Inked Jayhawks discuss their body art

Rodrick Stewart, just one of Kansas' tattooed players, shows some of his body art in the Ford Field locker room.

? Of all the comparisons between the NCAA Tournament runs KU made in 1988 and now in 2008, one of the major differences is also maybe the most visible.

It’s the tattoos.

In the changing culture of college basketball, nothing is more obvious these days than the players’ abundance of body art. Some skin designs have more meaning than others, but they’re all a form of expression.

Some of KU’s most obvious tat-wearers:

Mario Chalmers, junior guard

Tattoo count: 3

Mario Chalmers’ most visible tattoo is the one which usually draws the most questions. It’s located on his right shoulder, featuring a dollar sign and the number 1 next to it.

He got that tattoo – his first – at 19. It’s dedicated to his grandmother, Ethel Mae Evans, who passed a few years back.

“(A dollar bill) was just something she would give to people, or she would collect for my college fund,” Chalmers said.

On the bottom of his left wrist, in small print, reads ‘quietness’. On the other wrist, same location, ‘confidence’.

Rodrick Stewart, senior guard

Tattoo count: 11

Rodrick Stewart’s first tattoo never should have happened. While in California as a high school freshman, he and twin brother, Lodrick, had to go behind their dad’s back to get their tats. Plus, there was the whole part of looking old enough not to draw questions at the tattoo parlor.

“I was kinda big, so the guy thought I was older than I was,” Stewart said with a laugh.

Russell Robinson, senior guard

Tattoo count: 2

Russell Robinson’s first tattoo, a panther stretching across much of his left forearm, is almost faded away by now.

“No reason why I got it, but I liked the way it looked, and I thought it symbolized the kind of player I was on the court,” he said of his first tattoo at age 18.

Brandon Rush, junior guard

Tattoo count: 10 or 11

Brandon Rush got a tattoo at a younger age than any of his teammates.

“I was 13 when I first got one,” he said of the tattoo featuring a backboard with a basketball crashing through it on his shoulder, featuring his last name prominently.

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