Stories for June 2021


Wednesday, June 30

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Assistant Chris Simpson won't learn all he needs to know about KU football LBs until preseason camp

Although Chris Simpson is coming up on the two month anniversary of when he became the new linebackers coach for the University of Kansas football program, Simpson still will need a little more time before he has a better feel for his position group.

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NCAA to allow athletes to profit off of NIL endeavors beginning July 1

College athletes nationwide will now be able to profit from their names, images and likenesses, as the NCAA board of governors on Wednesday approved an interim policy that covers not only Division I, but D-II and D-III, as well.

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Report: Former KU coach Larry Brown returning to college hoops as Memphis assistant

A former national championship-winning head coach at the University of Kansas, Larry Brown is once again returning to the college ranks, this time as an assistant, according to a report from The Athletic.

Tuesday, June 29

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Latest ESPN mock draft doesn't include any Jayhawks

If the latest projections from ESPN’s Jonathan Givony are correct, there won’t be any Jayhawks selected in the 2021 NBA Draft.

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NCAA on verge of putting interim NIL policy in place

The NCAA is set move forward with an interim name, image and likeness policy, as some states already have passed laws that will allow college athletes to make money from NIL pursuits as soon as Thursday.

Monday, June 28

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WR Trevor Wilson, OT Michael Ford Jr. youngest of KU football's Buffalo transfers

Among the six former Buffalo football players who transferred to Kansas this summer, following head coach Lance Leipold, two could become mainstays within the Jayhawks’ offense over the course of the next few years.

Sunday, June 27

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Michigan prep OT James Livingston joins KU football's 2022 recruiting class

The recent recruiting efforts of head coach Lance Leipold and his staff began yielding results this weekend, as the Kansas football program’s 2022 class started growing.

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3-star CB Jalon Peoples 1st 2022 recruit to commit to KU football since Lance Leipold took over

A three-star cornerback from the Dallas area, Jalon Peoples on Sunday became the first high school recruit to commit to the Kansas football program on Lance Leipold’s watch.

Saturday, June 26

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KU football adding transfer Jeremy Webb, former CB at Missouri State and Virginia Tech

A former reserve defensive back at Virginia Tech who most recently started at Missouri State, Jeremy Webb announced Saturday night he’s transferring to Kansas.

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Karon Prunty becomes 3rd potential starter for KU defense to transfer to SEC

Three would-be starters for the 2021 Kansas football defense instead will compete in the SEC this fall. Former KU cornerback Karon Prunty announced Saturday evening he has committed to play at South Carolina.

Friday, June 25

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Former Jayhawk Mason Finley qualifies for second Olympic Games

Former Kansas track standout and current KU volunteer assistant coach Mason Finley took top honors in the men’s discus at the U.S. Olympic Trials on Friday, earning him a spot in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

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Jake Schoonover's experience recruiting the area made assistant natural fit for KU football staff

Less than two weeks after Jake Schoonover joined the Kansas football staff as an assistant coach earlier this year, the man who hired him, Les Miles, was out of a job. Schoonover didn’t know in March who would become the team’s next head coach, but between his ties to the area and his belief in what the program could become, the new assistant knew he didn’t want to go anywhere.

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Kansas volleyball picked to finish 4th in Big 12 preseason coaches poll

The Kansas volleyball team was picked to finish fourth in the preseason Big 12 volleyball poll this week, three spots behind perennial power Texas and just a few points behind Sunflower State rival Kansas State. By Matt Tait

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Marcus Garrett, Jenny Mosser KU's nominees for Big 12 Athletes of the Year honor

Men’s basketball star Marcus Garrett and volleyball standout Jenny Mosser are KU’s nominees for this year’s Big 12 Conference Athlete of the Year honors, the Big 12 announced this week.

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Success of MOKAN alums in NBA playoffs thrilling to see for KU's players from same AAU program

Seeing eight MOKAN alums playing in this year's NBA playoffs has been a thrill for a few current Jayhawks who played for the Kansas City-based AAU program during their prep days. By Matt Tait

Thursday, June 24

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KU's Ochai Agbaji follows up strong testing effort with quiet scrimmage at NBA combine

After two days of posting solid numbers in the measurement and testing portions of this year’s NBA combine in Chicago, University of Kansas senior Ochai Agbaji was quiet in his first team scrimmage on Thursday. By Matt Tait

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KU football expected to play one of FBS' most difficult schedules in Lance Leipold's 1st season

The Big 12 won't be offering Lance Leipold a friendly initiation process this fall, when the path toward victories figures to be onerous for Kansas football during Leipold’s debut season as the head coach.

