Hearne: Time for Bill Self & KU to Stop Acting Like Spoiled Children

spoiled-childrenWhat’s the matter with Kansas?

If we’re talking about the city of Lawrence and the KU Jayhawks basketball team, plenty. I live in Lawrence now and even though I still spend a ton of time in Kansas City, this town and this university isn’t all that hard to figure out.

I’ve got three words to describe how things are run here: Good Old Boy.

I’m talking about the powers that be in the business world and at the University of Kansas. Between the two of them, they’ve pretty much got things sewn up and get what they want with little to no resistance from the town folk.

The average everyday citizen of Lawrence has it pretty sweet. The town is quaint and charming and the quality of life, for the most part, is excellent. It’s a great place to raise a family and owing to the university and the town’s proximity to Kansas City, the cultural amenities are ample.

That said, the citizens of this town are asleep at the wheel with no leadership.

So as long as the quality of life continues and KU basketball keeps bringing home the bacon, most people here couldn’t care less if a handful or two of well-placed businessmen control things behind the scenes. And at times, in front of the scenes.

Dolph Simons Jr.

Dolph Simons Jr.


In part because the local newspaper – the Lawrence Journal World – is basically a Boss Hawg operation.

Oh sure, it takes its shots at some of the more obviously bogus goings on, like the recently railroaded Rock Chalk Park rec center in West Lawrence. But only on the surface did the Journal World call out the business players for playing way fast and way loose while sewing up a too-good-to-be-true deals for themselves. The newspaper stopped just short of connecting a few really obvious, significant dots that might have halted the bogusness in its tracks.


Because when push comes to shove, publisher Dolph Simons family that runs the news show in town wouldn’t dare to drop the hammer on another leading local family and KU for an obvious conflict of interest that remains unreported to this day.

That’s just not the way the game is played here.

If that sounds a little vague, it’s because I plan on telling some of those stories, raising some of those questions in the months to come.

Let’s get back to how small-minded and petty the journalism in this town can be. In spite of KU’s respected journalism school.


Today’s editorial in the Journal World – almost assuredly penned or dictated by publisher Simons – is an attaboy for basketball coach Bill Self ‘s statement earlier in the week, reiterating that his team still has no intention of playing Missouri.

“KU Resolve,” reads the overwrought headline. “Kansas University is right to shun any effort to include the Missouri Tigers in its basketball or football schedule.”


An editorial stance championing pettiness at the highest level? I’m not even sure a high school journalist would stoop to that level of triviality in a published editorial.

“Congrats to Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self for sticking to his decision not to schedule basketball games between the KU Jayhawks and the Missouri Tigers.”

Since when did petty paybacks become something to be admired?

Look, Missouri did what it needed to do and thought best. The sky was falling on the Big 12 and because of the school’s geographic location and superior football program, MU had a chance to escape what appeared at the time to be impending doom and catch on with a bigger, more secure conference – the SEC.

Nebraska, Texas A&M and Colorado did the same, where’s the hate there?

And don’t think for one minute that had the shoe been on the other foot, KU wouldn’t have leapt at the chance to join the SEC and leave Missouri behind. Unfortunately, the opposite was true, nobody really wanted KU.

The pundits speculated and feared that because KU was only a basketball school it would have a hard time getting on with conferences like the Big 10 and Pac 12.

Bill Self was thisclose to being a man without a country.

Was that Missouri’s fault? No. Did Missouri engineer the mess the Big 12 found itself in? No. Did Missouri vow to disengage from its longtime rival and never play them again? No.

Missouri took the high road.

Now everything’s hunky dory again in the Big 12 and Self and Kansas are still acting like spoiled children.

While the Journal World cheers them on!

There’s more.

Try this out for pettiness: “Various business interests in Kansas City raised phony reasons the rivalry should be continued, but it was obvious they wanted a game in Kansas City only for the business and tax revenue rather than for the tradition.”

Hold it right there…

So now readers are to believe that Journal World publisher Dolph Simons is a mindreader and none of the Missouri or Kansas fans in KC – or basketball and football fans in general – give a crap about a historic rivalry, they just wanna make a few extra bucks?

payback-posterThat kind of thinking is so small town.

Sure, some politicians and the operators of Sprint Center and Arrowhead Stadium would love to get their clingy paws on a few extra million bucks, but they’re in the vast minority.

