Archive for Thursday, September 24, 2009

Grow up

Skirmishes between Kansas University football and basketball players reflect poorly on the individuals involved, their teams and the university.

September 24, 2009


Aren’t team sports supposed to provide a healthy outlet for aggressive tendencies?

It doesn’t seem to be working for at least some members of the Kansas University football and men’s basketball teams.

One KU basketball player was sent to the hospital for an injury that will keep him out of action for three to four weeks after an incident Tuesday evening involving basketball and football team members outside the Burge Union. A second apparent skirmish between members of the two teams was witnessed Wednesday morning near Budig and Wescoe Halls on Jayhawk Boulevard.

Also on Wednesday morning, Athletic Director Lew Perkins said he still was gathering facts on Tuesday’s incident but that the report was “something that I am taking very seriously.”

As he should.

It’s unclear what has sparked the tension between team members, but it needs to stop. Just as they must do on the field or on the court, these young athletes need to learn to control their emotions and stay out of trouble. If it takes some suspensions or other discipline to drive that point home, KU coaches Bill Self and Mark Mangino should take the appropriate action. It shouldn’t be viewed as a matter of “boys will be boys.”

It’s true that this kind of commotion gets more attention when the students involved are on university athletic teams. That’s fair. The athletes also get more attention on the field or on the court than the average KU student ever does for going to class or even achieving a measure of academic excellence.

These athletes represent the university and they need to behave accordingly. That means they need to grow up and quit rising to whatever bait their fellow KU athletes are dangling.

Wednesday afternoon, high profile players on both KU teams issued a statement saying they had “met and talked it out” and would “be in the stands rooting for each other like we always have.” Perhaps that will be the end of it. We hope so, but time will tell.

KU athletic officials have made a big deal out of how good it is for the university to have highly competitive teams in both football and basketball. Most KU fans would agree. However, KU coaches need to also make sure the contests these teams engage in are restricted to the playing field and to teams from opposing schools, and not waged against one another.


pusscanthropus 8 years, 5 months ago

"It shouldn’t be viewed as a matter of 'boys will be boys.'”

No, it should be viewed as "thugs will be thugs." Many of these guys have a "gansta" mentality and they have no business at a university. Many are already parents, sometimes with kids by several women. Try to guess if their scholarship money covers their child support?

It's only because of their athleticism, not their grades, not their characters, that got them to KU. They were passed through high school b/c they were the star athletes, then they come to KU where highly paid tutors spoon feed them their academics (not to mention the professors who are "fans" and let failing students take independent study classes to keep them eligible). Most of the scholarship athletes in both football and basketball do not graduate from KU. The so-called "student-athlete graduation rates" include golf, tennis, swimming, volleyball, etc so as to obscure the pitiful graduation rates of the basketball and football teams.

Let's get real and just call it semi-pro sports.

levicircle2 8 years, 5 months ago

Pusscanthropus - "The so-called “student-athlete graduation rates” include golf, tennis, swimming, volleyball, etc so as to obscure the pitiful graduation rates of the basketball and football teams."

You're right - let's get to the REAL graduation rates. Let's go with the most recent possible. KU football players: 56%. KU men's basketball players: 45%. KU students overall: 60%.

While the athlete's rates aren't quite up to the level of the student body overall, it might be noted that most students don't put in the hours of practice, study, and travel that is required for that athletic scholarship - all while maintaining a gpa that allows them to participate in their sport.

Regardless, the student-athlete's graduation rate could in NO way be considered "pitiful" - although your obvious disdain for them could be.

pusscanthropus 8 years, 5 months ago

levi--I would like to know the methodology used to cook up, I mean come up, with these numbers.

melissa stewart 8 years, 5 months ago

Let us not judge these individuals by what we do not know. We do not know the men involved or their character as a human beings. By calling them names is a shortcut and a lazy way of knowing who these individuals really are. The opportunities given to these athletes from the University can help mold and change their lives, much like our own life experiences. The affects from this "brawl" will continue to make each party ill until there a resolution or until someone really gets hurt.

"Any man may easily do harm, but not every man can do good to another. "-Plato

cthulhu_4_president 8 years, 5 months ago

"levi—I would like to know the methodology used to cook up, I mean come up, with these numbers."

Well, to get a percentage, you take the number of atheletes who graduated on a team, divide by the total number of people on that team who were elgible to graduate, then multiply by 100. Glad I could help.

