Most Kansas basketball fans probably didn’t think Brady Morningstar would be the team’s first target for disciplinary action this year, but it’s good to know that coach Bill Self is drawing, and enforcing, a tough line on team behavior.
As Journal-World and 6News sportswriters have noted, it’s too bad that a Kansas University team with such high potential and expectations has attracted so much negative attention before the season even gets started. Two altercations last month between members of the KU basketball team and the KU football team didn’t produce any announced punishments, but it apparently prompted Self to set some new, tougher rules of conduct for his team.
Based on those rules, Self said, it wasn’t even a close call to suspend Morningstar after the junior guard was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated early Saturday morning. Whether or not Morningstar is found guilty of DWI, Self said he was guilty of a serious curfew violation and “extremely poor judgment.” He won’t play this semester or travel with the team, but Self emphasized that he would be welcomed back after his suspension is complete.
Given the other incidents that have occurred this year, it may not seem exactly fair that Morningstar, who worked so hard to earn a starting spot on last season’s roster, would be the only player to face disciplinary action. However, Self apparently had drawn a line to try to stem rowdy team behavior, and it was only right that he had to dole out punishments to anyone caught crossing it for any reason.
With any luck, other team members have gotten the message and Morningstar will be both the first and last Jayhawk player to face significant disciplinary action this year. Recent incidents have been embarrassing both to the team and to the university, and Self is right to insist that his players shape up.
Late Night in the Phog is less than two weeks away. KU fans are ready to put these preseason antics behind them and put the focus back on the basketball court.