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Archive for Saturday, July 7, 2012

Bill Self troubled by accusations, but stands by ‘kids’

Kansas head coach Bill Self yells at an official during the first half on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas head coach Bill Self yells at an official during the first half on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

July 7, 2012

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Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self took some hard hacks in the softball batting cages twice last week at Clinton Lake Sports Complex.

His sole purpose was to practice for tonight’s All-Star Celebrity softball game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., not to release any pent-up aggression over recent claims that an Overland Park man allegedly supplied marijuana to multiple players from his 2010-11 Jayhawk hoops team.

“Obviously, it bothers me. I’m the captain of the ship. Anytime something happens on your watch, it’s very bothersome,” Self said in a Saturday-morning interview with the Journal-World.

He was making his first public comments on an assistant U.S. attorney’s assertion that Samuel Villeareal III distributed pot to unnamed KU players. The claim was made during a June 18 detention hearing for Villeareal, who is one of numerous defendants charged June 11 with a scheme to distribute more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana in Johnson and Douglas counties.

“On the flip side, I’m not going to rush to judgment on anything at all,” Self quickly added. “I know this for a fact: We’ve got great kids in our program. We’ve had great kids in our program. The kids have represented themselves to my knowledge in a way that would be good for the university, and they all graduate. I am disappointed that anything could be said negatively about our program, but I’m not going to run and hide from it. I’m not going to rush to judgment, either. The only thing I could do now is basically allow the process to play out.”

Villeareal, whose alleged tie to the KU players hit the media on June 29, returns to court for a hearing on July 30.

“I have no idea what the process will be. Trust me, nobody is on my time schedule,” Self said. “The only thing I positively know about the situation is what I’ve read like everybody else.

“I have known about it one week now. We investigated it and looked into it as much as we can. I feel I have a better understanding, but still yet I can’t and won’t comment any further on it due to the fact it would not be in the best interests of anybody.”

Self would not comment to the J-W on specific aspects of this case, such as allegations that KU’s players visited with Villeareal, who was allegedly sitting behind the bench at a game at KC’s Sprint Center.

Self said he had not spoken with any federal investigators about the matter. He has spoken to the team.

“Certainly I’ve addressed it. It will continue to be addressed. It’s not something where it’s the first time they’ve heard something like this. We address it all the time,” Self said, of reminding the players it is against the law and against KU rules to use marijuana.

KU’s internal drug-testing policy requires all freshman or new transfer student-athletes to take a drug test “within a reasonable amount of time” after arriving on campus. All teams that qualify for postseason play also may be subject to testing. The university also conducts unannounced, random testing during the year, according to the policy. Athletes who test positive are required to undergo counseling and are subjected to more frequent testing. The policy does not call for suspension from game competition until after a third positive test.

“All athletic programs have safeguards not only to prevent, but to detect and assist in some of society’s problems or some of society’s issues that we deal with,” Self said.

He stressed: “I want to make the point: I know the quality of kids in our program. The fact is these are not good kids, these are great kids. They are working their butt off (this summer). They are young. I can’t wait to start practicing and see how guys react to Europe (trip to Switzerland and Paris for four games in August). The thing about it is I certainly won’t be commenting on this any further, other than the fact this will be a fun team to coach.”

Softball tonight: Self will participate in today’s All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game, set for approximately 7:30 p.m. at Kauffman Stadium. The game will be contested after the Futures Game, which starts at 4 p.m.

“I made contact, but I’m not exactly a power hitter like I used to be,” Self said of his recent work in the batting cages. “I just hope I get out on the field a little bit. I can’t play third because (George) Brett is there. I can’t play short because Ernie Banks is there. I can’t play center because Bo (Jackson) is there. I can’t pitch because Jenny Finch is there. I can’t catch because (Mike) Piazza is there. There may not enough spots for me to play, but it should be fun.”

The softball game will be televised by ESPN approximately 9:30 p.m. Monday, following the State Farm Home Run Derby, which begins at 7 p.m.

Elijah back in action: Elijah Johnson, who had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in mid-April, will practice Monday.