Honestly having a hard time figuring out what sinister methodology could be used to cook those numbers, but it can't be too hard to figure out for yourself. Do the calculations yourself for a small team and see if they match the report for that year! Try actually finding knowledge instead of screaming conspiracy. Who knows? You may learn something.

pusscanthropus 8 years, 5 months ago

levi explained: "you take the number of atheletes who graduated on a team, divide by the total number of people on that team who were elgible to graduate, then multiply by 100."

Let's see number of graduates/number eligible to graduate...wouldn't that always come out to 100%? Something's fishy here!

How about this? Take every freshman recruit who matriculated four years ago, divide the number who graduated by the total number who came here as new recruits. I am sure you won't get 56%. You probably wouldn't even get 10%.

Shane Garrett 8 years, 5 months ago

Just wondering if this had anything to do with prior or current gang affiliation?

levicircle2 8 years, 5 months ago

You request sources? Sure!

General student graduation rate - Governor Mark Parkinson at the Kansas Board of Regents’ retreat, April 30, 2009.

Athletic graduation rates - NCAA's 2008 graduation rate report. Actually, I understated the b-ball team's rate (used an earlier report). Here's the info for the entire Big 12:

Basketball Graduation Rates Oklahoma St. - 92%, Nebraska 77%, Kansas St. 67%, Kansas 64%, Oklahoma 55%, Texas Tech 50%, Texas A&M 47%, Baylor 44%, Colorado 36%, Missouri 36%, Texas 31%, Iowa St. 29%.

Football Graduation Rates Texas Tech 79%, Baylor 78%, Nebraska 78%, Colorado 75%, Kansas St. 67%, Oklahoma St. 62%, Missouri 59%, Texas A&M 56%, Iowa St. 55%, Kansas 53%, Texas 50%, Oklahoma 46%.

Another note (and source) - a study conducted by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida noted that black student-athletes are more likely to finish school than black students who aren't athletes.

You said, "Most of the scholarship athletes in both football and basketball do not graduate from KU." Might we be allowed to know YOUR authoritative source?

levicircle2 8 years, 5 months ago

Puss - I didn't post that... cthulhu_4_president did. My sources are listed below. I anxiously await word as to your sources on your assertions.

cthulhu_4_president 8 years, 5 months ago

"levi explained: "

No, he/she didn't. I did, and as you point out, the denominator in the ration should be the total number of students. My humblest apologies.

" I am sure you won't get 56%. You probably wouldn't even get 10%. "

Again, instead of saying what we'll probably get how about if you do the calculations and find out what you actually get.

lawrencegrl11 8 years, 5 months ago

Well written article. Maybe the teams will realize how people really view them, cocky and arrogant. If you want attention just because you play sports than you are still going to get just the same amount of attention when you get yourself in trouble. I hope they realize they are going to have to earn this towns respect back. Jayhawk fans are the best and I think we deserve players with a little more gratitude and respect!

2002 8 years, 5 months ago

While I agree that the standard should be higher for scholorship athletes, these are kids that are in college, in part, to learn to grow up. I just hope that the coaches and administration teach them somethign from this and I hope that they learn.

beachbumin 8 years, 5 months ago

It's amazing that some college students getting into a fight (oh no, what shall we do) draws so much attention just because they are athletes. Because they are athletes should they only eat organic food, recycle every weekend, help little old ladies cross the street and sing in the church choir? You bloggers need to get out of your houses every now and then. There is a real world out there with actual grown up problems. What about the students that are being raped, the families that are losing their homes and the Kansas City Chiefs? The whole "we can't have these Gangstas in our city" mentality is retarded as are most of you. I am a native Lawrencian ( 45 years strong) and am bothered as much as anyone by how my city has changed, but I survived marshall law and I will try my best to get through this whole athletes fighting nightmare. Instead of blogging on " how bad LMH is" and " how those Topeka bangers are making our town unsafe" why don't you get out there and do something about it. I always read the postings of you regulars and wonder do these people work, or do they sit at their computers all day blogging and downloading child porn. SOME ATHLETES FIGHTING IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD!!! Fight for world peace, end hunger, or do something to make the world a better place and stop complaining about it via

jonas_opines 8 years, 5 months ago

Levi, Cthulhu, you know the next step will just be to say something to the effect of "Yeah, but you Know they're getting the easy classes and teachers cut them slack and etc. etc. etc."

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