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Lance Leipold sees former Virginia Tech backup Zion DeBose as 'twitchy' DE for KU football

Before Lance Leipold and several of his assistant coaches left Buffalo to take on a rebuilding project with Kansas football, a search to replace a third-round NFL draft pick led them to Zion DeBose.

Wednesday, June 23

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Kansas to host Kentucky in 2022 Big 12/SEC Men's Basketball Challenge

For the seventh time in the past eight seasons, the two winningest programs in men’s college basketball history will face off during the 2021-22 regular season. By Matt Tait

Tuesday, June 22

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Trio of Jayhawks earn preseason all-Big 12 volleyball recognition

For the second year in a row, the Kansas volleyball roster features the Big 12 Conference’s Preseason Freshman of the Year. By Matt Tait

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New KU football LB Rich Miller stood out at Buffalo with speed, versatility

It didn’t take much deliberation for Kansas football head coach Lance Leipold when he decided to invite Rich Miller out of the transfer portal and onto the Jayhawks’ roster.

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KU's Self, Goff believe Monday Supreme Court ruling, looming NIL laws signal start of big changes for college athletics

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self said Monday that he believed the unanimous Supreme Court ruling that the NCAA violated antitrust rules in blocking certain aid for student-athletes was the latest sign that change in college athletics was “inevitable.” By Matt Tait

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Veteran D-linemen Eddie Wilson, Ronald McGee joining KU football with 2 years of eligibility

Although former Buffalo defensive linemen Eddie Wilson and Ronald McGee were on track to enter the 2021 season as seniors, Kansas football head coach Lance Leipold welcomed them to Lawrence as transfers this summer expecting both to play two years with the Jayhawks.

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Jalen Wilson puts up modest numbers at G League Elite camp in Chicago

In two games at last weekend’s G League Elite Camp in Chicago, Kansas sophomore Jalen Wilson made one start and came off the bench one time while averaging roughly 19 minutes per game. By Matt Tait

Monday, June 21

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Former Jayhawk Bryce Hoppel qualifies for Tokyo in 800

Former University of Kansas track standout Bryce Hoppel ran a top-three time on Monday night at the U.S. Olympic trials and will travel to Tokyo next month to make his first appearance in the Olympics.

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Kansas Athletics unanimously approves $100 million budget for fiscal year 2022

As the University of Kansas athletic department continues to move forward into post-pandemic operations, the Kansas Athletics, Inc., Board of Directors on Monday unanimously approved a $100 million budget for Fiscal Year 2022, which runs from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022. By Matt Tait

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'Never flinched': How KU football C Mike Novitsky earned Lance Leipold's respect

Before Mike Novitsky became a starter as a redshirt freshman at Buffalo, his head football coach, Lance Leipold, doesn’t mind admitting now that the coaching staff was more than a little concerned about the state of the team’s center position at the time.

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High court sides with ex-athletes in NCAA compensation case

The Supreme Court decided unanimously Monday that the NCAA can’t enforce rules limiting education-related benefits — like computers and paid internships — that colleges offer to student-athletes, a ruling that could help push changes in how the student-athletes are compensated.

Friday, June 18

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Lance Leipold: Former Buffalo players helping KU football's transition to new era

Six of the newest players on the Kansas football roster already know what it’s like to play for head coach Lance Leipold and the assistants who followed him from Buffalo to Lawrence. And much in the way Leipold envisions staff familiarity helping the Jayhawks in his first year in charge of the program, because Leipold also is aware of what he can expect out of the UB transfers, KU’s new head coach thinks their presence will play a crucial part in the transition, too.

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NCAA memo: Emmert tells schools to act on NIL or he will

NCAA President Mark Emmert told the organization’s more than 1,200 member schools Friday that he will seek temporary rules as early as July to ensure all athletes can be compensated for their celebrity with a host of state laws looming and congressional efforts seemingly stalled.

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Former KU walk-on joins head coaching ranks at Northern Oklahoma College

Former University of Kansas walk-on Brad Witherspoon has been named the new head coach at Northern Oklahoma College. By Matt Tait

Thursday, June 17

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'A lot of potential': Deep group of KU football RBs impressing position coach Jonathan Wallace

The Kansas football offense no longer boasts a playmaker as hyped as former standout rusher Pooka Williams. However, running backs coach Jonathan Wallace not only likes the depth the Jayhawks have within the position group he oversees, Wallace also thinks highly of the players’ methods of going about their business.

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CBs coach Chevis Jackson sees talent within mostly inexperienced KU football secondary

In a Kansas football secondary where experience will be scarce entering the 2021 season, cornerbacks coach Chevis Jackson still sees some promise within the young group.

