Thursday, August 2, 2012

Self: No defense, no problem for KU on upcoming European tour


Bill Self will spend a good portion of the six-month 2012-13 college basketball season stressing defense to his freshmen-laden Kansas University hoops squad.

For now, however, during the dog days of summer — and 10 bonus practices allowed by the NCAA in advance of next week’s European tour — it’s offense that’s getting all of the reps.

“I will say this ... we’re not going to work on defense one possession,” Self said. “We’re not going to talk about it because if our defense is good that means we’ll never score, and I have to somehow get these guys some confidence scoring the ball.

“I haven’t said one word about defense yet,” he added. “I am pretty confident we can teach them how to guard and that kind of stuff. That’s never been an issue, but scoring the ball with these young kids and getting them in the right place ... I think that is pretty important.”

Self has said his eight scholarship freshmen (Anrio Adams, Milt Doyle, Perry Ellis, Landen Lucas, Ben McLemore, Zach Peters, Jamari Traylor, Andrew White) will play extensively during a pair of exhibition games against the Swiss National Team next Tuesday and Wednesday in Fribourg, Switzerland and versus two pro teams on Aug. 11-12 in Paris.

The newcomers and veterans alike will have to play by international rules.

“It’s doing to be different,” Self said. “Twenty-four seconds isn’t a lot of time (to get shot off). Only having five seconds to shoot a free throw is a little bit different. Advancing the ball late-game situation on a time out is like the NBA rule,” he added of inbounding past halfcourt instead of the end line.

“I have to study up on it myself. I don’t know all the differences, but to be honest with you, we are not going to worry about that. We are going to go over there and play. I guarantee you we’ll get called for some violations where I’m going to say (to refs), ‘What did we do wrong?’ I don’t want to screw our guys up too much. If our guys think they’ve got to shoot it in 24 seconds, I guarantee you we’ll have problems when we come back to the States.”

With no gold medals or trophies on the line, the four games in Europe figure to be somewhat low-key — maybe high-scoring — affairs.

“If Jeff wants to shoot threes, he can shoot them. This will be a good time for him to get them out of his system,” Self joked of 7-foot inside player Withey perhaps launching a shot or two past the three-point arc.

Self may actually be more interested in the sightseeing tours for his players than the exhibitions.

“More importantly, I think it’s going to be a great educational experience for our guys,” Self said. “Winning is always important, but having an opportunity to go to Switzerland and France and hang out in Paris will be memories that will last all our guys’ lifetimes. I’m certainly excited for them to experience that, while at the same time get our basketball team a little better.”

Senior guard Elijah Johnson said the players realize this is a once-in-a-lifetime deal.

“To get out of the country for the first time, be able to play some ball, I think that will be exciting,” Johnson said. “It will be the first time to see what our team really looks like against competition. It’s always good to be able to just leave the country, in my opinion.

“I want to go over and have a good time and get to know everybody. I think if there’s a chance for us to get closer, it’s sending us over the waters together. We are definitely going to find out some stuff about each other. I think that this trip is going to be beneficial regardless, whether we don’t play as well, we are going to learn something. Or if we play well, we’re still going to learn something.”


Scott MacWilliams 9 years, 11 months ago

Wait a minute, hasn't JW shot one or two triples in the past ?? For some reason, I seem to remember him hoisting one and then Self was seen laughing...

Anyway, have a great time, Jayhawks!

Rock Chalk, Euro Hawks!

Chris Shaw 9 years, 11 months ago

If Jeff Withey could pull off the "Mark Randall Mullet" and the "Downtown Terry Brown Release" that would make me a very happy man.

Jocelyn Kennedy 9 years, 11 months ago

That was a great video - thanks!! I remember it well.

omng392 9 years, 11 months ago

That's awesome!! Anybody ever miss the State of Kansas outline on the floor? Growing up that was all I remember. Don't get me wrong, I like the Jayhawk now, just miss the Kansas outline...

Lance Hobson 9 years, 11 months ago

The blue one is ok but I don't know what Roy Williams was doing insisting on that yellow one. It was just plain weird. I think the ginormous Jayhawk is pretty awesome.

Eric Mitchell 9 years, 11 months ago

I'd really like to see 5 Jayhawks on the All-Freshmen team for the Big 12(10). I don't think it will happen, but would be pretty sweet. Sweeter if we saw some Hawks on the NCAA Tournament team.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 11 months ago

Is anybody from the LJW staff going to be able to stream the games? That would be awesome as I am very intrigued to see the youngsters play against some professional competition.

Alohahawk 9 years, 11 months ago

Much as I'd love to see some streamed games, that's asking a lot. I'll settle for complete box scores: Shots attempted and made - two pointers, freethrows and 3's, rebounds, fouls, assists, blocks and turnovers. That shouldn't be too hard, I wouldn't think.

Alohahawk 9 years, 11 months ago

Forgot to mention, has an article about 6' 2" PG Xavier Rathan-Mayes, in which he mentions he plans to visit KU at some point. X R-M seems high on Kentucky, which he plans to visit next week. He states he'd like to team up with SF Wiggins (Who is considered the best amateur around. Wiggins out-played Randle in a recent AAU game.) Wishful thinking since Wiggins seems to be deciding between Kentucky and Florida State. But who knows?

Alohahawk 9 years, 11 months ago

Oops, sorry. That should be

Brad Avery 9 years, 11 months ago

Mark Randall was a heck of a basketball player and the '91 team was magical.

thjhawk 9 years, 11 months ago

Wow....thanks for sharing this....can't wait to see the finished product.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 11 months ago

Isn't $53,000 larger than $50,000?? I think you made it!!

Matt Kenton 9 years, 11 months ago

This is great. LJW should have posted an aritcle on this. They've reached the $50,000 goal, but obviosly the bigger the budget, the higher the production quality should be. If everyone knew about this, I have no doubt he could get many times that in contributions. Very cool.

KGphoto 9 years, 11 months ago

I'll get that memo right to him. Thanks coach.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 11 months ago

Almost cost Kansas the 2008 Championship as well.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 11 months ago

Either way, Rose scored 12 of his 18 points during that 5 min span.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 11 months ago

He used both defenses in that span on CDR and Rose. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

REHawk 9 years, 11 months ago

Looks to be a fun and relaxed team bonding trip. Self telling everyone not to get bent about wins/losses. Yeah, with that 24 second shot clock, guys will have to rush some shots and work toward finding openings. Probably lots of perimeter bombs.

milehighhawk 9 years, 11 months ago

Pretty much everyone but you.

I mean come on, really?!

Brak 9 years, 11 months ago

That's pretty funny coming from the Mizzou troll who spends all his time obsessing about everything that is KU, how sad and pathetic is your life.

Steve Kubler 9 years, 11 months ago

A footer knocking down threes, now there would be a tough match-up for anybody. I was just hoping he'd get a nice 12 footer to added to his game.

And yes I know the three point comment was a joke.

Eric Mitchell 9 years, 11 months ago

Actually only 8 of the 10 Freshmen are Freshmen.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 11 months ago

Eat lots of cheese, chocolate and bundnerfleisch [wafer thin dried beef]!!!

Phoggie_Thinking 9 years, 11 months ago

I really do think we need to look into paying these guys. Think about the hardship of traveling to Europe with little or no personal expense involved. Who do these guys think they are Olympians?

This is why pay for college play is so ridiculous in my mind. They are getting paid in a huge way in completely non-taxable forms.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 11 months ago

You are right, the NCAA and Universities can keep exploiting the "Student Athlete" and reap multi-millions and even billions in return. Going to Europe in return for not being able to work while being a student athlete is a nice bonus, but not even close.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 11 months ago

There are over 13,0000 McDonald's in the U.S.A and over 31,000 worldwide with 1.5 million to 2 million employees. If you want to compare an elite athlete that competes at one of the 346 Division I Institutions or as the BCS has alerted us all over the last few years of the 61 to 64 institutions that really say a McDonald's cashier, than I guess you can do that. At least the McDonald's employee doesn't have restrictions on how they can support themselves or the choice of switching to Wendy's if that is their "Choice".

Jack Wilson 9 years, 11 months ago

BigManU: Exploitation? You are referring only to Football and Men's basketball, I'm sure. But that's a joke.

In that context, this is choice. The athlete knows very well the lay of the land. If the athlete does not prefer the terms and conditions of his college scholarship, then he does not have to accept it. The NCAA has a product that an athlete can benefit from, a product it has invested substantially in, and the NCAA is entitled to make money off its product. If an athlete does not want to be "exploited", then the athlete does not have to be a part of it.

