OTC: KU’s Funeral Trip Revisited & Debated By 610’s Shan Shariff

 

“Greg Hall’s suggesting that the attendance of the KU basketball team at Thomas Robinson’s mom’s funeral will be detrimental and somehow hurt this team going forward.  How in the hell is that a possibility? … I think it’s asinine. I think it’s silly. I think it’s dumb. I think it’s stupid. And I think it’s blind.”
Shan Shariff, responding to my column earlier this week questioning the decision to fly the Kansas basketball team back to Washington D.C. for Thomas Robinson’s mother’s funeral, 610 AM
GH: I am guessing Shariff doesn’t agree with my take. Or maybe he simply did not understand my concerns. Read on.
“My question and my response (to Hall’s column) is, where are our priorities?”
Shan Shariff, 610 AM
GH: Where are our priorities when it comes to college sports? Where are our priorities when it comes to paying a head coach $3 million per season to coach college basketball? Where are our priorities when the “privilege” of buying already exorbitantly-priced tickets is tied to fans having to donate tens of thousands of dollars (and more) to a mysterious but-rarely-questioned entity called The Williams Fund? It is obvious where our priorities are when it comes to Kansas basketball. They are obscenely tilted toward the manic need to feed the financial beast that nourishes the self-worth of a proud but skewed Jayhawk fan base. A fan base no different than Nebraska football or a number of college towns we all know well.  
“(Hall writes) they’re not supposed to fly to Washington, D.C. because we don’t trust sophomore and juniors to deal with this emotionally?”
Shan Shariff, 610 AM
GH: Yes. It is my opinion Bill Self took a large gamble with his team by organizing this chartered flight to D.C. for a teammate’s mother’s funeral. I don’t handle funerals well. I despise the ritual of prolonging the death of a loved one over the span of a week. All funerals do for me is constantly rip at an open and painful wound, refusing to allow it to begin to heal. I have attended the funerals of two brothers and a sister. I hated every second I was present in that church. Sad doesn’t even come close to describing the emotions I felt over their losses. Why would anyone subject a bunch of 20-year-olds to that level of grief? And who can know how those 20-year-olds will handle the rest of their season with that wound so real, so fresh, so visible in their minds?
“Who cares? Who gives a damn if KU loses three straight? Even if it is because of this?”
Shan Shariff, 610 AM
GH: Bold words that will have almost no meaning if they were to come true. If Kansas loses one game let alone three in a row, a lot of people will care…and they have every right to care. Kansas basketball is a huge economic engine in the state. It’s worth what, a half billion dollars? A billion? We all hurt for Thomas and his young sister. But people die, are born, get sick, get arrested…but life goes on. If KU loses three in a row, you’re going to see some real pain, suffering and anguish at Allen Fieldhouse – and not one of those many tears will be for T-Rob’s mom.
“(Hall writes) that too much emotion is going to be spent for weeks to come and something could be lost to this basketball season either their mental or physical edge. I just reject all those notions.”
Shan Shariff, 610 AM
GH: I can understand how Shariff and others would disagree with my stance. But I was surprised to then hear Shariff make my point with his own personal story. Read on.
“I hate funerals. The biggest fight I ever got into with my mother was when my aunt passed away and I didn’t want to go to the funeral. It was too painful for me to deal with. I don’t need to sit there and pay my respects. I paid my respects when the woman was alive. I walked out. I left the church. … I hate funerals! My grandmother died when I was at Syracuse. “Do you want to come back home?’ No. Skipped it. Now if you think that makes me a monster, okay.”
Shan Shariff, 610 AM
GH: When Coach Self chartered that plane, he pretty much forced every teammate of Robinson’s to board that jet whether they wanted to or not. How do you not go? You would look like a monster. There is a very good chance many of these players have yet to lose a sibling or parent in their young lives. They would be incapable of understanding the angst that Shariff and I feel for funerals. This is why I wrote what I wrote. Not everyone handles death the same. There is no way to know how the student athletes on KU’s team will handle their face-to-face experience with it. Self made the decision to put his team in this situation. We will now see how his players react. The Kansas stockholders will definitely be watching.
GregHall24@yahoo.com and Twitter / greghall24
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26 Responses to OTC: KU’s Funeral Trip Revisited & Debated By 610’s Shan Shariff

  1. Jayhawk Fan says:

    Hall will understand, someday
    Hall is a sad sad man, makes ya kinda feel sorry him and his buring hatred for KU.

