrespecting him most of the time, he could win 90 percent at any of the East Coast majors with the sports/media/gaming complex finally supporting him and hyping his recruiting.

Self said it himself. The situation is crucial.

And ninnies like you shout conspiracy theory!

You ought to be ashamed of yourself, even if I'm wrong.

Americans hiding like smug collaborators behind the phrase conspiracy theory is a significant part of what delivered my beloved USA to the precipice it now finds itself treading perilously and unnecessarily, simply because so many Americans shouted conspiracy theory instead of thinking; shouted conspiracy theory at any rational explanations that made any sense at all the last ten years.

Stop and think about the future of America, and in this case KU Basketball, the next time you feel like mouth breathing "conspiracy theory."

The founders of the country weren't naives that ran and shouted conspiracy theory.

They called a spade a spade based on reason.

They weren't always right, but they didn't run and hide behind a bunch of do-nothing slogans, like conspiracy theory.

If you think I'm wrong, at least try to think you're way out of a paper bag and explain why.

Or is thinking a conspiracy theory now to you, too?

lee3022 11 years, 2 months ago

You might be forgetting (or ignoring) coach Self's comments about money and the NBA. In my memory he has said the money is not important because he is already making enough to retire comfortably and he would not go to the NBA except for a very few opportunities. In another interview coach posited that the likelihood of younger coaches (even in his generation) are not likely to stay in coaching long enough to eclipse records such as most wins.

In that interview he again cited his own salary as far better than those coaches who have established such records (such as the ND coach or Bob Knight). I am aware that coach K is about to set a new record but coach K definitely belongs in the old school.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

But this is not business or strategy with me; this is KU Basketball. This is The Legacy. This is Naismith, Allen, Brown, Williams and Self. This is the Father of all Basketball programs. This is basketball itself to me.

I loved Roy. I had no problem with him pursuing his self interest. But the moment he did pursue it, I wanted him cut off at the knees and I wanted someone more committed brought in.

Nothing personal.

Just KU Basketball first, last and always.

I heard no "I am staying at KU through this turbulent period of change."

I only heard you are not leaving college basketball because of it.

That isn't good enough, Coach Self.

It wouldn't be good enough for you if one of your players said something equivalent to you about playing for you.

It isn't good enough for me.

I am a huge fan of Coach Self. I am among those that hung the genius moniker on him. I know he is one of the greatest coaches the game has had already.

I want all this to work out in a way that allows Coach Self to keep doing great things for KU Basketball and The Legacy.

But just as CBernie and Zenger should have been way out front on conference realignment, rather than waiting and reacting, they now need to move way out front on preparing for who will take KU basketball to the next level.

Coach Self is a hard man and a smart one; these are part of what makes him a great coach.

Coach Self has made clear in this statement that:

a) nothing is going to drive him away from college basketball; and

b) that he is not unconditionally committed to KU Basketball in this situation, apparently unless some implied conditions are met.

Listen to the man, CBernie and Zenger.

Meet those conditions if you can. Keep him if you can. He is a great coach and probably a very good man.

But begin searching for a replacement now, because he will leave if you can't meet what seem his implied conditions.

As much as I love Coach Self, nothing and no one is more important in this situation than KU Basketball.

If you foresee you can't meet his demands down the road, force him out now and get someone who will commit to KU during the weathering of the coming storm.

Come out and make clear that you want Coach Self to stay, but make clear that unless there is a commitment on his part to KU Basketball come what may, that you have decided to look for a coach that is committed to KU through the coming storm, contract, or no contract.

God, I hope Bill Self and CBernie and Zenger can get on the same page for the sake of KU Basketball.

But business is business, right Coach? Right CBernie? Right Sheahon?

And anything less than full commitment during the coming storm cannot be tolerated.

Anyone who wants to play the situation for anything other than the best interests of KU basketball needs to be jettisoned.

Anyone who wants to fight through the storm to save the ship, report to con.

On the double.

Ad astra per aspera.

Marcia Parsons 11 years, 2 months ago

How presumptious of you to put all those words in the mouth of Bill Self.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago


I am sorry you feel that way, because I respect you.

But one has no choice but to read between the lines in these situations.

It is unrealistic to think Self can be candid in this situation.

