Kansas University football coach Turner Gill, men’s basketball coach Bill Self and women’s coach Bonnie Henrickson spoke at Monday’s Topeka Jayhawk Club’s annual Otto Schnellbacher Classic at Shawnee Country Club.
Each commented on possible conference realignment.
“I know each institution in each conference ... all are trying to look out for each other,” Gill said, indicating he had spoken to his former coach at Nebraska, Husker AD Tom Osborne recently, not expounding on what they discussed.
“I really believe the Big 12 stands up to a lot of different things from that nature. We are all hopeful and pretty much somewhat cautiously confident it will stay intact. We will all have to wait and see like everybody else and see what happens here hopefully in the short term,” Gill added.
Self reiterated his hope that the Big 12 stays intact.
“Whenever you consider going to another league ... why can’t we fix the way we have it in this league?” Self said. “I think that’s what people are working on. At the end of the day, I believe this could turn out to be the best thing for the Big 12 because it forced our hand to do some things to catch us up.”
Henrickson also loves where her program is at — the Big 12.
“On our side, personally, selfishly I am working in the best women’s basketball league in the country,” Henrickson said. “There are so many positives. I understand the financial part of it ... the level of (Big 12 commissioner) Dan Beebe and the presidents? No, I am not at the table for those conversations. I am not a math major,” she added, “but there’s enough information from where we want to go as a league. Hopefully when this is over, we are a better league because of this. On the women’s basketball side, it’s a phenomenal league we play in.
“I could not be more confident in Lew (Perkins, KU AD) and Dan Beebe and what they are able to do and the other administrators in this league. You have some of the best administration in the country at the table.”
Henrickson was asked if her job would be as attractive if KU was not in a BCS league.
“I’m at Kansas and that makes it really attractive with the facilities we have and the academic opportunities we have for student athletes,” she said. “It would be different. I’ll get to that (and comment) if we get to that. I’m recruiting like we’re in the Big 12 and it’s the best women’s basketball conference. Doing anything different than that would be wasting time.”
— Television station KTKA contributed to this report.