  2. Johnny Utah says:

    Shan is lucky
    Whoever this Shan person is, is lucky our city (and country) places far to much importance on sports. very few professions pay someone to talk about themselves all day, like he gets. most people have to pay others to have them listen. shan sometimes talks about sports, so he gets paid for a radio show.

    this absolutely is a topic worth discussing. and it does matter how the KU players play after this b/c the KU athletic dept. paid for their trip, which is ultimately paid by KU fans. self judged that this would be good for the team, so he took them. I bet he’s right.

    Robinson is another case entirely. however he reacts to this, people should be sympathetic. few people have gone thru what he is.

  3. shecky says:

    This is sad
    I know Greg has commented that his points were misunderstood; I assume this is his attempt to clarify. All it does is make him look worse.

    You’re not some kid, Greg. I can’t imagine a man of your age, with a family, can actually believe what you’ve written above. Like you so often say of those you criticize – Man up, admit you were wrong and move on. The rationalization and excuse making is worse than the original outrageous comments.

  4. Gavin says:

    like i said earlier
    Greg, you’re putting yourself in a place to judge when you have no frame of reference. I get why you feel the way you do about funerals and I won’t tell you you’re wrong, but a lot of people feel better about them. A lot of people realize that death is a part of life and they want to be there to comfort the people who are still alive. A lot of people want to celebrate the life of the person being honored. Some people just want to get the fuck out. You’re one of the “get the fuck out” crowd and that’s cool.

    But you have no idea about the emotional mindset of this team. You don’t now much, if anything, beyond what you read in the sports section and hear on the radio. Neither do I. But you’re substituting your judgment and your feelings about funerals for the judgment of the people who actually do know this team and this situation. What makes you think you’re qualified to judge what is best for the team?

    Personally, I don’t think this will be that big an obstacle for KU. I could be wrong, but I expect that most of them will be able to put this behind them (Robinson being the obvious exception) and maybe it will even give them a cause to rally around. A lot of people talk about a team being a family and if that’s true, if Bill Self really wants to them to think of themselves as a family, then they pretty much HAVE to be there when something like this happens. If they’re not acting like a family, then everything that’s been preached to them will be empty words.

    Again, I understand you hate funerals and I feel badly that you had to go to the funerals of two brothers and a sister. That sucks. But, looking back, would you have preferred that you didn’t go? You’re a grown man. No one can “make” you do anything but I’ll bet you still go to funerals don’t you? Why? I’m guessing because you feel a sense of obligation and because you think it’s the “right” thing to do. Isn’t part of Bill Self’s job to make sure the team knows and does the right thing?

  5. Jayhawk Fan says:

    not journalism, it is Fox News type of Propaganda.
    “Self made the decision to put his team in this situation.””

    uh, yeah, that IS what coaches do.

    I dont know if I ever said it, or not, but I am a big fan of the Mighty Kansas Jayhawk basketbal programl. I do not require my team to do anything other than do their best to win, and however that works out is OK with me, as long a Coach helps the boys become men, and so far Coach has done a pretty good job of that…… yet no matter how well KU does, people always bash on them, it is kind of funny how jealous people are.

    How sad that the only time Hall does a Jayhawk story is when it is in a negative context, and that is not journalism, that is Fox News type of Propaganda, it is like Hall is the Glenn Beck of sports

  6. nick says:

    Self Gets It
    You wrote:

    “I despise the ritual of prolonging the death of a loved one over the span of a week. All funerals do for me is constantly rip at an open and painful wound, refusing to allow it to begin to heal. I have attended the funerals of two brothers and a sister. I hated every second I was present in that church.”

    (AND)

    “There is a very good chance many of these players have yet to lose a sibling or parent in their young lives. They would be incapable of understanding the angst that Shariff and I feel for funerals. This is why I wrote what I wrote. Not everyone handles death the same. There is no way to know how the student athletes on KU

  7. MoCrash says:

    Horns of a dilemma
    There is no right answer to this. I think that it would have been right for Self to offer a plane ride to those who wished to attend the funeral, but those who would volunteer to stay home risk condemnation (probably less from their teammates, Robinson included, from the outside world) — even if their reasons for doing so are reasonable, such as a general aborrence of funerals. To avoid that, the wiser course would have been to leave the team in Lawrence, hence singling no person out.

    Where Greg goes wrong, in my view, is in lending so little creedence to human element. Yes, the college sports system is far more about money than education, but if that is indeed corrupting is it inbumbent on us to give in to cynicism. This is what happens when a culture values a team’s winning — and the dollars it generates — over the essential humanity of the people who are part of the system. I’m afraid this is not confined to the sports paradigm, but has become rampant societally — from entertainment to politics, where the one’s ideological opponent is reduced to the realm of evil and is not worthy of the decency usually accorded other mere mortals. To my way of thinking, this has a degenerative effect; it’s reality is, unfortunately, indisputable, but I doubt whether its in our best interest to succumb to it.

