Kansas University men's basketball coach Bill Self spoke to the Journal-World today about Colorado announcing plans to leave the Big 12 for the Pac-10.
Asked if he was personally upset with CU, Self said: “I wouldn’t say upset. Without saying anything negative ... I am sure they are thinking ... I’m sure Colorado is believing the domino effect has occurred and we didn’t want to be left behind. They obviously were attractive to the Pac-10 for their respective reasons and everything. I am not upset with individuals but more upset that, in the purest form of competition, how things are being driven so much by where you live or how many homes are in your state. Or, ‘Are you tied to other schools?’
“There are so many things out there that to me really don’t have much effect on how good your football program is or how your basketball program is.”
Like everybody else, he’s heard the reports that Nebraska is headed to the Big Ten with an announcement coming as soon as Friday or Saturday.
That would mean two Big 12 schools could be out the door in a two or three-day span.
“Two teams gone ... hey the Big 12 can survive if two teams leave. We’ll go get two more. But if the South leaves, then that of course changes everything,” Self said.
It’s been rumored that five South teams plus CU would join the Pac-10.
He was asked if this was the craziest time in his college coaching career with one team in the conference jumping ship and perhaps more to follow.
“I don’t know if it’s the wildest, but certainly, the last week and the immediate future will affect not only my career but the careers of everyone associated with this university in ways that are far bigger than any way it’s ever impacted it thus far.”
KU’s future, of course, remains in doubt. Self said the conference KU is in impacts the way he’d in the future sell the school to recruits.
“We like where we are — we like where we were — we still hold out hope the big 12 South (teams) would decide it would be best for them to remain connected to the Big 12 and do what we have to do from that point forward to get it (league) exactly where we want it,” Self said in an interview with ESPN. “But if that doesn’t happen, right now I think there’d probably be a lot of talks (with other leagues). I think we are very marketable. I think there’s certainly people out there who would like to have a university like Kansas and a storied basketball program like that with an unbelievable following as part of their package. But right now it’s a very nervous time here.”
Self pointed out some obvious things about KU’s strengths.
“We’ve been a university, an athletic department in the last three years that’s won a BCS bowl and national championship in the revenue producing sports. To think the inventor of the game (James Naismith) was our first coach and the father of basketball coaching (Phog Allen) was our second coach. He coached Adolph Rupp and he coached Dean Smith and Wilt Chamberlain played here. We won three NCAA championships, five total and to think we could be left out at least initially, I’m not sure it’ll be over the long term, it’s pretty tough to stomach to be quite candid.”