“We’ll break him in slowly,” Self said, indicating the senior guard probably wouldn’t take part in pick-up games or scrimmage situations immediately.

Ty’s deal: Tyshawn Taylor’s first NBA contract with the Brooklyn Nets is expected to pay him the rookie minimum of $473,604 next season, the New York Post reports. Details of the contract (length and amount of money), which was signed Friday, were not disclosed by the team.

Frankamp in final: Future KU guard Conner Frankamp scored 13 points off 3-of-9 shooting (1-of-4 threes) to help the U.S. defeat Spain, 95-66, in the semifinals of the Under 17 World Championship on Saturday in Kaunas, Lithuania. He had three rebounds, an assist and turnover in 22 minutes. The U.S. (7-0) will meet Australia (6-1) in today’s 12:30 p.m. final. It is available online via FIBATV.com.

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Sasha in Olympics: Former KU center Sasha Kaun will compete in the 2012 Olympics. Kaun’s Russian National team defeated Nigeria, 85-77, in Saturday’s Olympic Qualifying semifinals. Top three finishing teams in the 12-team tourney advance to the Olympics. Kaun had 11 points in the spot-clinching victory.

Comments

Michael LoBurgio 2 years, 5 months ago

Study: The ‘gateway drug’ is alcohol, not marijuana

A study in the August edition of The Journal of School Health finds that the generations old theory of a “gateway drug” effect is in fact accurate for some drug users, but shifts the blame for those addicts’ escalating substance abuse away from marijuana and onto the most pervasive and socially accepted drug in American life: alcohol.

Using a nationally representative sample from the University of Michigan’s annual Monitoring the Future survey, the study blasts holes in drug war orthodoxy wide enough to drive a truck through, definitively proving that marijuana use is not the primary indicator of whether a person will move on to more dangerous substances.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/07/05/study-the-gateway-drug-is-alcohol-not-marijuana/#.T_XWMIuWJok.twitter

rtwngr 2 years, 5 months ago

Like any mind altering substance pot makes you stupid. I am in favor of decriminalizing it but not legalization. I am not in favor of another substance that makes people lazy, stupid, and real hungry. If you think the country has a problem with obesity just wait until we legalize pot.

msezdsit 2 years, 5 months ago

Almost looks like you speak from experience.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 5 months ago

"I am not in favor of another substance that makes people lazy, stupid,"

Your over-generalizations are both lazy and stupid.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

Are you suggesting that marijuana gives people an energy boost and stimulates their cognitive functioning? And is having the munchies another urban legend as well?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 5 months ago

Like all drugs, it affects everyone slightly differently. Regardless, the vast majority of users use it at appropriate times, just as do the vast majority of alcohol users. Its short term effects don't create permanent changes in behavior as rtwngr asserts.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

If this forum is representative of Americans in general, then there would be a lot of personal experience right here. From that, generalizations become possible. Conventional wisdom becomes possible. And those generalizations are more likely to be correct than not.

In re-reading rtwngr's post, I didn't see him/her making any distinction between short term vs. long term effects of smoking marijuana, other than the possible conclusion that eating more will cause obesity. That seems a reasonable assumption, unless you have evidence that pot smokers eat more while high, yet either don't gain weight or maybe they work out more and lose those pounds. That's a highly unlikely expectation, given our collective wisdom, given our collective experience.

Interesting that he/she calls for decriminalization, not really a right winger's position. Perhaps that's a call to recognize what we all seem to know from experience, from our collective wisdom, that throwing them all in jail doesn't work. That criminalizing that behavior has been a failure. But just as that experience and collective wisdom has merit, so does that experience and wisdom that we all know, even laugh at, when we see stoners behaving foolishly, eating junk food to satisfy those munchies, knowing that their cognitive functioning, at least while under the influence is not at the same level as when not under the influence. We know they shouldn't be driving, operating heavy machinery.