The vast majority of KU and MU fans just want to see the games played.

You know, for the games sake. For bragging rights and for tradition. Hey, I’m from Kansas City and I’m in daily touch with a wide variety of people there and I don’t know anybody who’s running around talking about how much money is being lost or might be gained. They just want to see the games played.

Look, if the Journal World or Dolph Simons is so paranoid about Kansas City putting one over on KU and Lawrence, restart the series and play the games home and away here and in Columbia. Where they should be played.

But don’t make up shit about ulterior motives you don’t have the reporting to back up. Arguments that are obviously so simple-minded and wrong-headed that only the most petty of KU fans would buy into them.

ncb_g_williams2_400Pimping locals in Lawrence about hurt feelings that don’t matter anymore – KU and the Big 12 are doing fine – is bush league. And it makes the entire town and school look small.

Kinda like KU did when North Carolina coach Roy Williams jilted them years ago to return to his alma mater. It wasn’t until everybody in Lawrence and KU realized they were doing just fine post Roy that they backed off the hating.

Well, KU basketball and Bill Self are doing just fine, it’s time to back off the Missouri hating and do the right thing. The thing that the Journal World accused Kansas City of not doing, and that’s standing up for an important sports tradition.


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27 Responses to Hearne: Time for Bill Self & KU to Stop Acting Like Spoiled Children

  1. harley says:

    hearne…stop beating a dead dog….there wasn’t a ku/mu gamethis year
    and who cared? no one except you.
    If bill self wants to play mu that’s fine. It’s not that big of a deal.
    If mu and gary wants to play ku that’s fine too…but as I said before mu
    would be a fool to move a game out of Columbia because the cash is
    rolling in and when sec teams bring 20K people with them…that’s huge
    revenue for the city of Columbia. Figure it out…tickets/hotel rooms/
    food/drink/travel/its probably another 3million bucks going intothe city.
    And the merchants in columiba don’t want to give it up.
    I speak with more mu and ku folks in a day than you dream of…and guess
    what hearne….not one mention of a ku/mu game in thelast 12 months…
    no one care….except you and your crew.
    Yeah…it would be fun….but mu fans have movedon to other things and
    bigger paydays.
    KU is a dying institution..point blank. Funding is beingcut and they
    haven’t got themoney to run on. Self is deluding himself into thinking
    that anyone really cares about his personal problems with mu.
    The move is made…mu is reaping huge rewards….and you’re beating
    a dead horse again and again and again…
    please stop. Its getting annoying!
    And Lawrence is no difference than any other town…its
    run by a few select big money people and that’s the way they operate.
    What are y ou going to do? Bring down the entire ruling class of
    Lawrence with your stories. Doubt it!!!!!
    Andbesides…if all your “friend ” do is talk about a game being played
    you needto find some new more elightened and educated friends.
    come on by…i’ll buy the beer….

    • admin says:

      You simply must learn how to read, H Man…

      For starters, I’m spanking the Journal World (and Self & KU) for being childish and petty. You think I’m dying to attend or watch those games? Think again.

      I’m simply standing up for tradition and those who do.

      As for MU losing a home game in Columbia, I say screw Arrowhead and Sprint Center. Play those games on the college campuses where they belong, home and away.

      And don’t pretend MU can’t afford to play KU no matter what. They can cancel one of their home or away games against Murray State, Rockhurst or UMKC and they’ll be just fine (financially).

      You gotta think this stuff thru every once and a while, dogg. Things make more sense that way.

  2. Cheech lifting his pud says:

    Give it up, HC. Making accurate comments that relate to the context of a story is not Harley’s stock in trade. It’s more closely related to a self engrandizing, vulcan mind dump, rain man esque spew of verbal poo poo just so he can see his name in print. If Harley commented in the woods and no one was there to hear him would it still make that giant gas bag sound?

  3. smartman says:

    Lawrence-tucky like harley pointed out is run by the money people. With it being a toilet and not a cesspoll it’s just easier to spot the turds.

    Instead of Boss Hawg, it’s Boss Hawk calling the shots.

    I had a run in with the university and the city about 6 years ago helping out a friend whose kid was running around unabated purchasing booze, with a fake ID, purchased at a frat house. The ID was so bad Ray Charles would have spotted it.
    The incest between university, city hall and law enforcement made Tammany Hall look celibate.

