It’s interesting and good news to learn about the proposed two-story addition to Allen Fieldhouse to house the historic James Naismith document outlining the original rules for the game of basketball.
The document was bought by Kansas University alumnus David Booth at a cost of $4.3 million, and it was imperative, if it was to be displayed on the KU campus, that it be housed in an appropriate and safe location.
In making the announcement about the new building, which will be attached to the fieldhouse, KU officials suggested the structure will accommodate many other uses — perhaps dining facilities, retail sales space for KU athletic apparel and lounge space for visitors, faculty and students.
All that is nice, but, make no mistake, the building is being built, with private money, KU officials emphasize, for the principal purpose of housing and displaying the Naismith rules of basketball.
KU spokespeople can try to doll up the project by saying the facility will meet many other needs, but the reason the structure is being built is to house the valuable document and to show the Booth brothers, David and Mark, how much the athletic department appreciates their generosity to the department and the rest of the university. Otherwise, the papers could have ended up in some other location, at some other campus or museum, rather than on the KU campus in Lawrence.