It is that simple.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 11 months ago

You are exactly right HEM. The athlete knows exactly the lay of the land, which is why the Agents, Runners, Middle Men, Shoe Companies, and the Underground World in college athletics is at an all-time worse right now. I wonder why that would be the case?

Yes, I am referring to Football and Basketball primarily because there is such a huge revenue gap between those two sports and everything else related to college athletics. Believe me, if every athlete could get a stipend (An extra Grant) than I would certainly approve that, but at the moment it should start at Football and basketball.

Every athlete who goes to college does have a choice, but basketball and especially football players don't have that choice. With the rules the way they are, athletes are forced to go to college or head overseas (Football doesn't exist overseas unless a 290 lb defensive end wants to be a goalie for the futbol team) where restrictions limit American born athletes (Basketball).

I would say that if there was no age restriction, getting rid of the limitations on the athletic portion of the scholarship, and the ability to hold a job while being a Student-Athlete........................than I would definitely say that the athlete has a choice.

Right now, those choices are limited and as long as athletes are forced to go to college, especially in basketball and football, than the exploitation of the universities, athletic departments, University presidents, and the NCAA will continue to take their piece of the pie, enforce insane rules and make a butt load of money at the expense of the athlete................not the student.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 11 months ago

Regarding your response:

-Basketball and football players do have a choice. You are dead wrong. Tell me who is forcing them to sign their name? That is easy point you can't refute, and you did not really even address it.

-Are the age limitations the NCAA's rule, or the pro leagues? Right, it's the pro leagues. Kids can leave college anytime for riches elsewhere .. whether it be in the Turkish pro league or at JP Morgan. Anthony Davis could have gone to play in Israel. Milton Doyle (see how I worked him in) could do the same, right, if he's good enough. As structured, college is the best path to what kids want to do in the future. What other avenue offers such a path .. education as the fallback in pursuit of a pro sports career. You are blaming the NCAA when it's not the NCAA's problem. Look at Major League Baseball .. they have a full minor league system, and kids can go play minor league ball or (as they do many times) pass on high dollars to play, unbelievable as it sounds, college baseball (to be exploited).

-Remember, the exploitation you complain of is created solely because of the avenue created by the NCAA. That is, without the NCAA, the kids would not be in a position to be marketable in the first place. No one would know who they are. You could say that Tyrel Reed was exploited. No shot at the pros, etc. But do you think he'll have better job opportunities because he played at KU? Who would even know who he is without the NCAA? He wouldn't have even been marketable without the NCAA. How about the top tier guy .. take John Wall .. steps right out of college and signs a big shoe deal. Sure, the NCAA exploited him. Should the NCAA get a portion of his contract because they created the conditions that permitted him to demand that deal in the first place? Or how about the pro contract .. where the performance in NCAA events led to the millions? The kids get much more than just an opportunity for an education.

-If a football player wants to play football, college would be a smart choice. But the operative word is choice. If what the college athlete received was not worth it, the exploitation so horrible, you would see hundreds passing it up. I have not heard of one kid passing on the opportunity due to perceived exploitation. This is not indentured servitude. But I know kids that have passed on college sports to simply go to school because the work in the sport is just not worth it .. not the top, D-1athletes, but the average D-1, and D-II, D-III guys. Where pursuing a engineering degree, pre-med, etc., outweighed the sports commitment. Choice.


Jack Wilson 9 years, 11 months ago

(cont) -Do you really think that the inability to hold a job limits these kids too much? It doesn't. There are the odd examples, but they aren't the rule. And it is no different than the average kid money-wise who doesn't get his school paid for and doesn't get free meals. Kids don't starve. They may go without an ipod, or may not be able to fly home for Christmas, but we aren't going to be able to make the world fair. That poor kid from in inner city might not be in school but for the scholarship, and it is so grossly unfair that he is short on walking around money? Maybe, but life ain't fair.

-What is funny in your response, or really demonstrative of your lack of perspective here .. you say that the NCAA makes "butt load of money at the expense of the athlete .... not the student." Ok. First, it's not a crime to make a butt load of money. I know some, including our president, make a living demonizing those that actually achieve in life, but last time I checked, that's still the way it works. Second, where do you think the money goes? This is the core of the lack of insight many have in demonizing those that make money. People and companies that make money spend it. In this case, the NCAA hires the big time coach, they create the facilities, to make millions .. that pay for everything from that 6th ladies golf scholarship to the new biology lab. Just like the rich guy buys more stuff, or invests his capital in businesses that employ people.

I'm sorry, but my son (and all these kids) made a choice to accept an athletic scholarship and everything that went with it. The rules, the work, the hours, the commitment. The benefit of the bargain he made is the scholarship he received and, of course, the other opportunities that college competition brings. If he would rather not be exploited, then he could have passed on the scholarship.

ParisHawk 9 years, 11 months ago

1) People very often have a choice between accepting an unfair situation and refusing it. Just because they can turn it down doesn't mean it's fair.

French women in the 1930s could have moved to other countries where women could vote. That didn't stop De Gaulle from saying it was unfair and letting them vote after WW II.

2) "the exploitation you complain of is created solely because of the avenue created by the NCAA." Wrong: the avenue is created by college athletics, advertising and mass media. The NCAA is just riding the wave and taking a big cut.

I'm really surprised by your using "NCAA" and "college athletics" as synonyms.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 11 months ago

BigMan: Not bent out shape at all .. good debate.

We can agree to disagree. The scholarship kids get so much paid for and provided, you're only talking pizza money, essentially. I have no problem with a few bucks. But you used the word "exploitation" .. that's my big beef. Transfer rules when a coach leaves .. ok. But that's far from exploitation. But again, doesn't a kid know his LOI is the school?

One thing you said .. why does BGL earn $325,000 and Self $3 million? Because Bill Self's skills are much less available, and his contribution to the university are much greater than BGL. Said another way, many, many folks could do BGL's job. It's the same reason teacher's aren't paid well. Many in other professions could do their job, and do it better .. it's supply and demand. Not as many could do coach Self's. And Coach Self creates much, much more revenue with his skill.

I think you ignore the opportunities big time sports provides a kid even beyond his scholarship.

Why does T.J. Pugh deserve more than he got? That makes no sense. "Deserve" .. as Clint Eastwood said to Little Bill, "Deserve's got nothin' to do with it."

Again, we can agree to disagree here. But your main points .. paying the athletes a little stipend and easing the transfer rules is a long way from "exploitation" and having "a long way to go" in compensation beyond a trip to Europe. Not sure $100 per month walking around money would cure "exploitation" if that was really the case.

And remember, the minute you give the revenue producers that money .. football and men's basketball .. everyone gets it. 4th chair tuba .. every scholarship based on an activity. Everyone will "deserve" something more. It's a much bigger scope than you're considering, I think.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 11 months ago

HEM: Now we're getting somewhere! You actually just made my point and all the more reason why football and basketball players should receive stipend, grant, or some type of financial gain for their committment.

You said, " Because Bill Self's skills are much less available, and his contribution to the university are much greater than BGL. Said another way, many, many folks could do BGL's job. It's the same reason teacher's aren't paid well. Many in other professions could do their job, and do it better .. it's supply and demand. Not as many could do coach Self's. And Coach Self creates much, much more revenue with his skill.

It's the exact same thinking when it comes to the supposedly idiotic term of the football and basketball "Student Athlete". Those football and basketball players are highly skilled athletes that are less available because of the current BCS model that everything is heading towards. If the BCS and NCAA are going to continue to develop TV deals worth Multi-Billions of dollars at the expense of the athletes that play basketball and football, they deserve a small percenatge of that kickback to help get them through their 4 or 5 years.

You have to remember the BCS is literally on the verge of violating anti-trust laws in order to basically cut Division I football in half and only focus on those 61-65 BCS schools/athletes that actually bring in all the revenue so they can cut the NCAA out of the loop and have 100 percent of the pie. I mean, there is a reason why the whole conference national landscape almost collapsed and was reconstructed over the last two years. It still may be restructured because of how much money is involved and the current 1 Billion dollar deal and current "Playoff" model is only the beginning.


Chris Shaw 9 years, 11 months ago

Yes, I still feel that the NFL, NBA, NCAA, BCS, Institutions, Athletic Directors, Athletic Departments, and Coaches still exploit the hell out of these athletes. Some handle it better than others, but I feel if different rules and regulations were currently in place (Major League Baseball and College Baseball) that you would have less issues and less NCAA violations.

