Archive for Friday, December 17, 2010

Heard on the Hill: Grading journalists in a post-Bubba world; Mizzou, not KU, makes ‘Druggiest College’ list; reader says Self should Skype with troops

December 17, 2010


Your daily dose of news, notes and links from around Kansas University.

• Lots of chatter, obviously, about Tulsa athletics director Bubba Cunningham’s signing a contract extension and remaining at TU, instead of coming here.

While that’s plenty interesting — and I admit being biased here — I’m almost more interested in how journalists handled the situation, having reported that the deal was all but done to have Cunningham come to KU.

Two contrasting views from commenters on

KPOP says “Journalists are ridiculous. To print a story about him coming to Kansas, blah blah, blah, is absurd. It isn't a story until he's signed and his bags are packed and he's in Lawrence with a signed contract. The journalists have egg on their face on this story. I am ashamed of you.”

d_prowess says "How can people be ripping on the journalists in this? It is (their) job to report this stuff before it happens if they hear it is going down. I would rather know that Bubba was our target and a deal couldn't get done instead of having them report nothing."

So which do you think? Don’t hold back. I can take it.

• What’s that smell coming from Columbia’s direction?

It might be marijuana, according to The Daily Beast, which ranked the 50 druggiest colleges in the nation.

KU didn’t crack the list, but the University of Missouri came in at No. 39. That, of course, doesn’t compare to fellow Big 12 Conference mate (at least for now) the University of Colorado-Boulder, which ranked No. 5 overall.

The nation’s druggiest college? The University of New Hampshire, apparently.

Even though KU got a pass from The Daily Beast, that, of course, doesn’t mean there’s no drug problem on campus.

College Prowler, a site that boasts it’s a college guide written for students by students, gives KU a C+ grade for its drug scene — the same grade as Missouri.

And, in case you were like me and wondering if an “A+” meant no drugs or lots of drugs on such a survey, an “A+” would indicate a situation where drugs and alcohol were not noticeable on campus and there was no peer pressure to use drugs.

• One reader had an interesting thought after reading my article on Bill Self’s offer to spend 15 minutes via Skype with a family on Christmas Eve in return for a donation to charity.

The offer is currently worth more than $1,000 on eBay.

Here’s my reader’s take:

“Wouldn't it be great if whoever won the "bid" would donate the online chat with Coach Self to a military unit of KU basketball fans who are serving/spending Christmas Eve in Afghanistan?”

I don’t know how feasible that would be — if a call to Fort Riley’s public affairs division would be all that it took to set that up.

While that would be pretty spiffy, I don’t think I’d mind someone using it to have Self chat with their family in exchange for a $1,000-plus donation to charity. That’s pretty spiffy, too.

• There’s never any donations or any money required at all to contact me. Send tips for Heard on the Hill to


geekin_topekan 7 years, 4 months ago

" It isn't a story until he's signed and his bags are packed and he's in Lawrence" ++++ And yet they eat up Fox news.

stlcards515 7 years, 4 months ago

"How can people be ripping on the journalists in this? It is (their) job to report this stuff before it happens if they hear it is going down."

Sure, it's their job to tell you that it's in the works, but not to present it as fact, and word it as if it is a done deal. It was merely speculation.

bearded_gnome 7 years, 4 months ago

So which do you think? Don’t hold back. I can take it.

---the answer is: C. ZZZ

I did wonder what kinda scandals we'd have with an AD named Bubba?
secret beer smuggling into the stadium?
deep fried Snickers at tailgating?

CU Boulder? I'm shocked, shocked I tell ya'!

Topekan, you far-left crazies already have ABCNBC/MessNBC/CNN/CBS the New York Times etc., and you still complain about the highest rated cable news outlet? highest rated often against all (CNN/HLN/MSNBC) put together!
too bad Fox News rocks your little red wagon.

geekin_topekan 7 years, 4 months ago

What rocks my little red wagon is the number of unmotivated couch potatoes who have the time to sit around and watch the highest rated news channel. It boggles the mind.

