Hearne: Star Sticks It To Self / KU for Sexist Behavior

Give it up for Sam Mellinger and the Kansas City Star

Don’t rub your eyes, you heard me.

Because at long last somebody in the newspaper’s sports department reached down into their trousers, located something resembling an attitude and – voila – stuck it to KU basketball coach Bill Self and the almighty Jayhawks.

What hath God wrought?

Seriously, KC and Lawrence sportswriters and editors have been sucking up to KU basketball for so long it’s almost unbelievable somebody finally had the guts to do the right thing and call them out for kid glove treatment of male athletes and discrimination against women.

Hey, holding Self and the University of Kansas Athletics Department’s feet to the fire where ethical behavior and treatment of athletes is concerned is no small feat.

You won’t find anybody in Lawrence publicly manning up on that count.

And rightly, as noted by Mellinger,  a Title IX investigation into equal treatment of men and women athletes at KU is a no brainer.

“Four of the Jayhawks’ top seven men’s basketball players have gone off path: arrested, suspended, charged with a crime or found by the university to have likely committed domestic violence,” Mellinger writes. “Some outsiders view this as a sign that the program is teetering on the brink of chaos…”

“Many within the university and program feel the problems are misunderstood, even as school officials decline to clarify while citing privacy constraints and legal guidelines. None of this is productive. None of it is helpful. Worse, it’s a distraction from learning what is true and what is not.

“The athletic department’s bungling has left a cloud hanging over the basketball program as the Big 12 Tournament opens this week in Kansas City, the kickoff to a month when college basketball has the nation’s sports attention.

“Kansas athletics has, at best, allowed a significant image problem to grow and take hold based on slow action and administrative missteps.”

Some may be shocked to see me waxing positive about Mellinger and the Star.
Fair enough.

I’ve certainly been plenty critical of the newspaper’s many missteps.

However, unlike the jock sniffers at the Lawrence Journal World – who seem all but oblivious to Self and KU’s sexist treatment of women basketball players  – the gang that doesn’t often shoot straight at 18th and Vine got this one right.

Dead right.

“At worst, it has a more systemic and troubling problem of protecting male athletes by unfairly and unequally punishing female athletes,” Mellinger adds.

“To reset: We know based on excellent reporting by The Star’s Laura Bauer and Mará Rose Williams that women’s basketball player McKenzie Calvert was told she was suspended by coach Brandon Schneider after a Dec. 9 incident at a Lawrence bar in which she threw a drink on men’s basketball player Lagerald Vick.

“That suspension was rescinded before the team’s next game after Calvert’s father complained about the difference in punishment handed out to men’s star Josh Jackson for kicking Calvert’s car after she threw the drink.

“Calvert did not play in KU’s next game and wasn’t able to work out with her team on two more occasions. She did not play in seven games this season.

“Jackson, a projected lottery pick in the NBA Draft, was never suspended for kicking and damaging Calvert’s car that night. Men’s coach Bill Self said Jackson’s punishment was immediate and ongoing but hasn’t divulged what that punishment is, and Jackson has played in every game for KU this season.

“Self’s secrecy here is his choice, and is consistent with how most coaches operate. But his insistence on calling Jackson ‘a great ambassador’ for the program adds to the mystery about why a men’s star who has been charged with a crime is seemingly punished more leniently than a women’s player whose property was damaged.”

Incidentally, according to a Journal World – yet to call out Self and KU on this issue – “total damage to the vehicle was estimated to be $3,150.”

Witnesses to the crime were reportedly “unable” to identify the other KU players – I mean, dudes – who participated in trashing Calvert’s car.”

“Let’s be clear on a c important points. We don’t know all the context here. Criminal charges were never filed against Vick for domestic violence. But a university investigation determined Vick likely punched Calvert repeatedly and kicked her in the face in late 2015.”

And given all that, Jackson lead the charge to kick the you-know-what out of the KU women’s basketball players car?

The bottom line:

With Self referring to the incidents involving his players and tarnishing the team as “crap and distractions,” it seems clear that the almighty KU basketball program is above reproach – ethics be damned.

Or as Mellinger more delicately put it, “Without an investigation, the suspicion that Self’s power extends over everyone in the athletic department goes unchecked.”

And not just by the fans, but the suck up sports media types in Lawrence as well.

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20 Responses to Hearne: Star Sticks It To Self / KU for Sexist Behavior

  1. Phaedrus says:

    The culture built up around college sports in this country is sickening. You’ve got child molesters at Penn St and Michigan St, 52 rapes at Baylor, academic bullsh!t at UNC and Syracuse, coaches making millions while conveniently burying their head in the sand in regards to anything not related to practice/games (how was I supposed to know my player raped someone…that’s Paul Blart’s jurisdiction), Baylor coach telling fans to “punch people in the face” if they’re concerned about rape, etc, etc.