My problem with the current Scholarship (1 year renewable contract) is that the athlete is virtually helpless once he or she signs that LOI. Sure, they get the 4 or 5 years of education, but that isn't the only reason why he or she chose that school. For whatever reason good or bad things happen (Coaching Change, not good enough, forced out, discipline problems, good enough to transfer to a better school, etc etc), but why on earth does the athlete have to sit a year? I mean, a coach, athletic director, and President can break their contract and move on freely where and whenever....................however, the athlete has the ultimate consequence of getting credits transfered (Possibly losing credits) and sitting out a year. Again, that is that individuals choice, but set an example at a higher level and don't weight the rules and regulations so heavily and favorably towards the institutitions.

I mean, if coaches are spending all this time in recruiting and taking the time to evaluate talent than make it a 4 year commitment and a full 4 year athletic scholarship. If it doesn't work out than the kid has the opportunity to transfer. Sure, it's going to take time to developthe correct model, but it sure does eliminate the possibility of a coach like Larry Brown coming in and basically telling the current juniors and seniors of the SMU basketball team that they are no longer welcome to play basketball there. He basically got rid of the starting point guard from last year in order to bring in Josiah Turner only to have him leave as well. I like Larry Brown, but that was a rotten deal he pulled on those 4 kids from SMU forcing them out of the program.

actorman 9 years, 11 months ago

HEM, it's really a shame that you had to bring politics into this discussion. The discussion is interesting in its own right and you make some valid points, but you ruin your credibility when you bring in the tired comment about Obama "demonizing those that actually achieve in life." Asking the rich to just pay the same tax rate they were paying under Clinton is hardly demonizing them; in fact, those of us on the left wish that he would demand a lot more from the rich and corporations than he does.

How about if you just stick to the sports discussion and don't bring in one of your Faux News talking points?

Chris Shaw 9 years, 11 months ago

HEM: BTW, I am just having a debate where we clearly differ in our stances so no reason to get all bent out of shape. Are we still stuck in the 1960's here? The college athletic landscape is changing every year and the current systems in place are 50 years behind the eight ball IMO.

I agree that college is the right path for these athletes considering there is absolutely zero professional system (Like the European System) in place for the American teenage athlete in football and basketball. However,

You bring up baseball, but baseball has options and has choices. How many NCAA issues compared to basketball and football do you find on a daily basis? Not many and there is a reason for that beause there is a good system in place.

If the Pro Leagues and the NCAA are going to continue to have an age restriction, continue to only have 1 year renewable athletic portion scholarships, have severe restrticitions on transfer rules for an athlete, and not allow for even a part-time job to have some spending money than give an additonal grant to those athletes or find ways they get minimal wages for speaking engagmenets, memorbillia, or time spent representing the University at booster functions and events.

I'll say it again, you are right, athletes do have choices and most athletes have more viable options and choices than do those athletes in the biggest revenue generating sports in the country in basketball and football. You say those athletes have choices, but what the system has done has hogtied the athletes and virtually created a monopoly where they really don't have viable options to exploit their talents except the big business and TV models the conferences have developed around their athletes.

I am not saying get rid of the system, but modify the 1960's thinking into more modern day and more economical thinking. You want to say that your son signed the scholarship to accept the rules, the work, the hours. However, so did the Coach, the Athletic Director, and President of the insitutiion when they signed their contract.

Why does the athlete get penalized on transfering when a coach forces him or her out no matter the circumstance and a college coach can go from school to school without penalty? Why does the athlete not get any extra everyday living expenses when they aren't allowed to hold even a part-time job to have some extra discretionary income? Why does Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little receive around $425,000 a year and Bill Self receives a little over $3 million?


Chris Shaw 9 years, 11 months ago

I mean, if room, board, tuition, and education were so important than Bill Self and Gray-Little would be paid equally right? While the NCAA has a 11 Billion dollar deal with CBS for the NCAA tournament and the current BCS system has a deal worth over 1 Billion, you would think that these two entities could give a small percentage back to the athletes that make it happen.

BTW, the kids in your example that chose to just be a student made that choice. Even though TJ Pugh went on to become a doctor, didn't play professionally, he still deserves a stipend, grant, or some part of that monopoly money that the NCAA and BCS are currently designing their future around.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

The 900 pound lemon-lime gorilla no one is talks about regarding the NCAA is this: its a not-for-profit association of 1218 member institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals that is reputedly paying no taxes supposedly because it is "organized and operated exclusively for educational purposes."

Therefore: the NCAA is not allowed to make money in any sense of private sector profit. Its revenues cannot exceed its overhead by anymore than 5-6% if I recall correctly. And everything it does has to be done exclusively for educational purposes, or the tax man cometh.

Who here wants to defend everything the NCAA does and all the money it collects, and distributes out to its member institutions, conferences, organizations, and individuals as "exclusively for educational purposes"?

Who here wants to argue that it wouldn't be a whole lot cheaper to get the educational value being provided by the bloated economics of this existing apparatus but jettisoning all of it and having club teams that go out and sell boxes of candy to pay for their uniforms and play on outdoor courts and fields, rather than in stadia and arenas?

Further, if I recall correctly, the NCAA as been called more or less a cartel of athletic directors holding university chancellors hostage.

This really has very little to do with whether the NCAA has a right to make money. It doesn't. Its claims not-for-profit status as nearly as I can tell.

This has very little to do with whether the NCAA ought to give more of the money to players. Of course it should. And if the NCAA were not styming competitive bidding for college players by denying them the right to make salaries in the college game, in addition to their scholarships, Division One basketball players would almost certainly be highly paid by universities competing for their revenue generating services.

What this has to do with is an apparent cartel peddling college sports and not paying taxes doing it.

The question is: what is the actual driver of the exploitation and market stymying?

Is it a cartel controlled by a bunch of athletic directors and athletic departments that have gotten off the leash of their chancellors and universities because they operate out of athletic departments incorporated outside the university?

Or is the cartel of the athletic departments mentioned largely a front organization for the networks? Put another way, is the athletic department cartel a front for the networks, the same way OPEC is a front for the Anglo-American oil refiners oligopoly?

(Note: All opining and speculation.)

Jack Wilson 9 years, 11 months ago

BigMan: Not bent out shape at all .. good debate.

We can agree to disagree. The scholarship kids get so much paid for and provided, you're only talking pizza money, essentially. I have no problem with a few bucks. But you used the word "exploitation" .. that's my big beef. Transfer rules when a coach leaves .. ok. But that's far from exploitation. But again, doesn't a kid know his LOI is the school not the coach, meaning he is well aware of that risk?

One thing you said .. why does BGL earn $325,000 and Self $3 million? Because Bill Self's skills are much less available, and his contribution to the university are much greater than BGL. Said another way, many, many folks could do BGL's job. It's the same reason teacher's aren't paid well. Many in other professions could do their job, and do it better .. it's supply and demand. Not as many could do coach Self's. And Coach Self creates much, much more revenue with his skill.

I think you ignore the opportunities big time sports provides a kid even beyond his scholarship.

Why does T.J. Pugh deserve more than he received? That makes no sense. "Deserve"? .. as Clint Eastwood said Little Bill, "Deserve's got nothin' to do with it."

Again, we can agree to disagree here. But your main points .. paying the athletes a little stipend and easing the transfer rules is a long way from "exploitation" and having "a long way to go" in compensation beyond a trip to Europe. Not sure $100 per month walking around money would cure "exploitation" if that was really the case.

And remember, the minute you give the revenue producers that money .. football and men's basketball .. everyone gets it. 4th chair tuba .. every scholarship based on an activity. Everyone will "deserve" something more. It's a much bigger scope than you're considering, I think.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago


You probably realize this, but the reason BGL makes less than Self is more complicated than supply and demand.

By rights, BGL should make more, because she probably does in fact "develop" more money for KU than Bill does.

KU has a billion dollar annual cash cycle, which dwarfs the cash cycle of both KUAD and makes the KU basketball budget nano by comparison.

And BGL operates this billion dollar budget. She works the state legislature for hundreds of millions of dollars per year, and the Federal legislature and the Federal Education bureaucracy, too. She isn't responsible for all of the $1 billion plus coming in, but she is responsible to considerable degree for the incremental increases. And like a good real estate agent, she is always out there "developing" her campus real estate by trying to attract more and more foundations. She "develops" some of the richest persons and entities in the world off campus, too. She doesn't go to London to develop funds from KU grads living in youth hostels in London, you know. :-)

She has to develop huge sums from the private oligarchs of the state of Kansas, too, or lose the portions of their wealth that they seek to use to buy political influence in the university and state bureaucracies and legislatures through through gifts. BGL is a bit like Self recruiting in this regard. She has to get out their and compete with KSU and WSU chancellors to land those annual influence gifts, or they'll go to KSU and WSU and those organizations will begin to be more appealing bureaucratic influence peddling conduits, right?

