Bill Self’s Kansas Jayhawks have wrapped up their 13th straight Big 12 regular season championship, but that isn’t the story that is taking up precious time as Kansas City sports fans gather around their watercoolers. If the Jayhawk’s dominance of the Big 12 isn’t what’s receiving the focus of Kansas City area sports fans, then surely, it’s Self’s apparent lenient stance on would be disciplinary issues. But that isn’t truly the case either. What is catching the ire of these fans is the apparent blind eye that the Kansas City Star sports department has given the legal and disciplinary issues surrounding Self’s program.
Many Kansas City area sports fans believe that the Kansas City Star shows favoritism towards Kansas basketball. Most, if not all, of those fans cheer for the Missouri Tigers. See? The teams don’t have to play for the rivalry to still be going strong. The truth of the matter is that the Star has reported on all of the recent allegations against Self’s Jayhawks.
The Star has written numerous articles regarding the situation involving Josh Jackson and McKenzie Calvert. The newspaper reported on the allegations against Legerald Vick. Kansas City Star reporters also didn’t shy away from reporting on the suspected rape of a 16-year-old girl which was suspected to have occurred in a university dormitory. Five players, including potential player of the year Frank Mason, were listed as witnesses to the alleged rape. The Star also reported on the domestic violence allegations filed against Carlton Bragg as well as reporting on the drug paraphernalia that he was found to be in possession of.
Kansas City Star sports editor, Jeff Rosen, has taken heat on social media over how his sports department has handled all the turmoil surrounding the Kansas basketball team. Among the criticism that Rosen has endured is the belief that he and his staff have not held Self accountable for the actions of his players or for the disciplinary measures Self has chosen to apply to his problem players. But the Star recently published the following article – Editorial: Off-court troubles have cast a cloud over Kansas basketball.
In response to Self’s nonchalant public attitude surrounding the current environment in Lawrence, the Star’s staff had this to say in their collective editorial:
In fact, the real disappointment was Self’s public response to these incidents.
His supervisors aren’t off the hook, either. Everyone from the Board of Regents on down should insist on the highest standards of behavior from all students, especially those who wear the school’s name on their shirts — and the people who coach them.
There is only so much a media outlet can do in situations like this. In defense of Rosen and the Star, the newspaper continues to write articles on these situations and continues to ask follow-up questions to Self. Rosen can’t make Self answer the questions posed by his team of reporters. But what Rosen can and has done is have his staff continue to press Self on these issues.
Fans from rival programs may not like the answers being spouted by Self, but that isn’t Rosen’s problem. It would be Rosen’s problem if he was ignoring the issues surrounding the Jayhawks and/or ignoring Self’s reluctance to be transparent. But neither of those things are the reality of the situation. Rosen and his writers are doing their jobs and we should all allow them to continue doing so. Who knows? With a little patience, they just may be able to crack Self and his nonchalant attitude.
E-mail Seth at seth [dot] merenbloom [at] campuspressbox [dot] com or follow him on Twitter @SethMerenbloom.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
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