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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

msezdsit 1 year, 9 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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martyks 1 year, 9 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.

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Jock Navels 1 year, 9 months ago

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

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Jock Navels 1 year, 9 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.

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Jayhawk1958 1 year, 9 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.

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oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 9 months ago

Kids? He says kids? Come on mr self. They are adults. Roy's kids/boys. Now Billy's kids. Sounds like Romper Room daycare.

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kansasdaughter 1 year, 9 months ago

On a personal level, I like coach, but he is talking out of both sides of his mouth in this article. Read his statements again, carefully, and see if you think his statements are double-speak and/or contradictory. Don't make me spoon feed you.

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funkdog1 1 year, 9 months ago

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

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FalseHopeNoChange 1 year, 9 months ago

Flex is the "Choom Gang" leader. Can't he help? 'Potheads' need to stick together.

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juma 1 year, 9 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.

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John McCoy 1 year, 9 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.

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BallHawk 1 year, 9 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.

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Mkultra 1 year, 9 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.

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rockchalker52 1 year, 9 months ago

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

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phoggyjay 1 year, 9 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

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kansasdaughter 1 year, 9 months ago

Yeah, count on the coach to protect his team/brand/paycheck.

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Richard Benson 1 year, 9 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.

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Michael LoBurgio 1 year, 9 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

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