Those of us who have lived in states where medical marijuana is possible know that it's become a joke. With a wink and a nod, we know the vast majority who got their cards have no legitimate illness. Then again, maybe we're O.K. with that. More collective wisdom, more collective experience. We know, we just don't care.

No, we should not go back to the "Reefer Madness" mentality. But we should not ignore the obvious either.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 5 months ago

There you go again-- trying to arrogate your opinions as "collective wisdom" and "common sense."

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

Right, it's my opinion that smoking pot gives you the munchies. That's something I just made up, not anything that would pass for collective wisdom or a shared common experience. Right, opinion. Give me a break.

msezdsit 2 years, 5 months ago

Wow, frisco hawk, that was a load. Do you really think people are going to take the time to wade through all of that? A bit much, maybe.

Richard Benson 2 years, 5 months ago

How is Villareal’s contact with KU basketball players, while he and they were squeezed into close quarters with several thousand other people at a basketball game, relevant to keeping Villareal locked up until his trial? Could it be that the gabby, blabby Assistant United States Attorney was short on cards, and needed sensational headlines to accomplish what the substance of her allegations could not?

Coach Self is exactly right in how he is approaching this. I believe, as KU fans, we can absolutely count on Coach Self to do whatever it takes —emphatically, whatever it takes— to correct any problem that proves to be.

msezdsit 2 years, 5 months ago

The most obvious reason for the prosecutor to include KU basketball is to bring attention to the case. There is nothing in the prosecutions comments to back up their claim. It got a lot more press by involving KU basketball .

msezdsit 2 years, 5 months ago

"I’m not going to run and hide from it. I’m not going to rush to judgment, either.The only thing I could do now is basically allow the process to play out.” Bill Self

I guess some people aren't willing to wait for the process to play out before rushing to judgement.

phoggyjay 2 years, 5 months ago

OH NO, NOT MARIJUANA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is really getting old. Don't forget that the Federal Government supplies four people in this country with 300 marijuana cigarettes every twenty three days for their diseases. Not bad for a Schedule 1 drug with no medical benefits when smoked. I hope Colorado passes the re-legalization and taxation of cannabis this fall, so this amazing plant can be studied scientifically by all without repercussions.

Here are some studies just released:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/dta.1377/abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22629287

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22595870

http://www.thestar.com/living/article/1178109--marijuana-relieves-muscles-tightness-pain-of-multiple-sclerosis-study

rockchalker52 2 years, 5 months ago

So THAT'S what they mean by a 'high-low offense.' All this time I was thinkin' it's a basketball strategy.

Mkultra 2 years, 5 months ago

There are kids on every division I basketball team that smoke tree. Except maybe BYU and they just have pre-marital sex (the horror the horror). Just don't get caught during the NCAA tournament, it certainly isn't performance enhancing though hahaha.

BallHawk 2 years, 5 months ago

Of course his statement is to "protect" his team/paycheck...he also knows which of his players uses, but he is gonna keep his cards close until he is forced to show them, as the "captain" wouldn't you? The public that treats these young players like some sort of modified heroes would be too shocked by the number of players in Div 1 ball that use, who wants to see them crushed as their "player" falls off the pedestal they had 'em on. It's a reality, what needs to be focused on is making sure tests are done often enough to be useful and that a real "punishment" is handed out...any one in the public would look at a fine and/or jail time (as long as it remains illegal)...the players punishment should be real too.

msezdsit 2 years, 5 months ago

I know, your just making an observation (that suggests a judgement)

BallHawk 2 years, 5 months ago

I agree...I think it is about the brand/paycheck. I don't think he cares whether they smoke or not...so he keeps the cards close to protect the brand...I believe that would be the point of my initial post as well as your response.

Armen Kurdian 2 years, 5 months ago

I do not concur...his job would be on the line too...he's making $3M+/yr, and he'd be stupid to risk it by knowingly allowing his team to smoke pot. I've seen this before where a criminal or a defense attorney makes outlandish accusations to obfuscate matters in a case and make things go more favorably for them. In this case, I have no idea what the hell a US attorney thinks he/she is doing by disclosing this kind of information.