  8. W Jones says:

    Kansas Fans
    Find me a Kansas fan with the opinion that going to the funeral was a bad move. Then I might consider your argument. Until then, stop telling Kansas fans how Kansas fans feel

  9. MrOlathe says:

    These guys
    Are far more experienced in losing loved ones than most of us. Josh Selby found out after the Texas game that one of his best friends had been murdered. These guys deal with this all the time. So I don’t think that they are going to be spooked out by a funeral.

  10. harley says:

    HALL……ADMIT YOU ARE WRONG.
    admit it and move on. No matter how many funerals one goes to…they still are horrible.
    These kids (7 of which i understand have no dads) have been raised a lot differently than
    you or I. their perception of life is different. Their environments are different.
    Many of thse players come from broken homes…single moms…being raised by other
    family members. It’s so different than your upbringing.
    Taking the kids to their teammates mom’s funeral was absolutely needed. The university
    paying for the funeral was incredible.
    And I…as an avid mu fan…say that again…bill self showed why he is one of the
    classiest and top notch coaches in the nation.
    If Ku loses 3 games so be it….it’s a game. the state of kansas…the ku alumni….
    bill self and the players will all be fine long after the final whistle is blown and they
    will continue to pack allen field house and followv their team.
    You can screw with me…but be careful messing with bill self…I think the world of
    this guy…..don’t mess with bill!

  11. Goose13 says:

    Team
    Maybe the team voted and wanted to go. Has anybody asked that?

  12. ryan says:

    It is STILL the right thing to do
    Greg,

    Providing the context of your uncomfortable experience at funerals does provide some insight to the opinion, but in no way does it make Bill Self’s decision to “man up” an incorrect one. Just as you won’t find a KU fan who agrees with you, you will be hard pressed to find that person that feels comfortable at funerals. (especially of loved ones) Funerals are designed to assist the living in the grieving process. (I don’t recall a funeral ever helping the person in the casket) Closure, deal with the denial, etc. To pretend like it didn’t happen and keep it bottled up will produce far greater harm than dealing with it. Bill Self is teaching by example. Face up to what’s important. We watched the coach’s decision making in a far less important moment a few years ago. Bball players fighting football players. While the football team and athletic director had someone write press releases and pretend everything was fine, Bill Self flew home, gathered the team and met with the media. (along with the players) He “manned up” and made his players “man up”. Meanwhile the other two cowards are gone. It is called doing the right thing.

  13. John says:

    Greg is wrong…
    Seems Greg is all bloddy and bruised after this mistake. I bet Hall looks like he just called Brock Lesner a sissy.

  14. theKCeye says:

    You missed it Greg
    Bill Self is these young men’s father away from home. For some, possibly, he’s the closest thing they’ve ever had to a dad. He would be doing a disservice to his players and the families he helped convince send their sons/brothers/nephews/etc to KU if he allows them to side-step the funeral and move on as if this never happened. Dealing with emotions, specifically in terms of death, is certainly hard, but it’s essential to the maturation process. These young men have been dealt one tough hand, but managing adversity is a part of life. Let them learn that lesson now, Greg (You might take a few notes).

  15. bschloz says:

    Just A Game Is Right
    Its a tragic moment for the the entire team…I thought Self goofed up playing Thomas on Sat…..obviously the kid is in shock. You don’t ask “Hey T you want to play against Texas on CBS or do you want to fly home and………” Don’t think so….you put your arm around him and tell him go home NOW, with assistant coach and start the process…We’re here for you and we love you and we’ll be with you after Colo…..
    As far as flying the Hawks to D.C.– these guys barnstorm for 6 months out of the year…just another Airport and Bus ride for these guys.
    It was right thing to do and a powerful statement.
    Thomas and his Sister….they are lucky to be in the Jayhawk family and I feel good about that.
    I’ve enjoyed watching T-Rob develop on the basketball court and know that he will be great.
    Peace

  16. Ptolemy says:

    Funerals aren’t for the dead
    Funerals are for the benefit of the living.

    And I agree that Bill Self should not have subjected his entire team to the funeral. Will the distraction cost then focus and a game or two (or five) time will tell.

    Then again, it could be KU will lose 5 or 6 games because they suck.