It is unrealistic to ignore the broader circumstances and to not thing there is a serious problem here that Bill Self, as a professional in a bureaucracy, is having to bob and weave his way through.

Coach Self said as much as he could in this situation.

Coach Self sent Jayhawk Nation a message and it is unmistakeable.

The situation is crucial.

It is unrealistic to think that he can be totally frank about the problems in front of KU Basketball right now.

He said what little he could and if you stop and look at it, and think of it within the broader context that we see emerging, I came to the conclusion I did and felt I had to say what I said.

IMHO, Coach Self is in a real pickle and he has to do what is best for himself, his family, and his staff.

Coach Self put it pretty clearly.

Situation crucial.

The Chancellor and the AD have to fix it--not him.

Jumping to any conference on either coast is going to make educating student athletes vastly more difficult.

Self was unwilling to make a commitment to KU no matter what.

Implication: no matter how much we want him to stay, if CBernie and Zenger can't lead on this issue, if they can't address the problems they are creating for him by not resolving this issue, Self is staying in college basketball...but he conspicuously did not say KU.

I would rather stand accused of being presumptuous in trying to call attention to this crisis, rather than look back and say I said, or did, nothing.

Michael Bratisax 11 years, 2 months ago

"But this is not business or strategy with me; this is KU Basketball. This is The Legacy. This is Naismith, Allen, Brown, Williams and Self. This is the Father of all Basketball programs. This is basketball itself to me."

You're damn right! KU Basketball has helped me through some really tough times when I was going through rehab after my injury. Handle with care!

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

I'm trying to handle this with care and seriousness it deserves.

Self said things were crucial.

They appear to me to be.

Michael Bratisax 11 years, 2 months ago

The 'handle with care' was aimed at the admin. I know you take this issue and KU BB as serious as I do..

lee3022 11 years, 2 months ago

Postulate no more with assumed thoughts for others please. Coach has said none of what you think he implies. KU basketball going forward cannot be in better hands. Should something change and he leaves there will be a new and perhaps even better coach recruited. The KU job, wherever we play, will continue to be at the very top of the food chain. There simply is no better place to play basketball in all the land. There simply is not a better job because of history, facilities and culture.

So stop scaring the people. This is not imminent and there will be plenty of time to deal with whatever comes from the coaching staff, They are not leaving. He just said so.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

Again, a person in his position cannot be totally candid in public, especially in this situation.

Use your reason.


Thinking doesn't hurt that much.

hawkinillinois 11 years, 2 months ago

The Big East is perfect! DePaul, Marquette, Notre Dame, Cincinatti, Louisville, Pitt, WVU, and KU are a perfect fit for the west side of the big east. KU has HUGE alumni bases in Chicago every time the hawks play any where near Chicago it is a very tough ticket to get. Also think of the east coast recruiting when we play the east division. NY etc.

Rob Wempe 11 years, 2 months ago

The alumni base is just as big if not bigger in California. Just saying. The west is also a hot bed of talent!

lee3022 11 years, 2 months ago

This is true but with history on KU's strength list, going against UCLA is a tough nut. Going against Arizona and Washington is also difficult. We would be the furthest away from California schools in the conference.

Ludwig Supraphonic 11 years, 2 months ago

Morgantown, Pittsburg, or Louisville are clearly an easier road trip for students than Manhattan, Stillwater, or Columbia. And the rivalries run deep. It will be even better when other conferences raid the Big Least and WVA and Pittsburg games are replaced with Seton Hall and Providence.

Michael Bratisax 11 years, 2 months ago

+1 Yeah..those USF and Miami games will open up Florida, The Rutgers, St Johns, Villanova games have me excited already!

Spencer Goff 11 years, 2 months ago


Those are winnable games en route to the easiest BCS automatic bid on the planet.

Just saying, every cloud has a lining, paint it what color you want.

Pitthawk34 11 years, 2 months ago

Pittsburg? Pittsburg is in Kansas...Home of the mighty Gorrillas.

Thomas Matlock 11 years, 2 months ago

There is one in California as well....really...:-)

chriz 11 years, 2 months ago

It's amazing how honest Bill Self can be in these interviews without saying something that would get him in trouble.

We've gotta get out of this conference. It's not gonna do any good for us to stay in and try to get an SMU or something. If we're eventually going to four 16-team conferences, let's start making the right friends and get it done.