    If you wanna lift the lid off the toilet in that Dominic Dunne sort of way the stories would be pretty damn good and reveal what a backwoods turd palace Lawrence-tucky really is.

    The key to survival in Lawrence-tucky is to find a teat on the cow that nobody is using and squatting there. Take the milk you get, STFU and MYOB.

    KU is nothing more than a dumping ground for under-educated kids from the BV and SM districts. Nothing screams brilliance like a sheepskin from KU, which in a pinch can double as a condom.

    Unlike places like Madison, Wisconsin or Evanston, Illinois that have a legitimate “college” feel Lawrence-tucky has all the charm of a suburban mall with dirty restrooms and no Orange Julius.

    • harley says:

      Smartman…your description of ku and the school has just gone viral
      across the world wide web to every mu alumni and student.
      A more powerful and accurate a statement has never been made.
      congrats…you’re now an official MU blogger on at least 4Mu
      comment boards….thanks for the funny comments…

  4. Mysterious J says:

    This is the same author who just wrote a week or two ago about how sports doesn’t REALLY matter, right?

    • admin says:

      I posed that question, yes.

      And for millions of folks – and to an extent me – they don’t. Not to the extent that some fans go to such extremes. Hey, video games don’t matter either in a sense. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be enjoyed.

      I was really aiming at extremists.

      However, to the extent that schools do play, provide entertainment and produce a certain amount of income, they matter to many people.

      And long as the school’s going to play, why be pissy and small minded?

      My take on basketball fans in Lawrence is it’s beyond overblown. A lot of people here need to find meaning in their lives beyond what happens at Allen Field House.

      It’s like a cult and I’ve got my doubts about how healthy that is. Especially when they ignore practically every other serious issue going on in this town aside from basketball.

      • Mysterious J says:

        The people of Lawrence are lucky they have you to blow the lid off of all of those serious issues going on there! I look forward to reading your journalism…once you get done with part 3 of the “plastic bags at Arrowhead” and “IKEA is nothing more than a big store” stories, of course.

      • chuck says:

        The Hale Bopp Hawks.


      • Orphan of the Road says:

        Penn State comes to mind.

  5. bubba says:

    What no from Glazed on this for us? Oh I forgot he is losing cred over on TKC for comparing Screech to a young George Carlin, he is currently at negative infinity -1 in the cred department.

    You have yet to make a valid point why KU is obligated to play MU in basketball. MU left the BigXII. If they want to play KU, they could have stayed and maybe play KU up to 5 times in one year but at least twice. KU must play with the BigXII, then they fill up their schedule with some warm up games, play a pretty hard non con schedule. Missouri knew this when they left the BigXII. Bill Self and the University of Kansas have been far less petty than MU.

    • admin says:

      What about my point – and many others – that KU-MU is a longstanding tradition and rivalry. That’s the biggest point that could be made, given that it’s a sporting contest.

      Rivalries like that don’t grow on trees.

      It’s a bankable game for each team in each town every time they play, so that’s a plus.

      And not playing MU just to be pissy sets a bad example for students when the so-called adults behave like children. Seriously, who does KU think they’re punishing? I’ll tell you who, the tens of thousands of KU alums, fans and students would would love to watch those games played.

      Because why? KU still has hurt feelings? Poor babies!

  6. bschloz says:

    As the guy at the craps table in Atlantic City once told me, you can’t fight City Hall.

    I do love the fact that KU now possesses the Rules of Basketball. Thanks to David Booth who thought $4 mil was a good price –Sold to you.
    David Rubenstien took you to the rule house on that one.
    Come on Harley you know you want to day trip up Larry to get a glimpse of them rules housed in new $20 million building.
    Hearne you need to do a Videolog of the economic impact The Rules.

    • admin says:

      Only if I can figure out a way – like AEG and Sprint Center – to profit by the study. Then of course, I’ll serve it right up, with an extra portion of Blue Sky!

  7. StillAtMyMoms says:

    Oh, in all fairness: f*** KU. I foolishly was about to enroll in that dump years ago. Before they even considered my application, I would need to get a series of medical tests…just to see if I was eligible to stay in the dorms (freshmen year, mind you). Not only that, I had to attend orientation which totalled $500. Five-hundred-freaking-dollars just to tour the shitty campus. When I realized the program I wanted to pursue wasn’t eligible for the Midwest Exchange tuition rate (I’m located in inferior Jackson County), I ditched them and cancelled my orientation appointment. Still to this day – and its been five years since I graduated – I still have that f’in orientation on my credit report.