    And you’ve got Mr and Mrs John Q Public cheering for good old State U despite all that.

    I say burn it all down and go back to intramurals.

    • Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

      Good luck with that.

      • Phaedrus says:

        Eh, it’s only a matter of time until the bubble bursts. They always do.

        With the cost of college rising so much, I doubt today’s graduates will be as attached to their school as their parents were. If you graduated from KU with $50k in debt, and find out that you can only get a job making $30k/year, are you going to cheer on your Jayhawks every night, or are you going to feel like a schmuck that got taken advantage of?

        It won’t go back to intramurals, but I’ll bet that college sports are nowhere near as popular in 25 years.

    • chuck says:

      +1

      Phaedrus is dead on the money.

  2. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    The Star’s practice of being leg humping poodles for KU basketball, is really indicative of the main stream press as a whole when they find something they like. They lose ALL objectivity. And then when something like this at KU pops up, or Trump gets elected president and starts making seemingly wild or inaccurate claims, the press has a huge credibility problem. No one believes them anymore, so when they actually DO try and do their jobs correctly (you know, being objective journalists, just reporting facts without bias) everyone just blows them off. Not that the mainstream media is really trying to do that.

    • chuck says:

      Imagine working at the Star, or, anywhere in the ivory towers of the 4th Estate, where agenda driven journalism is the raison d’ etre and life’s blood of the employee/soldiers who march in unison to the beat of accepted talking points handed down from on high by your “Thought Leaders”.

      Professional and College Sports Organizations, are now, as odious and contemptible as the ever growing percentage of rapists athletes who we are all directed to cheer for after the ‘game’.

      I see that Colin Kaepernick has promised, as a free agent, to stand for this year’s National Anthem for the team that picks him up.

      It is my sincere hope, to see Mr. Kaepernick this year, in a Pizza Hut, cleaning the sneeze shield at the salad bar.

      • Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

        I laughed so hard when I saw that about Kaper-dunce saying that if he gets an NFL job next season, that he’ll stand for the National Anthem. It’s amazing how quickly the United States is no longer oppressing people of color. That was SUCH a quick change!!! American is an amazing place. (Sarcasm Switch flipped to the “on” position) It’s just pure coincidence that his willingness to standing for the National Anthem coincides with him being unemployed. (Sarcasm Swith flippeed to the “off” position)

        • The Word says:

          Kaepernick found out the CFL doesn’t pay much and he’s not into winters in Hamilton. That’s why he’ll stand now.

  3. Jim a.k.a. BWH says:

    Move along. Nothing to see here.

    Kudos to The Star? Gosh, that had to hurt a little, HC.

    Yeah, there’s a reason Ms. Calvert didn’t play in 7 games this year.

    D-1 college athletes getting preferential treatment? Say it ain’t so.

    Sam’s “attempt” at trying to write a Whitlock-like hard hitting piece is a tad too late. His milk toast approach to all things sports has already been firmly established.

    Yawn.

  4. How in the hell did milk toast ever become equated with weak or boring? It should be instead likened to disgusting, or revolting. The idea of ruining a perfectly good piece of toast by slopping milk on top of it makes me want to heave, sort of like the experience of watching Daryl Dixon eating a dog good sandwich to the sound of Easy Street. If Vern Mellinger truly does eat milk toast, he’s got much bigger issues than just a bland streak, iThinks.

  5. Big Bad Bob says:

    Hearne, Glazer is upset and published my email address. I would appreciate it if you would take it down and I will agree to never darken the doors of your website again let alone post on it. Its too bad because I have always appreciated your efforts as a wordsmith. Anyway, If I have been to harsh at times for that I am contrite.

    • admin says:

      Hey Big BaD Bob:

      Sorry about that!

      Won’t happen again. Don’t know what got into Craig (and frankly how he figured out how to find it and that you opted to use a real email address).

      But don’t go away…keep on keeping on!

  6. chuck says:

    That email address should not be posted.

    • Big Bad Bob says:

      Does anyone know how I can contact Hearne Christopher? The contact link does not work.

      • chuck says:

        He works retail and travels a lot I think, but I just texted him.

        We’ll see…
        He usually does not respond to my texts.

        • admin says:

          Hey there, Chuck…

          Usually?

          Sometimes you send texts that don’t seem to require a response, but I certainly don’t want you to think I’m ignoring you!

  7. Big Bad Bob says:

    I appreciate it. I made a mistake and now I just want my email address taken down and apparently Mr. Glazer is not going to do it.

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