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Archive for Saturday, November 30, 2002

t carry KU-Florida

November 30, 2002

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Kansas UniversityâÂÂs 10-point loss to the University of Florida Friday night wasnâÂÂt a pretty sight, but fans still wanted to see it.

âÂÂThe Simpsonsâ was over and patrons at Replay Lounge were ready to switch channels and watch KU menâÂÂs basketball.

There was only one problem. Coach Roy Williams and company werenâÂÂt on television. The only way to follow their game against Florida in New YorkâÂÂs National Invitational Tournament was by radio.

âÂÂThatâÂÂs amazing,â Jeremy Sidener of Lawrence said as he sat dumbfounded, staring at the television in the bar at 946 Mass.

Nearby Morgan Bowen, a KU senior from Lawrence, was so upset his remarks couldnâÂÂt be printed.

KU went into the game ranked No. 2 in the nation against an eighth-ranked Florida. The last time a top 10 KU team played another top 10 team without the TV cameras was Dec. 30, 1992, in the Maui Invitational. KU was ranked No. 2 at the time, and the opponent was No. 6 Michigan.

Wednesday nightâÂÂs loss to North Carolina was televised by ESPN2. The sports network did not carry Friday nightâÂÂs game, which started at 5:30 p.m. Central time.

At JohnnyâÂÂs Tavern, 401 N. Second St., Lawrence residents Kurtis Houk and David Kearney also were upset.

âÂÂWe can see all the local games and the pre-season games, but we canâÂÂt watch two ranked teams play in a tournament,â Houk said disgustedly.

A few fans called KUâÂÂs Sports Information office Friday asking whether the game was going to be on television, but there were was no deluge of phone calls from upset fans, said Scott Meyer, a student assistant who works in the office.

Jordan Haines, former president of the KU Alumni Association and former member of the Kansas Board of Regents, was upset.

Haines, a Wichita resident, said he spent most of his winters in California and never had any trouble picking up KU basketball games on digital satellite television.

âÂÂNow I canâÂÂt get this game in Wichita,â he said. âÂÂItâÂÂs beyond me. I canâÂÂt fathom it.âÂÂ

Haines said it was hard for him to listen to a game on the radio.

âÂÂIâÂÂll listen to it, but probably only for 10 minutes at a time,â he said. âÂÂI canâÂÂt sit for two hours at a time listening to the radio.âÂÂ

There also was confusion about the lack of a televised game in Gainesville, Fla., where Florida has its campus. An employee at KazborâÂÂs Sports Grille said she was surprised. She said she had been telling people the game would be on ESPN2.

âÂÂWeâÂÂre still hoping we can find it on a satellite,â Pete Delmonico, an employee at the Purple Porpoise and Oyster Pub in Gainesville, said Friday afternoon.

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