    And yet Bill Self gets paid multi-millions just to coach a fucking collegiate basketball team. (Not only that, but you should check out the article in the KC Czar about area university chancellors’ retirement packages.)

    And thus is how I got my screen name. 21st century college man.

  8. the dude says:

    We are going to bitch and pit fits until the end of time until MU apologizes to us for leaving the conference that Texas F’ed up in the first place.

  9. cheech lifting weights says:

    I feel kinda honored to have my own name copyier. Me, a mere alt brought about by a late night showing of “Nice Dreams!”.

    Trying to lift too much weight on the bar and hitting my head because of beefy weighlifting women, giving away free big sticks (here’s an extra one don’t give it to your children), and tailing Bud Goode to Mr. Big, it’s been a long ride in my broken down Impala lowrider- which my or may actually not be stopped.

    My advice to you young lads and lasses of KCC is whatever you do don’t watch The Corsican Brothers.

  10. Stevo says:

    College sports has nothing to do with long established “rivalries” anymore. It has nothing to do with “student athletes”. It has nothing to do with students or fans in general.

    It has everything to do with providing TV content for our major networks. It has everything to do with expanding the geographical reach of a league for additional household views. It has everything to do with maximizing coaches, AD, and President’s salaries.

    A team will play any time on any day (holiday, finals, midweek) to satisfy their media master. The fact that the average fan cannot attend, is not in the same area or even time zone means nothing. In fact, the college kids represent a negative for staging these events and are relegated to the end zones or behind the basket while the fat cats get the prime seating.

    Missouri and Kansas never attracted many of the other teams fans when played at their home fields. , KSU always drew more of a crowd to KU and MU football games than either of these 2 schools did to each others venues. Most of the time, the football games did not sell out and one could fire a cannon by the 4th quarter and not hit a soul. The last game at Arrowhead was how most of the past 50 years went.

    Let these 2 teams go in peace.

  11. RIP Stan says:

    Wow, you call this journalism? Who cares. Move on.

  12. cu_member says:

    Why does KU need to play MU? They don’t. Why does MU need to play KU? They don’t. MU moved on and so has Kansas. Why does the MEDIA in this area keep bringing this up? Bill Self was asked a question (again) and he said no–yet, Frank Haith doesn’t get asked the question. But then again, he might be gone within a few years, so who cares what he thinks.

    This is a dead story. And only gets fueled by Missouri fans. Stop trying to create news and just report on it.

    Oh, and I bet the Alabama football program runs that college town too, as does North Carolina and Duke and Michigan and Ohio State. Its a college town newspaper. So what if they write something on the college bball coach.

  13. Harley still owes me cash says:

    I am curious what this has to do with anything? Was there actual examples in here, or just a fragment to tempt the imagination?
    Articles like this one is why TKC has a way better site. This article makes zero sense just a bunch of pieces, kind of like most of the trolls on here pieces.

    Harley where is my cash!!!!!!!

    • the dude says:

      Yeah harlinator, where is this man’s cash? And where did you put his Obamaphone?

  14. NewspaperDelivery says:

    Investigate how other Papers that are located in university cities report. I bet they act the same. I am just curious how they report. If it is the same or different than the LJW. Heck, the Daily Kansan attacks the university more than the LJW.

  15. Fresh says:

    I’ve read the LJW for 20 years. Dolph hates KU. Absolutely hates KU. Everything about it.

  16. Grover says:

    Hearne didn’t you write a column for the LJW a year ago about Kansas City? I read one and then it ended the next week. What happened? Just curious what your personal/business relationship is with this paper that you’re writing about here.

  17. Rainbow Man says:

    1. College town papers have always bent friendly toward the U and the student paper is usually the critical one. Talk about an economic engine… In a college town… the U owns the town… and the paper knows it.
    2. Bill Self is playing toward his fan base, nothing more. The NCAA will make sure they play again and he knows that.
    3. I do not think that KU would ever bolt from an intact Big 12. They do not need any help raising their stature. They will never join the Big 10 and I disagree that they would have wanted to be in the SEC if offered. I think that whole “Free State” thing is relevant and I do not see KU ever wanting to be a southern school. MU is a better cultural fit for the SEC.

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