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Part 2

And then of course Federal bureaucracies that spread the research grant monies around that help attract the foundations to the campus real estate development in order to be close to the cutting edge research done that can then be ported to the private sector for profit organizations that funded the foundations and institutes in the first place, right?

And truth be told, BGL does ride herd on KUAD, which is just a kind of exaggerated sports foundation/institute in terms of its biz model. Its a campus real estate development with a foundation/institute inside it that "develops" donations and also attracts what I like to call "performance grants" from ESPN/CBS via the NCAA athletic director/athletic department cartel.

So: if you stop and think about BGL and her incremental contributions, million here and a million there, and 5 million here, and 10 million there, pretty shortly add up to more than the contribution of KUAD, or KU basketball.

So, if other things were equal, which they never are, BGL should earn a whole lot more than Bill, because she generates a whole lot more.

But there are such things as market pricing inefficiencies resulting from legacy institutions and the path dependence and biasing they persistently trigger than cause phenomena like the salary discrepancy between Bill and BGL.

BGL is a state employee and her salary is more a product of public sector salary constraints than Bill's is.

Bill is an employee of KUAD, if I understand correctly. He is the coach of the KU basketball team, but he isn't technically subject to the same public sector salary constraints. Correct me if I'm wrong here, for I surely could be.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Basketball coaches frequently make sharply more than their chancellors. Football coaches too. Even bad football and basketball coaches make more than their chancellors. Clearly, Turner Gill made a fecal pot more than BGL. And Turner Gill made more than BGL even when he stunk. And he made it even when he was given a settlement.

So we can infer that Bill's excellence may magnify the greater amount of salary he receives than BGL receives, but excellence cannot account for all of it, because lousy coaches make more than she does too.

Well, if its not excellence, and its not the total dollars that Bill and BGL generates that accounts for their differences in salaries, what does account for the differences?

  1. There are public sector constraints in the state legislature and budgetary process limiting chancellor salary upsides that are not limiting head basketball coaching salaries and these probably have virtually nothing to do with the comparative revenue generating ability of chancellors, or coaches, of today. Its a legacy institutional phenomenon.

  2. The public, especially the donating public, and the public that spends money on university tuition for children, and that votes for, or against taxes for the university, seem to feel more kinship and interest in the basketball coach and his team, than they do with a chancellor and her students, and so they get suddenly unhappy when the team does poorly and send a political signal through many pathways (including donations of all kinds, enrollment, and at the ballot box) that KU needs to spend whatever it takes to have a coach good enough to win with. The result is that since the athletic department is instituted outside the legacy constraints operating on the state university and its administrators, then relatively unbridled effects of competitive bidding occur and drive up the market value of coaches to something more closely corresponding to their revenue generating capacity than can occur with chancellors. Note: Chancellors are in much the same pickle that Fortune 100 CEOs were in the 1950s, before CEOs discovered the joys of stacking boards, and compensating themselves with stock options, and then operated the bottom line on the short term, so they could frequently cash out of options, and in time put bigger and bigger claims on the revenue streams of corporations to the point that a CEO today is really often little more than an internal corporate raider. But chancellors have not yet figured out how to high jack the compensation system away from the regents, as overtly and to such a degree that CEOs figured out how to high jack boards and use stock options and creative destruction to hollow out corporations and flee. One day, perhaps, when private management contracts are overlain on public universities, I suspect chancellors will succeed in becoming a future equivalent of today's internal raider CEOs of the private sector.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Part 4

Every ten to 20 years a new sector of sheep have to be shorn by the private sector economic predators, or they lose their sustainability. In my life time the insurance companies were sacked in the 60s, then the REITs in the 70s, then the S&Ls, telcos and airlines in the 80s, then the pension funds in the 90s, then large portions of the Pentagon and private sector real estate stock equity was stolen in the naught decade via the derivative scam, then in this decade we have slaughtered the commercial banks, another round of insurance company slaughter, and throughout it all we have been switching employment over to peonage pay levels with tax subsidy. And then they simply printed money to be stolen in trillions of dollar blocks and given to friends and family of the top .5%. Its how our largely post market, central bank planned economy driven through producer oligopolies in effect works. Wealth is redistributed upwards. The middle class has been marginalized as a stabilizing force obstructing economic predation. institutions have been "de-regulated" to bias events in this direction. Its not pretty. Its not market economics. But all economic systems are based on institutions. We didn't "de-regulate" the economy. We "re-regulated" it to produce precisely what has occurred the last 30 years. The only chance involved stems from the unpredictable variation within the re-regulated institutional limits imposed. And so there are still pricing inefficiencies in the new system that really do not correlate strongly with underlying costs and revenues, but rather more strongly with changing dynamics from all the "re-regulation." Distilled, Bill Self's salary is orders of magnitude greater than the chancellor's because college athletic departments were in the 70s-90s reinstituted toward a private sector constraint set that enabled more competitive bidding for coaches and more lee way in permitted salaries. Television and gambling stimulated by television, increased the revenue available from sport and the coaches, being competitive creatures by nature, cashed in.

The mistake the chancellors made was to let the athletic departments get instituted outside the university before the chancellors were able to figure out a way to be hired under private management contracts that exempted them from the public sector institutional constraints shaping salary within the university.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Part 5

Somehow, the private sector oligarchs will figure a way to lay private sector management contracts on public universities, so that they can install their own chancellors and begin the process of picking the bones of the university clean. During this phase, chancellors will become phenomenally well compensated and make much more money than even the best basketball coaches. They will become the equivalent of today's internal raider CEOs. They will be tasked with hollowing out the university and eventually we will probably see higher education outsourced with tax payer subsidies. Or we will see universities kept in their physical locations, but their locations will be translated into the epistemic equivalent of zones of activity under the jurisidiction of something like the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement where domestic private oligarchs, will operate through foreign chartered corporations, withiin the USA under protection of a parallel court system operating in effect independent of the Federal and state court systems and independent of much of our constitutional and regulatory statutes.

This is at least what I have time to sketch out now.

(Note: I am not trying to take sides here. I am just trying to add some back ground and foreground to your's and BigManU's exchange.)

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 11 months ago

All, I like your debate; however, I didn't see any mention of Title IX in the discussion.

Personally, I am totally against any type of payment to the student-athlete, but always am interested in the debate.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 11 months ago

Until the NCAA and BCS take into consideration Title IX issues when they are negotiating their TV contracts with CBS and ESPN than Title IX unfortunately gets put on the backburner. However, there is still talk about how the BCS is violating anti-trust laws so indirectly that is still somewhat related to Title IX.

Also, most athletic departments run a deficit so most of the money that we are talking about comes directly from the percentage pool of the NCAA Tournament contract with CBS as well as the BCS contract. The only two women's sports programs in the country that benefit from television, radio, and internet rights is UConn and Tennessee Basketball. If they are turning a profit and developing contracts that benefit those programs than they should be compensated for it. If not, than the coach's need to earn their paychecks and athletic directors need to figure out ways to fill seats for those programs. That's their job!!!!

I know that may sound harsh, but it's the reality in which college athletics is heading and forming. Hell, I am only following the model that the NCAA and BCS has planned out for the conferences and Division I institutions over the next 10 to 20 years. Based on that information, the models, and the future plans of these two organizations, that athletes themselves need to be looked at as well. Who is actually looking out for their well-being? The NCAA? Hell No! The BCS? Absolutely not! The Institutions? That question is tough!

Tony Bandle 9 years, 11 months ago

Nicknames for the the Swiss National Basketball team:

1] The Watches............................................................................................................ 2] The Cheese Holes..................................................................................................... 3] The Knives................................................................................................................ 4] The Yodelers............................................................................................................. 5] The Neutrals.............................................................................................................. 6] The Ski Lifts............................................................................................................. 7] The Chocolate Drops.................................................................................................. 8] The Cocoas [their cheerleading squad would be the Marshmellows]............................... *9] The If You Want Us You Gotta Climb The Mountains To Get Us.....................................

Tony Bandle 9 years, 11 months ago

WOW...could I have screwed that up any worse!!?? My apologies!!

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

"Both, See?"

This story reads like Lewis Carroll interviewing the White Rabbit!

“I will say this ... we’re not going to work on defense one possession...” because we're late, we're late, for a very important date.

This story reads like Joseph Heller doing Colonel Corn explaining Catch-22 to Yossarian.

