Friday, October 4, 2019
Kansas Athletic Director Jeff Long apologized Friday for a Late Night in the Phog performance by rapper Snoop Dogg that included stripper poles on the Allen Fieldhouse floor and fake money shot over the heads of prospective recruits.
“I take full responsibility for not thoroughly vetting all the details of the performance and offer my personal apology to those who were offended,” Long said in the statement released just before midnight Friday. “We strive to create a family atmosphere at Kansas and fell short of that this evening.”
The performance included pole dancers gyrating on the court, profanity-laced lyrics, and a money gun loaded with fake $100 bills featuring Snoop Dogg’s face. The fake money was shot in the direction of KU basketball recruits.
The show came just 11 days after KU received the NCAA’s equivalent of an indictment that alleges KU was involved in a pay-for-play scheme to attract recruits to the school, among other NCAA violations. Specifically, the allegations — which if proven could result in postseason bans, losses of scholarships and other penalties — state representatives of Adidas paid family members or guardians of recruits to attend KU.
Adidas was a partner in bringing Snoop Dogg to the Late Night in the Phog event. KU officials worked with the rapper’s representatives and Adidas to land the hip-hop artist for the 35th edition of Late Night and celebrated the achievement by releasing a social media video starring KU coach Bill Self last week when the appearance was confirmed.
Long said in his statement that KU officials “made it clear” to Snoop’s representatives during a couple of months of negotiations and coordination that KU “expected a clean version of the show.” Instead, Snoop Dogg brought roughly two-thirds of his full tour act, which road crews began setting up at 6 a.m. Wednesday, and did not hold back while wearing a blue, No. 20 Kansas basketball jersey and performing several of his own hits and a sampling of others in front of a frenzied Allen Fieldhouse.
After a delay of nearly 45 minutes from the end of the show to the time he appeared in the media room, Self expressed his displeasure with the performance during his seven-minute meeting with the media.
“I didn’t know that there was going to be anything like that,” said Self, who noted that the delay was the result of him visiting with recruits and their families. “I was told this was radio edited and everything else. So I don’t guess you have visuals on radio. I learned that tonight. That’s not the direction that anybody at our school would want that to go at all. Regardless of the entertainment that it provided many, it was still not the right way to provide the entertainment.”
While the KU men’s and women’s basketball teams, along with most of the crowd, danced and sang along with Snoop Dogg and his act throughout the set, Self caught just the beginning.
“I only stayed for a couple songs,” the KU coach said. “I wasn’t feeling well so I went back to the locker room. I didn’t see the majority of what went down, but certainly I got a pretty good idea based on the first couple of songs.”
Prior to the show, Snoop Dogg visited the KU locker room and introduced himself to the team. Pictures of Snoop Dogg in the KU locker room and even a video of him teaching Self the opening bars to “Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang” were posted to KU’s social media accounts.
"That’s what’s happened whenever we’ve done this,” Self said of Snoop Dogg's locker room visit, noting that recent acts Tech N9ne, Lil Yachty and 2 Chainz did the same. “We’ve always had an opportunity to see the guys beforehand. So he did that for five minutes and then I think he went and saw the women’s team after that.”
Snoop Dogg’s portion of Late Night came after the men’s and women’s teams finished their skits and scrimmages. Putting the musical guest at the end of the event was a new wrinkle added this year, which, according to Long’s statement, was done “to ensure that no basketball activities would be missed if anyone did not want to stay for his show.”
“It was better having the entertainer go last, format-wise,” Self said after the event.