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Big 12 volleyball to run back doubleheader format for another season in 2021

For the second season in a row, Big 12 volleyball this fall will feature eight doubleheaders over two-day spans, with teams making half as many road trips as they normally do. By Matt Tait

Wednesday, June 16

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KU football adds transfers, freshmen and walk-ons to roster

The additions of several new players to the Kansas football team are now officially official, as the program updated its published roster this week.

Tuesday, June 15

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KU teammates see Christian Braun improving in variety of ways this summer

When Kansas junior Christian Braun says his summer agenda includes improving “everything” he brings to the court, his fellow Jayhawks believe him. A teammate of Braun’s since the guard from Blue Valley Northwest arrived on campus two years ago, senior David McCormack said he has seen “an aggressive mindset” out of the 6-foot-6 Braun during the Jayhawks’ offseason workouts of late.

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Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji receives invitation to NBA's pre-draft combine in Chicago

University of Kansas senior-to-be Ochai Agbaji has officially received an invite to the NBA’s pre-draft combine in Chicago. By Matt Tait

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Kansas forward David McCormack finding new ways to make an impact while recovering from offseason foot surgery

Kansas forward David McCormack said Tuesday that his recovery from offseason foot surgery was going “great” and that he was hoping to be back to basketball action soon. By Matt Tait

Monday, June 14

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'Not enough': Kenny Logan Jr. aims to do even more for KU football in 2021

It’s not that Kenny Logan Jr. undervalues what he achieved individually for the Kansas football program this past season, it’s just that the safety and special teams returner wants more.

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KU's Caroline Crawford named to U20 USA Volleyball Training Team

Kansas middle blocker Caroline Crawford is headed to Las Vegas later this month to compete with the USA Volleyball Women’s Indoor U20 National Training Team, KU announced on Sunday.

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Texas prep WR Xavion Brice decommits from KU football

The number of commitments in the Kansas football team’s 2022 recruiting class shrank to three this weekend, as Xavion Brice announced he will be looking to play elsewhere.

Saturday, June 12

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Interim KU basketball assistant Jeremy Case eager to tackle any and all challenges for Jayhawks

With more than 100 years of experience in the three offices nearest his, interim Kansas basketball assistant Jeremy Case has taken advantage of the wisdom Bill Self, Kurtis Townsend and Norm Roberts can provide during recent weeks. By Matt Tait

Friday, June 11

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KU football OC Andy Kotelnicki values collaborating when building a play sheet

Kansas football offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki doesn’t take a dictatorial approach to play-calling. A longtime Lance Leipold assistant who coordinated the offenses at both Wisconsin-Whitewater and Buffalo before joining Leipold at KU, Kotelnicki recently explained he prefers working jointly with other assistants when he’s compiling a play sheet for any given game.

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Lance Leipold announces new additions to KU football support staff

Kansas football head coach Lance Leipold announced on Friday the hiring of three new members of the Jayhawks’ support staff, as well as a new role for another staffer.

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KU pole vaulter earns All-American status in first appearance at NCAA Outdoor Championships

Kansas sophomore Samantha Van Hoecke placed eighth overall to earn first team All-America honors in the women’s pole vault final at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Thursday.

Thursday, June 10

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3 KU track standouts earn All-American honors at NCAA Outdoor Championships

Led by a second-place finish by hammer thrower Gleb Dudarev, three University of Kansas track athletes earned All-American honors at Day 1 of this year’s NCAA Outdoor Championships on Wednesday.

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QB Miles Kendrick named KU football's first 'guy of the week' during summer workouts

As Kansas football players get initiated this summer into what head coach Lance Leipold and his staff expect of them, a handful of Jayhawks already are getting noticed. The team’s director of sports performance, Matt Gildersleeve, tabbed veteran quarterback Miles Kendrick KU’s first “guy of the week” for all that the QB has done during the Jayhawks’ strength and conditioning workouts so far.

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Lawmakers agree NCAA needs NIL help, but how much and when?

Less than a month before name, image and likeness laws go into effect in several states, NCAA President Mark Emmert was back in Washington D.C. this week renewing his plea for help from Congress — help that is unlikely to come as soon as the NCAA would like. The Associated Press

Wednesday, June 9

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'It's still fun': Injured left foot not keeping KU freshman Bobby Pettiford down

PG expects recovery in about 4 weeks

With the soreness in his injured left foot dissipating, Kansas freshman point guard Bobby Pettiford experienced a different kind of pain on Tuesday, when the Jayhawks went through their first day of summer workouts with Pettiford as a bystander. But even spectating wasn’t all that bad for the KU newcomer, considering Pettiford already got cleared to ditch the walking boot that was a part of his wardrobe when he first arrived in Lawrence on Sunday.