“We’re not going to talk about it because if our defense is good that means we’ll never score..." but if we score that means our defense is bad and that is good.

This story reads like Arleigh Ermey gone to Oprah Camp and talking with Dr. Phil at his side.

“I have to study up on it myself. I don’t know all the differences, but to be honest with you, we are not going to worry about that..." because this is a growth experience that will be very meaningful and open us up to like ourselves as people, not just as Marines.

Self is a genius.

Self is a genius.

He has more "Selves" than a cat has lives.

Elijah Johnson, his battle hardened leader, his Lieutenant promoted to Captain, his stud who played through a knee injury for an entire murderously under substituted season, the guy who truly has been to hell and back through the worm hole of his own knee, the guy who seems to have been here since 1953 and thinks he has heard every version of Bill Self, the tough kid from Gary, Indiana, Gary, Indiana, Gary Indiana, by way of Lost Vegas, probably the toughest Jayhawk on the team down at his zinc/nickel molten core, and THE very offensive phenom out of high school that gave up his gun to learn to play Self's caudillo version of mano a mano defense, Elijah Johnson is being asked to man up to...

"I don’t want to screw our guys up too much..."


“If Jeff wants to shoot threes, he can shoot them..."

Self is a genius.

Self is a genius.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Part 2

He is taking Elijah Johnson completely out of his comfort zone, at the same time he is taking him to Paris and Zurich.

Elijah by the end of last season was just too good of a soldier. Too flipping disciplined. Too tunnel visioned. Too technical. Too do what the coach tells us and do it exactly that way.

Elijah had to be put through that phase to get his phenomenal athletic ability disciplined enough to fit in with players like Tyshawn "The Artist" Taylor and Thomas "Man and Superman" Robinson.

Elijah, the quintessential impact animal, had to be domesticated into a glue two for the good of a team thinner than mylar shaved in half with a surgical laser.

Elijah Johnson has been under the pressure of one of the most severe and demanding taskmasters in the history of D1 college basketball on a practice court for three, long, hard years.

Elijah Johnson has been from throwing a basketball cross court in a game into Self's hands in a brain methane riddled sophomore transition season, to one of a handful of the Marines that survived the Canal and lived to tell the green boots from Paris Island and Camp LeJeune about what the enemy will really be like this campaign.

Elijah Johnson now talks a bit like one of the brutally hardened leathernecks my Dad used to talk about meeting on the Canal when he stepped off the Luriline onto the dock to train on the just secured Canal for sailing up the slot to invade Bougaineville.

EJ's quotes at the bottom of this story betray the million mile stare at the new guys.

This is the look of the battle hardened veteran being asked to work with and lead a bunch of new boots that he doesn't know, that he doesn't trust, that he knows some will not survive the coming campaign.

This is the guy Self somehow has to knock the emotional callouses off of enough to get him to bond again with new men and lead them in to hardwood warfare.

This is the guy Self somehow has to re-mold into a fabulously creative firestorm of controlled improvisation--back into the greatest impact athlete he ever recruited--a leader tasked not with grinding it out with an undermanned force on an unknown island at a historical turning point in The Legacy, but instead into a leader of a fighting force amassing momentum again, a fully reinforced division, a bunch of can-do shave tails lead by a few great leathernecks who some how miraculously survived The Canal of last season.

Self has to turn purposeful, dutiful, order-following One Louie Elijah Johnson into a cock sure, brash Captain Johnson capable of leading his group with not only confidence, but audacious tactics capable of exploiting a fighting unit switching from a defense first posture, to a unit destined to treat every game like a high mobility, flanking and lightening attack campaign that will throw endless new bodies at each enemy, flank, flank, and flank them until they can be surrounded and annihilated from all sides.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Part 3

There will be no sand bagging for 30 minutes and playing all out for a win the last 10 minutes with this outfit.

There will be fewer grind it outs with this outfit.

This team is going to define itself as Self's first great high test offensive fighter attack aircraft that also defend the base; i.e., that also plays Self Defense.

Self will move the bar higher for this team, not lower.

Self has long been in the closet about offense. Self has long operated on "don't ask, don't tell" about his love of offense.

Self has gone all Arleigh Ermey for years on defense, because defense wins close games and defense is manly and defense is what gets you the chance to offend, and because Self was a better defender than offender as a hoopah himself. But inside every physical guy is a guy who wishes he could sky and go Nureyev on the opponents.

Yes, lest we forget, Arleigh Ermey, and every Marine who ever dropped his gun and picked up a rifle, masters that piece, learns to cherish that piece, and learns to shoot that piece accurately to kill enemy and stay alive, or else, the Marine is ordered to put on his pack and march double time until he does.

All real Marines like to think they can shoot the eye out of a gnat on the dead run between seducing some locals of the opposite gender. Even the BAMs think this way.

Yet, inside the cult of the machismo defense of Bill Self, is a Bill Self yearning for a creative, lightening strike offense.

IMHO, all men are as divided between the masculine and feminine sides of themselves as women are. Jung's Mysterium Coniunctus is substantially about this issue. In fact the more masculine, a man acts, or feminine a woman acts, the stronger I suspect is their opposite side of their personality beneath the surface....again, only IMHO. This has nothing to do with gayness, or straightness, or if it does, I do not intend it in those terms. I trust straights and gays who say gender preference is not choice with them, because I experience gender preference not to be a choice myself. I'm straight. I can't help it. If someone says they are gay and can't help it, it makes a lot of intuitive sense to me. And whether one is gay, or straight, it seems to me, one has masculine and feminine sides to one's personality. I have always found this to be so of all the gay and straight persons I have known. Masculine and feminine may not even be the best words to use to express the kind of bothness that exists in the minds of human beings, but its all I can think of right now.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Part 4

General Bill "Howlin' Mad" Self knows his Marines. He knows what makes them tick, down to the last hair on their you-know-what's. He knows which Marines are in danger of getting stale from hearing his usual Self. He knows which Marines he is going to depend on. He knows which of those that have gotten too controlled, too brainy, too rational, too hard...too not-both enough. He knows which ones have to go into the toughening box because they are not yet too controlled, too brainy, too rational, too hard. He knows that the key to a great Marine fighting unit is that they be both hard and soft, rote and intuitive, happily jaunty and with a mean streak, too. Mean and kind. Life giving and life taking. They have to defend and offend. They have to follow orders and improvise. They have to act with plans and act without plans. They need to be from Leawood and they need to be from Harlem. They need to be able to wear dressed blues, and they need to be able to wear filthy vermin infested cammies. They need to be able to say, "Yes, Mr. President, the Private would appreciate the First Lady's offer of some tea and a cookie." But they also need to be able to say (and mean), "We're going to take that objective and we're going to tear the asses out of anything that moves until we do." They need to be able to walk around in undressed blues with pretty white hats and darling little red stripes on the blue pants that guys where they come from would taunt them for being effeminant wimps for wearing (if they didn't know it weren't a Marine uniform), and they need to be able to walk through a whore house in Kandahar and find a buddy that has lost his self respect, disobeyed curfew, and otherwise fallen into a state of loathsome self-indulgence and take him back to base without either of them getting shot or court martialed. Marines and

Likewise, Self's Jayhawks have to be both. Both masculine and feminine. They have to be men and boys. They have to be who they are and what they are becoming. They have to be students and athletes, not because that is the norm of college basketball today, because it isn't. They have to be students and athletes, because that is the Self Way, the Okie Tao of Both.

Lance Hobson 9 years, 11 months ago

One note on this: have you ever seen the show "Vegas Strip?" It follows around Metro cops in Vegas and on one show they found a bunch of Marines on their last R&R stop before deploying. Lots of problems. I would not have wanted to be their 1st Sgt. They tried to play the military card to these cops, almost all of whom were long-time military vets themselves. No dice.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Part 5

Americans and Jayhawks are difficult for foreigners to understand, because are so much of both. I am not talking American exceptionalism here. There just are some variations between cultures and countries, that go along with most of the similarities. Whether the most educated and privileged among us, or the most bitterly underprivileged, we seem to foreigners like a fat bunch of indulgent, unruly, barely civilized, nonconformist boys and girls, yet when put to the test we become hardened fighting men and women that can miraculously somehow follow orders and improvise in ways a lot of others do not. It is as if the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and their internal contradictions and checks and balances and defiances and loyalties, and their natural gods and just plain gods, are infused into us by Franklin, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Adams, and Hamilton at birth. We are all hopelessly different and hopelessly the same. We are a stew that keeps separating and coming back together depending on how much heat is put on it. We all believe and we all don't believe. We all know we will win and doubt we will win. We all like being both the underdog and the overdog. We are brave and scared. We are fat and skinny. We are ugly and beautiful. We are the few, the proud, the Americans, and we are that even when we shouldn't be. Its not optional being both.

