Stories for May 2020


Friday, May 29

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NCAA releases 3,200-word return-to-campus document with guidelines on how to handle COVID-19

A new NCAA document gave universities and conferences across the country some more guidance Friday on how to prepare for the return of college athletics, advising them to create COVID-19 task forces and to formulate plans for what to do if an athlete gets sick. By Matt Tait

Thursday, May 28

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Depositions in Beaty lawsuit can be part of KU infractions case, NCAA committee chair says; decision could affect basketball case too

KU has lost a ruling in its NCAA infractions case related to evidence involving its former football coach, and the ruling ultimately may play a role in the higher-stakes case against the men’s basketball program.

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Six Kansas track standouts earn All-American honors

Six members of the Kansas track and field teams were recognized as All-Americans for their performances during the 2019-20 indoor season, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced this week.

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Kansas women's basketball to travel to Mississippi for 2020 SEC/Big 12 Challenge

The Kansas women’s basketball team will travel to Oxford, Miss., this season to take on Ole Miss in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, the Big 12 Conference announced Thursday.

Wednesday, May 27

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KU AD Jeff Long announces departmentwide furloughs, pay cuts

University of Kansas Athletic Director Jeff Long on Wednesday announced staffwide furloughs and pay cuts for all Kansas Athletics employees, including coaches, from June 1 through the end of 2020. By Matt Tait

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KU football's 5 new assistant coaches doing their best to adjust during unusual times

Kansas football coach Les Miles replaced five key members of his coaching staff during the offseason. And because of the global pandemic shutting down college athletics, Miles' five new hires have had to learn different ways to adjust to their new jobs. By Matt Tait

Tuesday, May 26

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Azubuike, Downey earn KU's senior scholar athlete awards for 2019-20

Former Kansas basketball big man Udoka Azubuike and standout swimmer Haley Downey recently were honored as KU’s 2019-20 Dr. Robert Frederick Senior Scholar Athletes of the Year.

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Girod, Long discuss what a fall semester could look like for KU academics, sports

An overarching theme of the COVID-19 crisis, University of Kansas Chancellor Douglas Girod said Tuesday, is that it’s been much easier to shut down operations than to open them back up.

Monday, May 25

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Mamba Memories: Former Jayhawk Tarik Black shares stories of Kobe Bryant's final NBA game

It’s been four months since Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash, and former Kansas forward Tarik Black has thought a lot about him since that day in late January. By Matt Tait

Sunday, May 24

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Three-star Georgia linebacker commits to Kansas football

Three-star linebacker Trey Staley announced his commitment to Kansas on Saturday and in doing so spoke of a challenging road ahead.

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Longtime Oklahoma State coaching legend Eddie Sutton dies at age 84

Kansas native and legendary college basketball coach Eddie Sutton died late Saturday night at age 84.

Friday, May 22

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Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby discusses necessary steps for football and fans this fall

Conference announced Friday night that football players will be allowed back on campus June 15

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby not only believes there will be college football games this fall but also thinks there will be fans there to watch. By Matt Tait

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Kansas coach Bill Self not in favor of proposed change to NCAA transfer rules

Responding to a proposal for changes to the NCAA's waiver system, the NCAA Division I Council on Wednesday said it would not tweak waiver guidelines today and instead would commit to changing the transfer rules by January. By Matt Tait

Thursday, May 21

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Kansas volleyball's Top 10 recruiting class has coach Ray Bechard eyeing bounce-back season

The Kansas volleyball team is ready to unveil its rebuilt roster this fall, and head coach Ray Bechard could not be more excited about the names on the list. By Matt Tait

Wednesday, May 20

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NCAA votes to lift moratorium on football, basketball workouts

The NCAA Division I Council voted Wednesday to lift a moratorium on voluntary workouts by football and basketball players effective June 1 as a growing number of college leaders expressed confidence that fall sports will be possible in some form despite concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

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Self, some other Kansas coaches returning to offices in limited capacity and with precautions

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self and some of the school's other coaches were back in their offices this week — albeit with a host of COVID-19-related precautions and new routines. By Matt Tait

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NCAA source confirms request for KU's allegations case to be heard by independent panel

The fate of KU’s men’s basketball program — embroiled in serious pay-for-play allegations by the NCAA’s enforcement staff — may be heading for an all-or-nothing moment.

Tuesday, May 19

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In web video series, former Jayhawk Aaron Miles bonds with his sons and boosts their hoops skills

The COVID-19 crisis pushed pause on Aaron Miles’ first full season as a member of the Golden State Warriors coaching staff, but it has not left the former Kansas point guard without anyone to coach. By Matt Tait

Monday, May 18

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Kansas Athletics survey aims to find out how ready fans are to return

Kansas Athletics Inc. is conducting an online survey to gauge fan interest in attending KU sporting events in the fall and beyond. By Matt Tait

Saturday, May 16

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End of the Line: Equipment manager Jeff Himes says goodbye to Kansas football after more than 3 decades of service

A fixture around the Jayhawks’ facilities since he was hired way back in 1988, KU equipment manager Jeff Himes retired at the end of April, closing the book on his 32 years with the team. By Benton Smith

Thursday, May 14

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Former Kansas football coach Pepper Rodgers dies at age 88

Former Kansas football coach Pepper Rodgers, who led the Jayhawks to the 1969 Orange Bowl, died Thursday at age 88.

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Former Eudora High standout Mitch Ballock pumped to bring Creighton to Allen Fieldhouse next season

The Kansas men's basketball program officially released its nonconference schedule for the 2020-21 season on Wednesday, and it includes a December matchup with former Eudora High standout Mitch Ballock and his Creighton Bluejays.

