That was a very cool event last night in Allen Fieldhouse. I hope if you had the opportunity to make it, you did so. I'll try and get a write-up of my experience last night up in the next day or so... we'll see how the Royals affect my available time to write.
FWIW, I think it's pretty cool that UNC has to effectively "share" their coach's allegiance with us!
- Allen Fieldhouse Anniversary Event -
Four coaches have called the storied limestone basketball monument home over the last 50 years. Monday night, legendary Kansas leaders Ted Owens, Larry Brown, Roy Williams and current head coach Bill Self celebrated the 60th anniversary of Jayhawk basketball in Allen Fieldhouse during an evening unlike any other.
As it turned out, Williams — who admitted “I always worried, to be honest with you, about coming back” yet declared, “I’m in,” when Bill Self approached him last summer about appearing at the fundraiser — needn’t have been hesitant at all. The 64-year-old coach received a long, loud standing ovation as former Jayhawk Scot Pollard preceded his coach at the podium with these words: “It’s a great honor to introduce my mentor, my coach, my hero, Roy Williams.”
There wasn’t any hint of anger in the building Monday. The current North Carolina coach was introduced to the podium by former player Scot Pollard, and he received a standing ovation from the estimated 7,000 in attendance for nearly a minute. "Thank you for letting me be here tonight," an emotional Williams said in closing his speech. "Thank you for being a great part of 15 wonderful years. I loved you. I loved this place. Go KU."
Monday’s event was not supposed to be solely about Williams — though his first public return to the Kansas basketball program did make for a memorable moment. For Williams — still sorting through the aftermath of a North Carolina academic scandal that began before his arrival in Chapel Hill — the night perhaps served as a nice escape. He soaked in some loud cheers, reminisced about his 15 years at Kansas and, as Self put it, “paid homage to the building” on Naismith Drive.
“I love practice, being around young coaches who want to do what I’ve been able to do and players that really want to be taught and get better. SMU has given me that opportunity, and I’m very fortunate I’m able to do this. I don’t look in mirrors anymore or celebrate birthdays. If I can keep doing that ... why not? I love to coach.”
The 60th Celebration DVD presented by Hy-Vee can be pre-ordered beginning today through the official store of Kansas Athletics at KUStore.com, or by phone at (785) 864-1119, for $24.95. Once produced, the DVD will also be available exclusively off-campus at Lawrence Hy-Vee locations. (Mr. Ed says: Or you can take your chances and try to win one of the copies that RCT plans to give away this winter!)
- Kansas Sports -
Kansas football will host Iowa State for a 2:30 p.m., game on Saturday, Nov. 8. The KU-ISU matchup will be televised on FOX Sports Net (FSN), the Big 12 Conference announced on Monday.
“We gave him a couple days off,” Bowen said. “It was kind of an upper-neck injury, almost a sprain, and we had him checked out thoroughly and he's fine. He's back to practicing and shouldn't be any issues.”
“We did have 14 total commitments prior to me becoming the interim head coach, and the No. 1 objective was to keep those 14 guys committed,” Bowen said. “So we have continued to contact those guys. This past week, we went out and visited those players. Keeping the commitments were No. 1.”
Kansas: It’s been an interesting dynamic in Lawrence, Kansas, where interim coach Clint Bowen landed Olathe (Kansas) North tight end Josh Moore picked KU last week. Moore spurned offers from the majority of the Big 12, Auburn and Ohio State to pledge to the Jayhawks.
- College Sports -
Committee chair Jeff Long said the group did not determine its top four teams, and he wouldn't talk specifically about any teams until the first Top 25 ranking is revealed Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Anyone who tells you they know how this committee will make its picks is guessing. The selection process will be similar to how the NCAA men's basketball committee picks 68 teams, but there is no precedent for how football will select only four teams. Here is what we do know.
It is a red, white and blue tradition dating from P.T. Barnum to W.E. (Walt Elias) Disney -- to today. You give us the right product -- from mood rings to baby wipes -- and we're all in. The products this time are conferences -- and at least one school -- hawking their playoff relevance. Their focus group is those 12 committee members.
The Pac-12 passed sweeping changes for athletes in all of the conference's sports Monday, guaranteeing four-year scholarships, improving health care benefits and liberalizing transfer rules.
"It's not all that unusual in the world for universities to provide the housing," Scott Phelps, assistant secretary of the foundation, told AL.com, noting how the University of Alabama also owned the home of Paul "Bear" Bryant and his family. "We want to keep him happy. We think he is the best coach in America."
"Just based on the (Kenneth) Wainstein report, this is a case that potentially strikes at the heart of what higher education is about," Emmert said Monday. "Universities are supposed to take absolutely most seriously the education of their students, right? I mean that's why they exist, that's their function in life. If the Wainstein report is accurate, then there was severe, severe compromising of all those issues, so it's deeply troubling. ... It's absolutely disturbing that we find ourselves here right now."
North Carolina men's basketball coach Roy Williams spoke publicly late Friday for the first time since a report detailing what some have called the worst academic fraud case in NCAA history was released in a development that tarnished UNC's reputation. "We made some mistakes for a long time," Williams said after a 111-58 win over Fayetteville State in UNC's first exhibition of the season. "It's a very sad time for us."
In a different year, Duke, Arizona, Wisconsin and Kansas would get serious consideration; they're all good enough to cut nets in April. But the roster Calipari has assembled is more talented and deeper than anybody else's roster, and it has enough returning rotation players -- thanks to Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, Alex Poythress, Willie Cauley-Stein and Dakari Johnson putting off the NBA Draft -- to reasonably be labeled experienced.