Bill Self is taking his Marines to Paris. And he knows the old saw that after they've been to Paris, how ya gonna keep'em down on the farm? Its a risk he's willing to take.

Bill Self has a quiet officer deserving of a Jayhawk Medal of Honor for gutting it out last season on a blown knee. His name is Elijah Johnson. But Elijah Johnson knows that Sasha Kaun did the same thing before him, so he knows that though mere mortals on other teams could not do what he did, that on the Kansas Jayhawks of Bill Self, it is merely SOP. The difficult comes easy on Self's Jayhawks, while playing on an impossibly blown knee takes a little longer. Don't whine about a blown knee. Just guard and glue and keep scrapping to find some way to get better. Hell, if you can't get better at basketball, then get better at acting like a blown knee doesn't matter. But don't cry about it. It just makes the team more vulnerable and Jayhawks and Marines don't let their buddies down, Private Pyle, you got that. Yes, Sargeant Carter, but shazzam, if this knee don't hurt like Ernest T. Bass kicking Barney Fife in the privates.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Part 6

Now, Elijah has to be unleashed as the natural force that he has always been. Now Elijah has to become all things to all teammates. Now he has to impact and lead, not just manage and distribute. Don't complain about the knee. Don't talk about the knee. The real challenge is not in your knee anyway. The real challenge is in your brain. Now you have to unleash the forces of nature in your a way that is both controlled and uncontrolled. Both, see?

Self is turning Elijah Johnson's world view and view of Bill Self inside out yet again.

They are going to Paris and concentrating on offense!

There is something profoundly right about what Self is doing here.

It is beyond explaining rationally in words. It is a stroke of coaching genius in terms of helping Elijah take it to the next level, of keeping him from getting too comfortable with the approach to each season, too stale from that same approach, and too focused on his knee.

You think we always start with defense, eh Captain Johnson. Well, I have got news for you, Captain. That was then and this is now. We start with offense now, Captain. We love offense like we love women with large breasts, narrow wastes, long sinuous legs, and lips fuller and painted more red than our mothers ever were, Captain Johnson. We love offense like bulls love to back dance on heifers, Captain Johnson. We live for offense. We think offense is the only manly form of self actualization left in this man's corp. We think offense comes first as naturally as a functional male wanting to meet and attempt to combine genes with Bar Rafaeli. Do you read me, Captain Johnson?

What Self appears to be doing is going to force EJ to become a new kind of leader for this young team; one that will be required for this team to become a fully effective, high mobility fighting force. Elijah Johnson is a high mobility weapon. If he is to be the hub of this team, then this team must become a high mobility fighting force in order to be in sync with Captain Johnson. To this end I believe Self is planning a high mobility scheme with his slender, high mobiility center and with his high mobility supporting cast of Travis, BenMac and the high mobility committee of Kevin Young/Perry Ellis.

High mobility is relative of course. In World War I, the green young US Marines inserted into the Marne River region of France moving on foot seemed high mobility compared to French and English forces by then used to hunkering down in trenches for long periods between ghastly slaughters.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Part 7

It is appropriate that Self, Captain Johnson, and his green boots are headed to France.

France and the Marines have a special bond from the Battle of Belleau Wood on the Marne River in France in World War I that most have now long forgotten.

Though the decisiveness of the American contributions to winning World War I, and especially some of the rationality of the tactics used, are questioned by no less a historian than the brilliant, but still decisively British Lidell Hart, some things are not in dispute.

At the time of the Marine's insertion into battle under French commanders ordering them to retreat into trench warfare positions, the Marines contradicted the conventional wisdom of the time, some say audaciously and bravely, some say naively and stupidly.

The Germans proceeded to release massive quantities of mustard gas on the Marine forces, which not only caused horrific deaths and injuries from burned lungs to the Marines, but also to many of the German forces because of unpredictable winds blowing it back on German lines.

Early on, after taking a position and being told to pull back into trenches, a Marine commander reputedly responded, "Retreat? Hell, we just got here." And the Marines were ordered forward by "their" officers and told to dig shallow fox holes and in essence fight to the death rather than pay for the same real estate twice. They did.

And later Gunnery Sergeant Dan Daly, a recipient of two Medals of Honor who had served in the Philippines, Santo Domingo, Haiti, Peking and Vera Cruz, prompted his men of the 73rd Machine Gun company forward with the words: "Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?"

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Serial alias strikes again.

How about using "Serial Alias" as a serial alias? :-)

Alohahawk 9 years, 11 months ago

Always wondered how long it takes for Jaybate to complete one of his shorter essays. According to this - the above took six minutes or so. And this footnote just took me a minute to type. :>)

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 11 months ago

I can't even THINK as fast as he can type !

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Part 8

Whether true words, or invented, damn that's a line only an American would think of.

But it was the late assault on Belleau Wood that welded the Marine Legacy with France that are young team is about to visit.

Losses had been high and the reserve Marines were as green as those that had been lost. Their commanders were not as experienced in some cases as surviving enlisted men in the field. A horrendous mistake was made by Marine leaders. The Marines, two companies and a battalion were sent attacking into the waist of the wood between two dug in German armies--parts of five German divisions--that were protected by the cover of the wood and their entrenched and bermed positions. The intended approach was to flank and attack one side of the wood. Instead, German machine guns from both woods caught the attacking Marines in cross fires and the Marine units were shortly slaughtered, but for remnants. At this point, the battle could easily have gone down as the greatest defeat and disgrace in the history of the US Marine Corp, and maybe of the US military. And to this date, despite historical white washing, it remains a stunning tactical blunder.

Yet the remnants kept attacking the woods, and then reinforced kept attacking at total of six times, at times without ammunition, at times just with fixed bayonets and at times only with fists in the face of machine guns. It should never have happened. It should never have been allowed to happen. There were almost certainly other ways around the wood. But in the end it did happen. And in the end the Marines prevailed, and the German southern defensive line in the area collapsed.

All war is insanity and waste of human life and human production. Don't think for a second I mean to glorify war when I write these kinds of pieces. I am glorifying the acts of individual human beings usually wrongfully placed into the insanity of war in the first place.

The institution of war, as surely as the institution of slavery, must one day be de-instituted forever, or humanity will perish from this earth. There is no other way.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Part 9

But until then, the terrible truth is that amidst the insanity there is savage greatness, there are human beings struggling desperately and heroically just to keep a few buddies alive a little longer.

I hate war. I have never been in war. I am the off spring of a man that was in war and that would have been so much better off had he never been in war. Every person I have met who was in war would have been better off individually not having been.

I oppose most wars. I find few wars to have been worth the destruction and the dying and the mangling. I understand clearly that without the monetary incentives of war, almost all wars can be prevented. Wars are fundamentally about asymmetric taking of benefits by the rich and asymmetric shifting of costs onto poor, while enough persons can be made to believe that the future of goodness and family hangs in the balance if a war is not fought.

And yet the Marines of Bellau Wood prevailed in that wood so long ago now in a moment of the of extreme failure of leadership, in a moment of the worst possible circumstances, and in a moment when they had virtually no chance of prevailing. This is real. This is true. This happened.

Though trapped in the mists of history and memories of invisible clouds of mustard gas, though suffused with warranted tributes and unwarranted propaganda, though filled with self-promoting hype within the military and the Marine Corp itself, this event happened and these men did act and prevail above and beyond the call of duty. And all of the war lovers and all of the war haters, and all of the free riders on war, and all of those that don't have any opinion at all, cannot in the end obscure the fact that the wood was taken, finally by some men who would not quit for reasons we, even those men who have been in combat themselves, may ever be able to adequately explain. I know my father, who survived Bougainville, Guam and Iwo Jima, and who said there was no way someone who was not on Iwo Jima could ever understand what took place there, looked back at Belleau Wood and shook his head and he had no clue how they did it, why they did it, and said quietly only those that had been in the wood would ever understand it.

Reason and unreason are merely states of mind. Being right or wrong, beautiful and ugly, magnificient and horrific are all in the mind of the beholder ultimately. Even the judgement of heroism is subjective.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Part 10

But the Marine assault on Belleau Wood and conquering of it were real. They took place in space and time and in a place that still exists. I have been there.

Ironically, in the sense of bothness that so suffuses life in moments of stunning drama and in moments of the mundane, the Marines at Belleau Wood were commanded by an officer of the US Army--General James Harbord--something almost unthinkable in the usual routine of the US Marine Corp. But there was nothing usual about this moment but its deep, abiding bothness.

