Archive for Tuesday, January 17, 2006

It’s not a banner day, and that’s just fine with KU fans

Sign at last year’s KU/Mizzou basketball game sparked scuffle with off-duty MU police chief

January 17, 2006


This time, they stayed out of jail.

The four Kansas University fans whose banner at the KU/Mizzou Border Showdown last year spurred a scuffle with off-duty MU Police Chief Jack Watring, landing one fan in jail, returned to the scene Monday.

But they left the infamous banner in Lawrence.

"I certainly would not hope for an incident like last year," said Christian Green, one of the group. "I think that goes without saying. It was completely unwarranted."

The four Jayhawk fans involved in the incident were Chris Kaufman, Andrew Wymore, Rich Littrell and Green.

Before the Border Showdown game last year, the group unfurled a 6-feet-long banner. It read: "Call it what you want, it'll always be Allen Fieldhouse East."

A man, later identified as Watring, complained and eventually began taking the sign down from a railing where it was posted.

An incident ensued in which Watring allegedly grabbed Kaufman's shirt. Wymore was kicked out of the arena and later arrested for trespassing when he purchased another ticket and attempted to re-enter the arena.

University of Missouri officials later said they conducted a 12-week investigation and cleared Watring of any wrongdoing. The trespassing charge against Wymore was also dropped.

Chris Kaufman, 2005 KU graduate, left, and Rich Littrell, KU senior, were part of a group of students who got into a scuffle with the MU police chief over a banner they displayed during last year's KU/MU basketball game in Columbia. The banner now hangs on the ceiling of The Wheel, 507 W. 14th St.

Chris Kaufman, 2005 KU graduate, left, and Rich Littrell, KU senior, were part of a group of students who got into a scuffle with the MU police chief over a banner they displayed during last year's KU/MU basketball game in Columbia. The banner now hangs on the ceiling of The Wheel, 507 W. 14th St.

In response to the incident, MU has put its policies regarding banners into writing, said Chad Moller, MU's sports information director.

Among the restrictions, banners must be able to be held by one person, must display good sportsmanship and cannot obstruct others' view, Moller said.

The banner now adorns the ceiling of The Wheel, a bar near the KU campus at 507 W. 14th St.

Monday, after nearly a year dealing with the consequences of the banner incident, the fans were ready to put it all behind them.

They gave tickets to Wymore's attorney, who also attended the game.

This time around, the group watched the entire game. And there were no trips to jail.

Green said he gained a greater appreciation for many people in Columbia, but others weren't so supportive.

"I certainly lost a lot of respect for a lot of officials at the university - the ones that we dealt with," he said.

All the KU fans ever wanted, Green said, was an apology, but they never heard one.

Watring was out of the office and could not be reached for comment Monday.

"We don't look at it as a rivalry thing," Green said. "We look at it as our rights were violated."


RonBurgandy 12 years, 1 month ago

You were definetely wronged.

However, KU basketball now sucks, so the Allen Fieldhouse East statement no longer applies. It's just going to go down and down as long as Self is here.

craigers 12 years, 1 month ago

Self is the man and has quite a freshman class and you can see that they can compete but they just make mistakes like all inexperienced players do at the end of the game. Give it time. I love the whole well we lost two games in a row, then we must fire Self. Ron must be one of those fair weather fans.

Go KU Basketball!!!

cutny 12 years, 1 month ago

If that is the banner in question, it certainly doesn't look to be six-feet long.

bankboy119 12 years, 1 month ago

Somebody's "rights" are always violated.

Linda Endicott 12 years, 1 month ago

Lighten up on Self...every year can't always be a championship year.

I remember many, many years when KU basketball went absolutely nowhere, under various isn't the end of the world, folks. Life went on.

badger 12 years, 1 month ago

I've seen the Antlers take in banners made of entire bedsheets, I've seen MU fans constructing signs and banners ten or fifteen feet long. Watring didn't like the banner personally, so he started something with the guy carrying it, then made it a police matter to avoid admitting that he lost his temper.