Wednesday, May 13

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Battle with Missouri one of the highlights of tough Kansas basketball nonconference slate for 2020-21 season

The renewal of the series with bitter border rival Missouri highlights the 2020-21 slate of nonconference games for the Kansas men’s basketball program. By Matt Tait

17 Kansas baseball players earn academic all-Big 12 honors

Seventeen members of the Kansas baseball team earned Academic all-Big 12 honors this season, the Big 12 Conference announced Wednesday.

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Kansas football coach Les Miles adjusting to online approach to coaching

Although he has gotten used to it by now, Kansas football coach Les Miles’ first attempt to coach his team in a virtual setting this spring proved to be a challenge. By Matt Tait

Tuesday, May 12

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NCAA tweaks formula for college basketball's NET rankings

Still just two years old, the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) ranking system is simplifying its approach. By Matt Tait

Monday, May 11

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Kansas basketball lands commitment from 4-star forward Zach Clemence

The Kansas men’s basketball program landed an oral commitment from class of 2021 forward Zach Clemence on Monday morning. By Matt Tait

Friday, May 8

KU track and field lands 46 athletes on academic all-Big 12 teams

Forty-six members of the Kansas men’s and women’s track and field teams landed on the 2020 academic All-Big 12 lists, the Big 12 Conference announced this week.

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Kansas football coach Les Miles optimistic about 2020 return of linebacker Dru Prox

Kansas football coach Les Miles said Friday that linebacker Dru Prox “should play” for the Jayhawks during the 2020 season, whenever it may happen. By Matt Tait

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Portion of NCAA report indicates a third KU basketball player was connected to improper payments

Until Thursday, Silvio De Sousa and Billy Preston were publicly regarded as the only Jayhawks involved in the current NCAA allegations against the University of Kansas. But a section of the NCAA’s response, released by KU on Thursday, indicates that there may have been a third.

Thursday, May 7

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NCAA response highlights 'egregious' conduct, 'defiant posture' in alleged violations by KU

The NCAA delivered a scathing response to the University of Kansas this week regarding alleged violations in its men’s basketball program, citing “egregious, severe” conduct and emphasizing KU’s “defiant posture” in the case.

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Kansas coach Les Miles believes there will be college football this fall

Kansas football coach Les Miles believes there will be college football this fall. By Matt Tait

Wednesday, May 6

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KU receives NCAA response in violations case

The University of Kansas has received a response from NCAA enforcement staff in the violations allegations case against its men's basketball and football programs, the Journal-World has confirmed from a source close to the situation.

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KU coach Bill Self sees potential, versatility in deep Kansas backcourt

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self has a simple way of sorting out the crowded house that exists in KU’s backcourt heading into the offseason. By Matt Tait

Tuesday, May 5

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NCAA's deadline to respond in KU violations case passes; no word on whether response will be made public

The deadline for the NCAA to respond to the University of Kansas in a case involving basketball- and football-related allegations came and went Tuesday with no word from either entity on whether the response had been received.

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Matt Tait: Former KU defensive coordinator Dave Campo shares memories, stories of the late Don Shula

When you've worked for more than 40 years as a football coach at the college and professional level, you tend to know a few people and have several good stories. Former KU defensive coordinator Dave Campo fits that description and on Tuesday, he shared some of his best Don Shula stories with the Journal-World. By Matt Tait

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Kansas Athletics introduces new, lower season ticket prices for men's basketball games at Allen Fieldhouse

Season tickets for nearly 45% of the seats at men’s basketball games at Allen Fieldhouse will cost less starting next season.By Matt Tait

Monday, May 4

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The story of how Michael Jordan made his way into a recruiting video for Kansas basketball

Shortly after being hired as the new basketball coach at Kansas 32 years ago, former KU coach Roy Williams reached out to Chicago Bulls star and North Carolina alum Michael Jordan to help him with a recruiting video for the Jayhawks. Here's the story of how that video came to be. By Matt Tait

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Former Kansas point guard Jeff Hawkins hired by Pembroke Hill

The Pembroke Hill School athletic department announced Monday that former Kansas point guard Jeff Hawkins has been named the school's head varsity boys basketball coach.

Saturday, May 2

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3-star California linebacker Andrew Simpson commits to Kansas football

Andrew Simpson, a three-star linebacker from St. John Bosco High in Southern California, became the second defensive player in the 2021 recruiting class to commit to the Kansas football program on Saturday night.

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KU announces dates for renewal of Border Showdown football series with Missouri

The dates are set for the renewal of the football series between longtime border rivals Kansas and Missouri.

Friday, May 1

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3-star offensive lineman from Alabama picks Kansas

Three-star Alabama offensive lineman Edgar Amaya found a fun way to commit to the Kansas football program on Friday.

Nine Kansas softball players earn academic All-Big 12 honors

Nine players from Kansas earned spots on the first- and second-team academic All-Big 12 softball squads announced by the Big 12 Conference on Friday.

KU women's tennis adds Russian standout to 2020-21 roster

Kansas tennis coach Todd Chapman on Friday announced the addition of highly rated Russian prospect Maria Titova to the KU roster for the 2020-21 season.

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Staying ready: Former Free State, KU linebacker Joe Dineen Jr. still hoping to catch on in the NFL

Two years removed from his last game at Kansas, linebacker Joe Dineen Jr. is in the same boat as many of his former teammates — sitting by the phone, waiting for a call and a chance. By Matt Tait