Personally, I don't think anything happened; this sounds too contrived. Will have to let this play out.

John McCoy 2 years, 5 months ago

The only thing in this country that is more damaging and generally stupid than the marijuana laws is Rick Perry, Governor of Texas.

Jayhawk1963 2 years, 5 months ago

One of the most ridiculous and STUPID posts ever made on these blogs !!!

juma 2 years, 5 months ago

I find Billy E jr.'s comments amusing. A friend of mine lived in Jayhawker Towers for the last 3 years. Lots of smoke filled hallways and rooms there. Also, Billy E. knows exactly what is going on and the so-called random drug tests??? are a joke. I am not making a value judgement about grass but I do dislike BS about the real world and lying just makes it worse. Either Billy E. has a policy or he does not.

msezdsit 2 years, 5 months ago

Lets, see, Just take K-10 to KC and then I-70 to Columbia. Your full of Juma.

funkdog1 2 years, 5 months ago

Marijuana in Lawrence? I'm SHOCKED, I tell you. SHOCKED.

msezdsit 2 years, 5 months ago

Sure, just another observation that shouldn't be confused as passing judgement.

msezdsit 2 years, 5 months ago

I reread your posts, carefully, and yes, I do think your comments are double speak and or contradictory. Passing judgement and pretending to be just making observations is, in your own words, talking out of both sides of your mouth. Don't make me spoon feed you.

Don't be afraid to just own your comments, people know double speak when they read it.

msezdsit 2 years, 5 months ago

sounds like one eye is disconnected. As a matter of fact, most parents whom send their kids to college , oh, excuse me for using that word, think they sent their kids off to college.

windjammer 2 years, 5 months ago

Come on oneeye give him a break just one little break.

Jayhawk1958 2 years, 5 months ago

They are adults but kids in the sense that haven't completing matured yet. You can't tell me that you were extremely mature at that age. I mean come on, its not that big of a deal. Millions have smoked pot in college.

Jock Navels 2 years, 5 months ago

This is a Missouri guy badmouthing the Kansas basketball team. There was no reason for him to bring this up except to sensationalize his case, get publicity for his case and negative publicity for the Kansas basketball program. If anybdy is guilty of anything here, it is this man.

College kids smoking weed is a non-issue. I have been smoking weed for 46 years, played college sports, served in vietnam, taught and coached high school for 25 years, bought and paid for a house, paid bills on time, raised 3 good kids who moved out at 18 and got jobs after graduating from college never to return and live in the basement, paid taxes, didn't ever use all my sick leave, now I'm retired, get a social security check and a KPERS check and got a bundle in a Vanguard IRA and you know what...I'm going to light up a big ass spliff, bros' and watch an old Hawk game in the VCR. Hellyeah.

riverdrifter 2 years, 5 months ago

Uhm, it was a lady fed attorney who is a graduate of Washburn, if that's who you are referring to. Anyway, yeah, she threw it out there to give the case some bling. If it can't be proved, she has damaged her career.

windjammer 2 years, 5 months ago

After reading your comments I had to look at your history. You are right on riverdrifter.

msezdsit 2 years, 5 months ago

Calling like it is and no pretending. Thats more like it ought to be.

Jock Navels 2 years, 5 months ago

oh, wait....I don't drink alcoholic beverages of any sort, ever. hummmmm.

martyks 2 years, 5 months ago

Men? Boys? How many of us thought we were grown up when we were in college? How many of us still believe we were adults by that age? These kids are tested regularly. If they have actually inhaled grass, they join the overwhelming majority of U.S. citizens by doing so. The best way to deal with this is having the players involved run steps and keeping the whole thing in-house. The laws are absurd and are responsible for ruining the lives of thousands. Grass doesn't make you stupid unless you abuse it... which means, you already were stupid.

msezdsit 2 years, 5 months ago

Hey martyks, now theres a post that makes sense. I'm kinda new around here but can't help but notice a lot of the posts just don't seem to make much sense . It is as if people have some preconceived notions that they try to impose into their comments about something else.

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