I'm sure a lot of people are aware that it had nothing to do with the banner itself and everything to do with Watring being a serious problem. He's been a problem for years, and he'll keep on being a problem until someone cuts his power base. He recruits himself a crop of 'cadets' each year, mostly freshman and sophomores, to supplement the campus police force. Given little training, but the authority and responsibility of real campus cops, they turn into his own little army of well-meaning misguided thugs.

Mostly they walk around campus looking for even the most obscure parking violations (a ticket for "failing to turn the wheels at the correct angle with regard to the curb" for someone parked in a corner space in a flat nose-in parking space was probably my favorite), stalking through the dorms looking for incense or unattended votive candles, and threatening people who had loud headphones in dorm lounges with violations of the City of Columbia noise ordinance. Certain of the female dorms got a lot more attention than the others, and the argument that unescorted men weren't to be on those floors was dismissed because they were representatives of the campus police. Watring not only approved, he encouraged them.

His name, to MU students and Columbia residents alike, is synonymous with 'abuse of power'. If he'd done what he did to an MU student, it would have turned out differently. He was known, when I lived in Columbia, for bringing pressure through the University on students who challenged the legality, ethics, or appropriateness of his actions. A student who complained about frivolous parking tickets could find herself unable to get parking in any of the student lots or collect a copy of her transcript because of a computer 'error' that showed hundreds of dollars in unpaid parking tickets going back years before she'd even been a student, and a student who formally objected to having his dorm room entered and locked cabinets opened (against policy) when he wasn't there could find himself in a meeting with the head of his department, explaining that the program didn't need people who weren't 'team players' for the University.

These boys should be glad that Watring's ability to affect their academic careers was limited to legal matters, and that he couldn't harass them once they'd left campus. That worked in their favor.

Daniel Speicher 12 years, 1 month ago

I believe Bill Self and his staff are excellent recruiters. I think they rank up there with Roy... And, for us, he recruits even better than Roy as he has no problem recruiting high schoolers who are considering the "almighty" North Carolina as well.

Bill Self has his weaknesses... There is absolutely no doubt in my mind on this. However, Bill Self has never coached a team quite like Kansas, either. I would like to give him three more years (until the current freshmen are seniors... provided they get that far in their education before going pro) before I make a final decision on him. Right now he really needs to focus on two major aspects... #1. Finding a starting lineup (one in which he can go back to throughout the game when things start getting shaky) of players who play well together and have a strong leader (Robinson) as their PG. #2. Fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals... A team that misses 50% of their free throws (no matter how intense the arena in which they are playing) is a team that needs a few practice sessions on fundamental basketball. I think Self probably gets caught up (as many coaches do) in teaching the kids plays and how to execute those plays... But, then, at times forgets to stress shooting, shot selection, pass control and so on.

I still believe we are NCAA Tournament bound... However, I'm going to make an early prediction for a 12 seed and a first round knock out. Then again, I'm not counting them out quite yet. I remember reading some article from the LJW from back in '88 where fans were asked what they thought of the embattled KU team (who lost 11 games that year.) Many of them said the exact same thing some of you are saying now. Many were skeptical of Brown's prowess... Many others simply disappointed in the team's play. Yet, that year turned out to be a Cinderella story for the Hawks. Maybe this year will be as well.

Still A Die-Hard Jayhawk, Danny Speicher

craigers 12 years, 1 month ago

You can criticize them but just don't jump on the whole fire the coach wagon. I am just saying a real fan of the basketball program will support the team no matter what type of game or year they have. Granted some of their playing is embarassing at times but what program doesn't have that?

mom_of_three 12 years, 1 month ago

I like the current team, and I think Bill is a great coach. He is a good recruiter. Look at the Illinois team from last year.
He has so much talent, he has yet to find the right combination. He talks about it all the time. Giv'em time. Our losses are close, and most are free throw woes.
We have another chance to beat K-state, and MU. They need to put together two great halfs.
We will go to the NCAA tournament, and we will do fine. I would rather peak at the end of the year, instead of now.

schmang 12 years, 1 month ago

This is just payback for years of being spoiled with good teams. Get over it already - Kentucky and NC are having rebuilding years too -even elite programs have to go through one occasionally. The future looks bright - and the next two seasons Misery and Silo Tech will be losing to us by double-digits again...