It is the same mentality that has sold billions and billions of burgers. Convenient and no risk of deviation from what you want to see.

ahyland 7 years, 4 months ago

Zing, of course, is meant for bearded_gnome's original comment to me, about the third response to my scenario on reporters.

seagull 7 years, 4 months ago


Here's my take: journalists are culpable. Especially those at the LJWorld. Here's why. Saturday after Saturday your boss rips the university search processes for high level officials for not being secret enough. Good candidates are lost, not enough business people are involved, on and on and on. The university is going to hell in a hand basket. He never thinks about the role his own paper plays in maintaining the problems or could play in helping to solve them.

Where do the leaks come from for this search? His own newspaper! There have obviously been leaks all along, despite the business types (who supposedly would do a better job) dominating the search process. Who spreads the leaks? The newspaper. The consequences for this search seem great. Let's just hope that the rest of the good candidates don't have big egos. If they do, they won't want to be second choice, the search will be reopened and KU will have lost a great deal. Then your boss will be the first to blast KU for not being able to attract the high quality candidates he claims to want.

In your defense, you are slammed in these very comment pages for being "scooped" by other outlets. You can't win. Let's just hope the news media haven't ruined KU's chances to replace the man you loved to hate and to make some of the changes your boss keeps ranting about are needed on the hill.

d_prowess 7 years, 4 months ago

I forgot to go back to my comment on that story and see the response until now, but I really got ripped by some folks. Crazy!
I still don't think anyone in the media did anything wrong. There were obviously multiple sources (per Keegan's article) that were saying that the offer to Bubba was made. That is news and should be reported. It was informative and interesting to know that this was happening.

booyalab 7 years, 4 months ago

"So which do you think? Don’t hold back. I can take it."

If I was Bubba, and I heard that the media in the prospective city had announced the outcome even though I hadn't decided yet, that would be enough to stop me from doing it. Predicting an individual's decision is different than predicting a game, because a human being with free will is involved. Maybe that's just me.

spiff 7 years, 4 months ago

It's just you. Most people in positions of significance are confident enough in their "free will" not to be childishly rebellious against journalists doing their jobs.

SayWhat 7 years, 4 months ago

Andy, regarding the two options you offer for responses to the media's handling of Bubba, they're not mutually exclusive. The answer is the media should report the news. It was news that Bubba was a candidate. It was not news that he was coming. If anyone reported that it was a done deal, then they should have egg on their face. And for those who say journalists aren't culpable because so many others were reporting he was coming - that's a load of crap. Journalists should never be reporting something as fact unless they can independently verify it themselves. Cow-like groupthink has no place in the world of journalism. Otherwise, what value do those herd-mentality "journalists" add?

bearded_gnome 7 years, 4 months ago

Andy writes: Zing, of course, is meant for bearded_gnome's original comment to me, about the third response to my scenario on reporters.

---you're welcome. seems we could pay more attention to more important things than who's gonna maybe somehow some kinda way someday wangle the AD's job, who's paid too much anyway but that's the market I suppose.
what do we pay the equivalent writer at KU? what do we pay the equivalent physicist?

anyway, I came to the article about the drug ref primarily.

and Andy, I'm glad that in this blog you avoided the casual slur of racism you applied in an earlier one, referring to the KKK and the Tea Party in the same breath.

ahyland 7 years, 4 months ago

Thanks for the comment — it's good to remember that for some folks I talk to, athletics is something seen as being over-discussed, overplayed by the media and looks like something bordering on an obsession for many fans. You're not the first to convey those kinds of thoughts, either. Though, I'm not sure you'll like Monday's edition of this blog, then...

As to the notion that mentioning the KKK and the Tea Party in the same blog post somehow ties them together, that's a bunch of kablooey. In fact, if you read the original post:

You'll find that I was mainly making the point that political groups from across the spectrum exist at KU, and that actually the director of student groups was surprised that no Tea Party group had formed on campus because he (and I) know that there are many who are sympathetic to that cause at KU. The point could have just as easily been made with, say, a student group dedicated to communism. The point about the KKK was something different altogether, and in no way did I intend to imply that the Tea Party (or anyone else) was associated with them. And I'd hope that most readers would read that post that way.

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