  17. Jayhawk Fan says:

    Good job KU Basketball / Saturday Night was Special
    Bravo KU men, now on to the next game. One game at time. Nice work.

    🙂

  18. Jayhawk Fan says:

    Dick
    It was also nce to hear Dick correct himself regarding him predicting KU to finish 5th in the Big 12, he said he would not make that mistake again 🙂

  19. Rainbow Man says:

    i am baffled
    This is the most under-respected 20-1 team I have ever seen.

  20. Jayhawk Fan says:

    Let the music do the talkin
    20-1 is pretty much is all that needs to be said, after all, we KU fans do not want to be accused of being “arrogant” or anything, we are simply wanting to get along with our fellow conference schools, good luck to them all.

  21. Merle Tagladucci says:

    Jeez that funeral sure was distracting
    Look…it’s a bird, it’s a plane…it’s Super Greg! Hey Super Greg! He’s so cool…dude has incredible magical powers, types really fast, has the ability to know KU’s basketball team better than its own coach and all kinds of other really cook skills. He nunchucks crime in the face and if you don’t believe me, just try and do something evil like take your basketball team to another player’s mom’s funeral. Super Greg will get you for that. So don’t do it.

    Predictable update: Yes folks, that’s right…even though Super Greg predicted a fallout and inevitable catastrophic collapse after mean ol’ Bill Self put his team through all the mental torture of having to attend that awful funeral, it looks like a miracle occurred because guess what, the team went out and took care of business. I mean shucks Super Greg, how on earth did they ever manage to persevere like that in the face of such adversity? How did they remain so focused with all those distractions going on thanks to that evil, no-good Bill Self and his mandatory funeral attendance policy? If Super Greg doesn’t fly in to Lawrence and haul Self away in a straight jacket right now, that whole team will eventually implode because you know Self is waiting for the next funeral to take them to. Anything he can find to distract his team, he’ll do it. So go get him super Greg! Save the team! They need you! You are the chosen one!

    Super Greg, keep your eye on this guy for us. Only your ability to see inside those four walls can save the team now. Thanks Super Greg.

  22. Merle Tagladucci says:

    Jeez that funeral sure was distracting
    Look…it’s a bird, it’s a plane…it’s Super Greg! Hey Super Greg! He’s so cool…dude has incredible magical powers, types really fast, has the ability to know KU’s basketball team better than its own coach and all kinds of other really cook skills. He nunchucks crime in the face and if you don’t believe me, just try and do something evil like take your basketball team to another player’s mom’s funeral. Super Greg will get you for that. So don’t do it.

    Predictable update: Yes folks, that’s right…even though Super Greg predicted a fallout and inevitable catastrophic collapse after mean ol’ Bill Self put his team through all the mental torture of having to attend that awful funeral, it looks like a miracle occurred because guess what, the team went out and took care of business. I mean shucks Super Greg, how on earth did they ever manage to persevere like that in the face of such adversity? How did they remain so focused with all those distractions going on thanks to that evil, no-good Bill Self and his mandatory funeral attendance policy? If Super Greg doesn’t fly in to Lawrence and haul Self away in a straight jacket right now, that whole team will eventually implode because you know Self is waiting for the next funeral to take them to. Anything he can find to distract his team, he’ll do it. So go get him super Greg! Save the team! They need you! You are the chosen one!

    Super Greg, keep your eye on this guy for us. Only your ability to see inside those four walls can save the team now. Thanks Super Greg.

  23. Re: Merle Tagladucci says:

    Thats what she said : )
    Merle Tagladucci,
    that was a nice piece, ,,heheheheheHAHAHAHAAHAHA….. poor old grumpy Hall, he wants so much for KU to do poorly……. he has many personal issues, and he tends to TRY TO take them out on KU……. but alas…… it is a much like a cat swatting at a flashlight beam of light…….. it is pointless….. but pretty funny to watch…… for a while… poor old cat…. poor old Hall.

    ps
    MEOW!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. austin says:

    wrong
    this fool is completely wrong and has no idea what he is talking about. Hall, you don’t think that the players themselves wanted to be with Robinson to support him? Here is something that you need to learn. KU basketball is just a team or a sport, It’s a family. This event will not make the Jayhawks lose focus or lose games, but this will bring this team closer than any other KU basketball team in years. I believe Coach Self said something along the lines that there comes a time or event where a team comes together and united, and those are the type of teams that win National Championships. It’s tragic that this had to happen, but you’re wrong, this team is gonna come together and be a real family. Something you don’t seem to understand. F.O.E. ROCK CHALK

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