Further, with all these losses this year, the "leaving early for the NBA" talk is not a hot topic anymore -it has shown that being a McD's all-american does not necessarily mean you are ready to be the next Lebron...or even ready to be a Div. I starter....

Calling for Self's job already really magnifies how spoiled and short-sighted some of our fans really are. He has shownb some coaching mistakes, but we are not losing games solely b/c of his coaching. Mostly due to mistakes & inexperience -which will continue to improve

Hey, at least we had a good football year ...

pepper_bar 12 years, 1 month ago

schmang nailed it. KU would have won last night but for two late missed free throws... what can you do? it happens in college basketball. acknowledge and move on.

KU hasn't had a true rebuilding year in a long time... even Duke was mediocre for a year or two in recent times.

RonBurgandy 12 years, 1 month ago

What it seems is Self can recruit extremely well. What he is lacking is the ability to coach those recuits into legitimate Div 1 basketball players. This offense is not working. You can't have a high-low offense when your big guys can't hit free throws. Darnell Jackson is the only one who can do that consistently, and shows the effort and heart that Self is always praising and he doesn't even start. Giles tries to hit the baby hooks that Simien was awesome at and he misses everyone. Kahn has disappeared for some reason, after showing a good start. Moody is a good player, but he can't be expected to play against the best big men in the league, he is just overmatched. And for some reason, everyone seems to rub their hands in butter before the game so that can't hang on to the damn ball.

Three years is plenty of time to see how a coach handles things. Many coaches have had a lot less time to prove themselves. I wouldn't fire him now. He needs a complete season, firing coaches in the middle of the season is stupid. But when you are out-coached by Quin Synder (yes, the coach that their own fans dumped popcorn on) it's ridiculous. They have fallen apart two games in a row now, to their biggest rivals. These aren't games you do that in. People were talking about the lack of emotion from the players last year, but I am not seeing much improvement this year. The only time they seem to be executing and keeping their heads in the game and being pumped up is the last few minutes of the first half or the beginning of the game. They disappear in the second half.

And the lack of a go to guy at the end of the game has a lot to do with the coach. He needs to establish that player, the team doesn't seem to be able to do it on their own. Self needs to get in that person's face and let them know they are the one that everyone is going to be looking to in clutch time. Now, Downs isn't developing as much as the other freshman, and when he is in the game he seems lost and confused. I can't blame him though, he hasn't had any real game experience to improve. There's no pressure in practice and that is all he gets. He should have been in the game at the end of the K-State game along with Case. We should have had the top four three point shooters in that game in the end and one big guy.

To think that this team is NCAA material right now is ludicrous. There would be absolutely no chance that a team with a sub 100 RPI would be selected. None, folks. They haven't shown much improvement throughout the year, excluding Robinson (who should have been playing a lot more last year) or Chalmers. I love the "their young" argument. Yeah, they are, but so is UNC (unfortunatly, for example) and they are ranked, and can win some close games. They would be in the tournament right now and they lost more than KU did. Losses in every close game is a sign of bad coaching.

RonBurgandy 12 years, 1 month ago

Let me restate my opinions here. I think Self can be a great coach. I don't hate him at all, I want him to be here a long time, but not if doesn't turn things around. I believe he has done a bad job of coaching this season, as well as last season. That doesn't mean I think he is a bad coach.

mud_duck 12 years, 1 month ago

Badger, as a former resident of Columbia, a Mizzou grad, and a person who is quite familiar with Jack Watring and other members of the administration who you have implicated in this conspiracy, I find your anecdotes hard to believe.

just to name a few:

the cadets are not in any way certified peace officers in the state of Missouri, so they can not have the same powers as the officers unless you meant de facto powers

the police department and parking and transportation are seperate departments - the pd writes the tickets and the parking handles the tickets from there - the pd has nothing to do with when, where, or how tickets are attributed to a person's student account

also Watring has been the chief since 2003 - not really a long time to garner such a reputation among the citizens of a town of about 90,000 people

most of the dorms are either coed, some even have coed floors

as far as the candles, I should not have to remind you of the members of Chi Omega who died in a fire in their house because of an unatended candle

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