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KU basketball's Late Night in the Phog set for Oct. 1 at Allen Fieldhouse

An in-person version of Late Night in the Phog is returning to KU’s campus this fall, with the unofficial tipoff to the 2021-22 basketball season set for Oct. 1 at Allen Fieldhouse. By Matt Tait

Tuesday, June 8

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From 6th man, to starting PG, to Jayhawk — How Joseph Yesufu ended up at Kansas

Joseph Yesufu didn’t know it at the time, but an unexpected promotion to the Drake starting lineup just a few months ago would alter the point guard’s career path. Two days after officially joining the Kansas basketball program as a sophomore transfer, Yesufu said on Tuesday those seven starts he made for the Bulldogs this past February and March turned into the “biggest time” of his life.

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Trio of Kansas basketball newcomers enjoy first true experience as Jayhawks at Washburn hoops camp

After spending the past couple of days settling into their new surroundings in Lawrence, a trio of Kansas basketball newcomers jumped feet-first into life as Jayhawks on Tuesday at Washburn University. By Matt Tait

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KU's 2021-22 non-conference men's hoops schedule features Mizzou, 2 trips to NYC and Orlando over Thanksgiving

A home date with Missouri in December, two trips to New York City and a Thanksgiving tournament in Orlando highlight the non-conference portion of the 2021-22 Kansas men’s basketball schedule, which was released Tuesday. By Matt Tait

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KU athletes deliver strong academic showing during spring semester

Several student-athletes at the University of Kansas delivered a memorable performance in the classroom during the recently completed spring semester.

Monday, June 7

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KU football DC Brian Borland judges transition to 4-man front won't be tricky

Although the previous Kansas football coaching staff implemented a different base defense than what new coordinator Brian Borland likes to run, the man now in charge of the Jayhawks’ defensive schemes and calls doesn’t foresee many issues accompanying a shift from a three-man front to a four-man front.

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Kansas basketball officially announces addition of 2 new walk-ons

The Kansas men’s basketball program made some progress in identifying its walk-ons for the future on Monday, when KU coach Bill Self announced the addition of Dillon Wilhite and Charlie McCarthy to the roster. By Matt Tait

Sunday, June 6

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KU football's standout CB, Karon Prunty announces he's leaving Jayhawks

A gaping hole suddenly emerged in the Kansas football secondary on Sunday, as starting cornerback Karon Prunty announced he is leaving the program and entering the transfer portal. By Benton Smith

Friday, June 4

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KU football coach Lance Leipold learned about rebuilding a program as grad assistant at Wisconsin

As much as his successful runs leading both Wisconsin-Whitewater and Buffalo paved the way for Lance Leipold to be hired as the head football coach at the University of Kansas, another job from his past with far less responsibilities often comes to Leipold’s mind as he contemplates the Jayhawks’ future.

Thursday, June 3

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'He just took off': Breakthrough spring raises expectations for KU WR Jamahl Horne

Jamahl Horne’s days of producing exclusively on special teams for the Kansas football program appear to be a thing of the past. A high-speed kick returner for the Jayhawks each of the past two seasons, Horne showed the type of progress this spring that has KU receivers coach Emmett Jones convinced the 5-foot-10, 186-pound junior is ready to contribute for the offense, too.

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NCAA approves waiver allowing for more court time with college basketball staff members this summer

College basketball teams will be allowed to have a little more on-court interaction with staff members this summer thanks to a new waiver granted by the NCAA. By Matt Tait

Wednesday, June 2

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KU, St. John's slated to square off in 2021 Big 12/Big East Battle in New York

The Kansas men’s basketball program will face St. John’s in New York City in this year’s Big 12/Big East battle during the 2021-22 regular season. By Matt Tait

Tuesday, June 1

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'You can build off of that': What assistant Jim Zebrowski envisions for KU's QBs

When Jim Zebrowski first set foot on the University of Kansas campus in May, the football team’s new quarterbacks coach put himself through a crash course fact-finding mission. After all, walking into a different program after spring practices already had concluded meant Zebrowski didn’t know much about the QBs he’ll soon be in charge of preparing for the rigors of a Big 12 season.

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Lance Leipold expecting a busy June for KU football

With pandemic recruiting restrictions finally lifted by the NCAA as of Tuesday, when the calendar turned to June, Kansas football head coach Lance Leipold anticipates the next few weeks will be bustling around the facility.

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KU freshman shortstop Maui Ahuna named to Big 12 all-tournament team

The Kansas baseball team was only at the Big 12 tournament for one day last week, but that was long enough for freshman shortstop Maui Ahuna to make his presence felt. By Matt Tait

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With NCAA dead period now expired, coaches, recruits free to roam about the country

The end of one of the longest dead periods in college recruiting history arrived at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, lifting all recruiting restrictions for both prospects and coaches in all sports. By Matt Tait