I found this quote by Harbord on a Wiki page on the battle referring to Harbord's later dediction of a cemetery and monument to the Battle of Belleau Wood:

"Now and then, a veteran ... will come here to live again the brave days of that distant June. Here will be raised the altars of patriotism; here will be renewed the vows of sacrifice and consecration to country. Hither will come our countrymen in hours of depression, and even of failure, and take new courage from this shrine of great deeds."

I have been to Paris. I have been to Normandy and Verdun and Belleau Woods. I have been to the Rhine. I have been to the Alps and the Pyrennes. I have been to Burgundy and Provence and Savoie. I hope Coach Self takes the players to Belleau Wood. There are dead men there, under White Crosses and Stars of David, who somehow, in some incomprehensible way, did what still seems to me the impossible. I have only sensed this one other time. It was when I looked at The David by Michaelangelo in Florence. In both instances, one terrible beyond imaging, one beautiful beyond imagining, something impossible happened and for posterity, it was somehow good.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Part 11

The French awarded the 4th Marine brigade the Croix de Guerre, and that may matter most to the militarism festishists out there, but the more important and enduring honor IMO, was the French re-naming the wood " "Bois de la Brigade de Marine" ("Wood of the Marine Brigade"). To name is to institute reality, as poet Octavio Paz once noted. What was done there was thus instituted there. It is in joining the action and the place in name that the only true commemoration can occur. Thus there are places where the bothness of life occurs at such phenomenal intensity that they are become sacred, consecrated, no matter what others say and do there after.

The players will play on the sacred wood of Allen Field House this fall, winter and spring. It is KU basketball's sacred place of bothness.

It would be good for the players to see not only the Alps and Zurich and Paris, and French people, as the Marines so long before, the few who survived, saw them.

KU's basketball coach and his observe the practice of boot camp, a term and an approach to team work descended for better and for worse from the US Marine Corp. They play for a school, not just for themselves. They fight and sacrifice on the sacred wood. They play not only for their ends but to not let their buddies down. Sometimes they win and sometimes they lose, but always there is next.

Everything can build to a crucial moment and at the same time life goes on no matter what. Sometimes everything goes their way and sometimes they must operate with everything going against them. The greatness of their performances depends on both tangible physical talent and intangible mental toughness and competitive greatness. Thus they are, as all Americans are, part of the blundering, horrible and impossible and heroic beyond imagining legacy of the Belleau Wood--the better and the worse of it. Even as anti-hero Jimmy Dean once said caught between the bothness of youth and adulthood, between the child and the parent: "We are involved. We are all involved."

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Part 12

And the Marine Corp Hymn, which seems so singularly identified with the Marines (in my mind anyway) turns out reputedly to have been "...a melody from the Gendarmes' Duet from an 1867 revision of the 1859 opera Geneviève de Brabant by Jacques Offenbach, which debuted in Paris in 1859," as cited in the rightly mistrusted, but still handy Wikipedia. So: even the hymn is about bothness.

And so Bill Self takes both his veterans and his "innocents abroad" and tries to take what is given, once more, an encounter with the utterly foreign Euro pro teams and game and with the unfamiliary to these players of Europe itself, into an encounter as always with the bothness of the world and the bothness inside us, and begins the long process of both building one Captain Johnson into not only a disciplined point guard, but now also now once again into a daring, audacious and explosive impact baller, and also one 2012-2013 KU basketball squad into a highly mobile, many stringed, unit of relentless offensive attack that will when the time is right, be taught to guard with their lives, too.

Both, see?

Rock Chalk!

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

I have said this elsewhere recently. I am cutting back. :-)

Seriously, I drop these infrequently now, mostly when I think board rats are getting too comfortable with the medium. We have some real posting studs around here now. People that know what they are doing. But they still need a mechanical rabbit every once in awhile. And that's about all I'm capable of anymore. This one was coincidental. I was re-reading Hart's and Keegan's books on World War One and they jogged my memory about Belleau wood. So I grabbed a war atlas published for the US Military academy and looked at the map for the Battle of Belleau Wood and it blew me away what these guys did. Then I thought about how young they must have been. Then I thought about how amazing France must have seemed to them. Then I slept. Then I woke up and saw this story about Self doing this role reversal gig, then I saw the part going to Switzerland and France. At first, I dashed off something about players visiting Switzerland and about how tour guides never really did Switzerland's secret banking justice. As I wrote it it felt pretty good, but when all was said and done it was just so dark that I didn't think it tied in very well with a wide eyed young basketball team going to Europe for the first time, so I junked it and then this came out. It felt right. It had the mix of awe and horror that I felt on my first trip to the battle fields of Europe. So I posted it.

I thought a 12 parter might shake up the summer doldrums a bit. :-)

Everyone worries too much around here about length.

It was what it was.

Eric Mitchell 9 years, 11 months ago

Your posts are similar to the Planet of the Apes movies. As they keep going people lose their interest, but some people continue to keep reading/watching those movies and your posts. I am not a fan of either but others probably really enjoy them.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for weighing in. I too am not a fan of your posts, but I am sure some must be and I am grateful you post so they can enjoy them.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Imagine this, JayDogger: if you are a holocaust denier, you can stop reading this.

A few years ago, if I recall correctly, the mainstream media reported that Swiss secret banking laws had attracted deposits of monies and of gold melted down from fillings, jewelry, and eye glasses of victims of the Holocaust.

Some of the Swiss banks reputedly, after considerable prodding returned some of the Nazi monies, but some others reputedly did not. What do you make of that?

Secret banking laws reputedly don't always draw the nicest depositors. Do you suppose narcotrafficers and illegal arms dealers and terrorists would ever want a secret bank account?

Tell me you're not a holocaust denier. Tell me you're not keeping your head in the sand about the long standing problems with secret banking.

And I'm not even talking about Mitt's bank account in the Caymans, okay. Just the really evil stuff--not a little job outsourcing that leaves more Americans without work.

Say it JayDogger, say it ain't so.

Lance Hobson 9 years, 11 months ago

I keep telling my wife I hate hate this century's biggest cliche "It is what it is." Now I have a boss that uses it everyday. The thing is, most of the time it isn't what it is if you exercise some critical thought, find the error, then the root cause, then provide a logical fix. It's the ultimate cop out. Players say it because they are too dumb to think and that sounds good enough. Let's not be lazy, we're better than that.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Copy and paste. I tried to rewrite the cliche and fell smack dab into it.

kellerman411 9 years, 11 months ago

Several hits + Jaybate's post = total comprehension and brilliance

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Oh, killerman911, here another formula for you.

jaybate's post - killerman911 bong ripping = reality.


Lance Hobson 9 years, 11 months ago

  1. I have been to Guam and seen their caves and fortifications mangled in shallow water and read about the Japanese who were found still fighting and scrounging for food in the 70s. I would not have wanted to be there, much less Iwo.
  2. I have been to war, and as much as I'd like to use the party line about it being hell and all, I found it intoxicating. After 2,000 training hours in the F-15E finally making it happen in combat and listening to a JTAC say "Good hits!" and then tell you that the enemy has stopped shooting after your bombs impact an EFP gives a sense of accomplishment that is hard to describe. The comraderie, the sense of purpose, there is nothing more real than that. And the obvious fact that there is no chance of winning and the politicians have no clue about that is irrelevant.
  3. In reference to the last sentence above, Marines are better suited to being outnumered in the woods than "winning the hearts and minds" in a counter-insurgency. By a lot.
  4. I have also seen the DAHVEED, and I can accurately predict that the impact is seriously lessened when you have immature 18-year-olds next to you making comments about the dude's junk. Self shouldn't try too hard to convince these players to become art lovers. Jumpers and Le Big Macs will do.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago


Your wonderful post triggered a recollection this morning. When you said you found your war experience more intoxicating than hellish, it reminded me of someone else's comment. I remember Catch-22 author Joseph Heller, a bombardier on a B-25 in the Mediterranean in WWII, saying much the same thing. He was a poor Jewish kid from Coney Island. He was just out of high school and had few job prospects and getting in a good college seemed uncertain. Almost on a lark he and a buddy joined the then Army Airforce. They moved him around to a couple of bases for training and then over to an island in the Mediterranean. He said it was all a huge amount of fun even after the first 10-20 missions. He just enjoyed the rides to target, and then when AA fire started, which was usually light, he just concentrated on his Norden bomb sight, tuned things out, and did his job. He said he never felt much of anything about dropping his bombs on targets. It was just his job and when he was not doing it the guys were horsing around and playing poker and he got to read a lot, which he liked to do. He felt sure nothing would happen to him and his plane, and that if it did it would all be over in an instant. He said his war experience would have been entirely positive, if his plane had not been hit by flak on one mission and the plane lost altitude suddenly, he was pinned against the ceiling of his bomb sight station briefly, then saw smoke and heard a lot of screaming about someone being hit, Heller asking who, and the co-pilot replying "the bombardier," and Heller replying "I'm the bombardier!" Some crewmen aboard were hit. But the plane limped home. From that moment, he said he felt very human and vulnerable, and looked forward to ending his tour, but still really enjoyed his experiences with his pals. And when he came home, he was only 20, and he said he had no trouble fitting back into civilian life at all. He said girls who never gave him a second look before leaving would go out on dates with him just because he had been a soldier. He said there were a lot of available women when he came home, because the war was still on. He was able to get into college easily because of his war service and the reduced competition from so many young men being overseas. All in all, he said the war was very good for him, but as he aged he began to think more and more about the other B-25 crews he had seen go down, and about the slaughter that occurred under him and the awful carnage of it all and he became sharply opposed to war.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Interestingly, he said that Catch-22 was not really about his opposition to war at all, when he was writing it at all. He said he intended it as a satire of what America was becoming in the 1950s in his mind--an absurdly bureaucratized society in which everyone was just trying to hang on in their tiny little realm of the vast bureaucracy in the midst of the nuclear and anti-communist paranoia of the time. Heller taught literature briefly in a college, then thought that was BS and so went to work in advertising in NYC, where he could make more money and write his novel at night. He said Catch-22 was really about the ridiculously absurd bureaucracies of the college and the advertising firms he worked for. But he decided to use the setting of war as a metaphor and as a conceit where he thought he could heighten the absurdity to greater levels, and not be accused of being unAmerican about mainstream American life in that time. He also said he realized war novels usually sold well and that he did not think there had been a really great satire of WWII yet. He was a strange combination of serious artist and cunning commercial mercenary. He added that as the years passed he grew to understand that in fact Catch-22 probably also had been an attempt to deal with his war fears that had been more or less repressed by him. But he made it clear that during the writing it was to him about the 1950s bureaucracies and the paranoia of nukes, commies, and McCarthyism inquisitions. He said he was just trying to write an epic satire about American life, because he had tried writing "serious" fiction about slices of American life like Henry Roth earlier, and like the "serious" authors of the 50s. They hadn't worked. He realized that in writing advertising he could be funny. He liked the great satirists of literary history and so he tried one. Catch-22 came out. It was not a hit at first. Then it got picked up by the couple generations after him as an anti-war book in the Vietnam era. He said he did not care why it became a big hit. He was just grateful that it did, so that he did not have to write advertising anymore and could spend his life writing other novels, none of which proved to be as popular to readers, but which he hoped in time would be recognized as well crafted works of literary satire. I relate the above, because you never know who has a book in them. Maybe you do. I haven't really read a good satire about flying an F-15E. :-)

And frankly, the world needs good satire now more than ever. And the heart of your book would be the absurdity you note between the joys of teamwork and successful exectution on the one hand and on the sense that all of it is done futilely for a politicians war that cannot possibly be won.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Based on Heller's experience, you may have to tell yourself your story is actually a metaphor for modern American life back home: about persons desperately focusing on accomplishment to keep their minds off a failing society, or something like that.

Whatever, its great to hear from you.

P.S.: And thanks for those comments about Guam. I haven't gotten there yet and so it helped to hear from an American soldier. The last time I heard something first hand was from a Japanese couple that had honeymooned on Guam 15 years ago, or so. At one time in the last few decades it was a big destination for Japanese honeymooners that could not afford more expensive places, or so I was told.

Steve Gantz 9 years, 11 months ago

I began reading your posts at the beginning of Lawrence of Arabia. The movie ended before I finished reading your posts!

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Lawrence of Arabia is one of my top 5 films of all time. Never read one of my posts, or anything else, during it. It is too wonderful to dilute with anything. :-)

Lance Hobson 9 years, 11 months ago

Jaybate, I find your insight about the real purpose of Catch-22 very comical considering the AF just added it to its reading list. That said, I know exactly what Heller meant about never thinking anything bad would happen to you. I felt so insulated in a fast fighter that the thought of being shot down never crossed my mind. By the time I left I was almost wanting to see AAA fired at me on a low altitude show of force just to up the stakes. I couldn't even get myself to write one of those goodbye letters to my wife that everyone left next to their cot just in case. Of course, a few Taliban out roasting a goat and firing up low Pk AK-47 rounds is a little different than the flak of WWII. I'm ashamed to say that I barely even knew what was in my survival kit, it wasn't worth reviewing. And when I got back, I didn't have anything close to PTSD. My wife is a psychologist who was working with PTSD patients at the VA and confirmed that I didn't have a single symptom of it. But I always wondered if that detachment would have changed had I actually had to punch out and deal face to face with pissed off Taliban who wanted to castrate me. I had it much easier than the folks on the ground in those remote FOBs up in the mountains. The Army and Marines bear the brunt of that war, and that part is truly sad. The book War by Sebastion Junger tells that side of things very well.

As far as my book, I kept good notes and there could certainly be a hilarious sitcom about a fighter squadron. If I tried to make it serious I think it would be obvious that I was trying to make it sound more dramatic and noble than it was. It just wasn't going to Ploesti or Hanoi, but it had its moments. Sadly, some folks have shredded my in-flight paperwork from some of my most memorable missions. I could have some fun with the absurdity of the political goals in Afghanistan, though. Like the one mission I was on involving two jets, several helos, five different patrols, and a complex timeline with a long list of codewords for various triggers. The mission: installing a swing set at a school. In the brief we all thought that "swingset" the Army liaison kept mentioning was some standard codeword for a critical telecommunications node or outpost of some sort that we should certainly know so nobody would fess up and ask the question. When I finally did and found out it was NFS a swingset everyone else admitted they were lost as well. Ironically, the mission was a success and the kids loved the hell out of that thing so it turned out to be one of my more productive sorties.

As far as Guam, the Japanese who can't affort Hawaii still flock there. I have no idea why because it is much more expensive other than the airfare they may save. The Guamanians claim to be the nicest people in the world, and from what I've seen they have a fair argument.

texashawk10 9 years, 11 months ago

In other Jayhawk basketball related news, Sasha Kaun scored 3 points in 15 minutes in Russia's thrilling 75-74 win over Brazil in group play to move to 3-0 so far in the Olympics. Vitaliy Fridzon hit a 3 pointer in the corner while being fouled (not called) with 4 seconds left to seal the win for Russia. Russia next plays Spain on Saturday in what should be one of the better games in group play as the winner will likely win the group.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 11 months ago

JB, you must have got an A+ in typing in high school or you've got some gorgeous, leggy steno starlet taking your dictation [no jokes, please].

If I may sum up Parts 1 thru 12....this season's squad will play just as hard as every Bill Self squad that has come before.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago


Lemme think. (pause for archived memory retrieval) No, I got an A-. But I took typing, because I used to jam my fingers all the time playing football and basketball. One semester of typing and I played the next three years of sports without a single jammed finger. Best class I ever took. Highly recommend it to any young persons with the same problem, though I doubt in the age of desktops and internet that kids lack for keyboard work outs. And I wonder if these computer keyboards would build up the same kind of finger strength and dexterity that the old type writers used to force you to acquire? :-)

wrwlumpy 9 years, 11 months ago

Thanks Jaybate for an entertaining morning. Watch the KU Athletics interviews of Withy, Travis and EJ as they talk about the Freshmen. Withy is impressed with Ellis, Travis wants a National Championship and EJ talked about his role a leader and what each of these future stars have to do to wear the Crimson and Blue. We the fans must also fit into the Marine mentality. The mentioning of the hardwood in Allen Fieldhouse being sacred is understood by everyone on this blog, except for the trolls which appear like Fred Phelps at a Marine's funeral.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago


Glad I could give you a little entertainment. We all need some when interest rates on bank savings accounts are near negate and the mutual funds are losing ground. And they tell us American's aren't saving enough! Gee, I wonder why?

Watch out for Fred Phelps and Rock Chalk!

Mike Hart 9 years, 11 months ago

First it was HighEliteMajor and BigManU.... Each writing their thoughts in 1800 words or more each entry onto this board. But now you guys did it... You woke up JayBate... The excessively verbose.... Human rain delay... Walking filibuster himself. Can the three of you find a chat room and put each other to sleep with your commentary and penchant for droning on and on and on?

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