Good thing I’m up late working on my Platte County Landmark column…
Because in what may go down as the local scoop of the century (it’s early), KU Basketball coach Bill Self laid some major league pipe to his arch rival Missouri Tigers.
If MU bolts to the SEC, forget about playing KU in the regular season, Self told the Lawrence Journal World.
"If the Tigers do decide to bolt for the SEC, however, they will do so aware there’s the chance they’ll never play KU in hoops in the regular season again," the Journal World report begins.
“ ‘To me it’s a great rivalry, one of the best in college basketball without question, but I don’t think I would be interested in having a once a year game like I did when I was at Illinois, playing Missouri,’ ” Self told the Journal-World Tuesday night.
"He was speaking after learning Missouri’s Board of Curators announced it has delegated power to MU chancellor Brady Deaton to explore options for future conference affiliation," the Journal World reports.
" ‘I could probably change my mind (but) trust me, we would have no trouble finding another nonleague game to play. I love the rivalry (uninterrupted since 1907 with KU leading 171-94). Playing home and home in the league is great and all those things … (but) I can’t imagine, why would we continue playing?
“ ‘If they choose to be somewhere other than with us and with the other schools that they’ve been a part of and could jeopardize the future of the other schools … I’m not going to make a commitment now that we’d ever play again. I’m not saying we won’t. I’m certainly not going to pretend that we would.’ ”
In other words KU is laying it on the line; if MU bolts for the bright lights of the SEC they can kiss KU goodbye.
Prior to Self’s shout out to Mizzou, the working media assumption was that KU-MU football and basketball games would be relegated to pre season / non conference affairs. Assumptions Self blew out of the water with his powerful statements to the Journal World.
"Self grew animated when it was suggested the media would likely ask for a continuation of the series with perhaps a once-a-year meeting between the Border War combatants in Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo," the Journal World continued.
“ ‘I’m not saying it would be bad or won’t be bad (playing once on neutral court). I will say this … the media is not going to dictate who we play. I’ll dictate who we play as long as I’m coaching here,’ Self said. ‘I have no ill will toward Missouri at all, but to do something at a time that could be so damaging and hurtful to a group, I can’t see us just taking it and forgetting. I think that would be something that’d be talked about with our administration and we’d make a decision that’s best for our place. They are making a decision that’s best for theirs. We’ll make a decision on a schedule that’s best for us.
“ ‘I am not going to schedule Missouri just to schedule Missouri. I’m going to schedule what’s best for us, period. That’s how it’s going to be.’ ”
Finally someone in the Big 12 packing a pair and willing to lay it down in the harshest possible terms.