It doesn't look like a parade will be part of Kansas University's National Championship celebration.
Jim Marchiony, assistant athletic director for KU, said the athletic department had no plans for the basketball team to take part in a parade down Massachusetts Street, which was a crescendo to the celebration in 1988 when the Jayhawks last won the crown.
Instead - as previously reported - the team will be honored at a 3 p.m. celebration today at Memorial Stadium. Gates open at 1:30 p.m.
"That is all we have planned," Marchiony said this morning.
Leaders with Downtown Lawrence Inc. and the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce said the public is clamoring for a parade.
"The phone has pretty much been ringing off the hook asking about one," said Becca Booth, chamber communications director.
Jane Pennington, director of Downtown Lawrence Inc., said her organization was willing to take full responsibility for planning and promoting the event, and made that offer to the Kansas University Athletic Department two weeks ago.
"We have asked and there has been no response," Pennington said. "We invited them to do a parade after the Orange Bowl as well, and they declined. We're kind of at our wits end."
Booth said the Chamber also was interested in helping with a parade, and had made phone calls to KU Athletics officials following Monday evening's game.
But Marchiony said KU leaders had not discussed a parade, and he was reluctant to do so today.
"We're going to celebrate the way we want to celebrate," Marchiony said. "We're going to do what's best for our student athletes."
When asked whether there were logistical reasons or other student-athlete concerns that made a parade difficult for the team to participate in, Marchiony declined to discuss it anymore.
Pennington said her group was pushing for a parade because it would carry on a tradition and would draw folks to the symbolic center of the city for a family-friendly celebration.
She also said she had proposed to Marchiony that a parade could include the football team to celebrate its historic Orange Bowl victory.
"We could easily get 40,000 people downtown for a parade," Pennington said.