I personally think we end up somewhere out east, and I think the hiring of Gill will prove to be an indicator with his east coast relationships.

Tony Bandle 11 years, 2 months ago

Bill's logic is clear.

If the Big 12 survives, we stay the big fish in the small pond.

If we go Big East we become a smaller fish in a bigger pond. The competition improves exponentially.

I personally have a lot less faith in Kansas leadership than Bill does [although I am sure HCBS is also in wait and see status] Despite all his faults, shortcomings and mistakes, at this moment, I would take Lew back to fight this battle.

I don't know if Lew would win, but I sure know that Lew would draw a lot of blood trying!!

I am sincerely afraid this is all going to end badly for Kansas. Please, Lord I hope I am wrong.

But I don't think I am.

jayhawkintx73 11 years, 2 months ago

PAC 16,Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, and Missouri to the now PAC 12.

I don't feel bad for Texas if they get left all alone, but they will have done it to themselves expecting everyone else to kowtow.

Tony Bandle 11 years, 2 months ago

According to west coast sources, the current combination leader is Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Kansas State.

The theory is OU football is strong enough to piggyback OSU and KU baskeball is strong enough to piggyback KSU.

Missouri is a done deal for the SEC.

The good news is we can chuck that Arrowhead game and have home and home football matchups again!!!!

Benz Junque 11 years, 2 months ago

Mizzou is a "done deal" to the SEC? Based on what?

Michael Bratisax 11 years, 2 months ago

Missouri is a done deal for the SEC? Where did you get Mizzou to SEC?

Plus nothing is a done deal: Big 12 lined up against A&M

Pitthawk34 11 years, 2 months ago

I will believe it when I see it! Kansas State = Washington State.

Chazzmichaelmichaels 11 years, 2 months ago

Bill Self is wise like King Solomon, which is why it is going to be so painful to lose him over this nonsense, but if you've ever raised kids in a small rural town, then you can easily see where this one's headed. Maybe in all seriousness the best thing to do right now would be for the state of Kansas to secede from the rest of this traitorous union and try to become an independent country so we can eventually put ourselves in a better position to mess with Texas.

lee3022 11 years, 2 months ago

Rick Perry? Is that you? LOL.

Nobody should be worried over losing coach Self. As long as we are in a BCS or Super conference we will be fine with him. Accommodations with tutors and aircraft will need to be made but not what he has already achieved in the short time he has been here in the complete upgrade of facilities. KU will support him as he needs. He has no place better to go.

lee3022 11 years, 2 months ago

Anyone who asks such a question of any coach in these circumstances should be prepared for a canned answer because it is unfair to the coach. If you suddenly discover yourself skiing just ahead of an avalanche will you stop and ponder a new ski manufacturer? Coach is with the school and can answer with no certainty until the slope levels out and he can survey the landscape without danger.

Coach Self has already demonstrated his commitment to KU. He has answered every critic. He has worked for and obtained great facilities and really good salaries for himself and his staff. He has brought home seven consecutive conference championships, a feat not accomplished since John Wooden. There is simply no better job in America than KU for basketball. Three hundred basketball teams could have had an alumnus purchasing the Naismith Basketball Original Rules. Only one did - KU. There is every indication that recruiting is still going strong and with the best record in the country over the past two years there is every indication that KU will continue to win, whoever the competition.

Let us fix our sights on 2011 and prepare for basketball to again be on the court and in our aspirations. If we are patient, all the rest of this nonsense will diminish and be resolved.

Michael Bratisax 11 years, 2 months ago

Lee after you get past the personal attacks, you make some valid points.

But look at Memphis A solid program in any conference but without a major (BCS) conference it is still a stepping stone, albeit a top level, for rising coaching stars and successful scumbags.

The Mark Few's and Brad Stevens's are rare.

I tend to think Self isn't going anywhere but recruits want stability and assurances. Memphis isn't Kansas and Kansas will always be a sought after job but to think recruiting and the program won't suffer is not realistic.

As Self said, “this is a crucial time'.

FoCoCoHawk 11 years, 2 months ago

I'm as serious as a missed lay-up when I say this: I skip through the articles as fast as I can to read all the comments. The depth and breadth of the wisdom displayed here make me realize the true stewards of the Jayhawk Legacy. And it really is ok to disagree on most of the rest.

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