Athletic department specializes in rough baptisms for chancellors

Chancellor Douglas Girod and former chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little perform the hooding ceremony on Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos at the Lied Center on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017. Santos graduated from the University of Kansas in 1973, and on Tuesday was presented an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree for outstanding contributions to achieving peace in his country and the world.

Chancellor Douglas Girod and former chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little perform the hooding ceremony on Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos at the Lied Center on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017. Santos graduated from the University of Kansas in 1973, and on Tuesday was presented an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree for outstanding contributions to achieving peace in his country and the world. by Ashley Hocking

Most children dream about becoming rock stars and professional athletes, lottery winners and world-famous fashion designers, cops and firefighters, doctors and lawyers, stuff along those lines.

Just in case a boy or girl out there with eyes closed is imaging the pageantry of inauguration day and that first year as chancellor of the University of Kansas, snap out of it, and don’t ever let yourself go there again.

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, welcome to the chancellor’s mansion, aka “The Outlook.” Where would you like me to put your bags down? Over here, OK, enjoy your new residence and prestigious job.

Hello, ticket scandal. It happened Gray-Little’s first year at the prestigious post and turned it into a waking nightmare for a while.

Dr. Douglas Girod, your turn. Hope you enjoyed those opening months of relative calm, aside from the weekly embarrassments on the gridiron, which not many people witnessed anyway. Now your have your very own version of the ticket scandal: Adidas payola.

Girod’s baptism included witnessing a 14th consecutive Big 12 basketball title and a trip to the Final Four. Time will tell if all that really happened or was just an illusion captured by the word "Vacated."

Silvio De Sousa, as hungry a rebounder as Kansas has had in quite some time, became a productive player just in time to help KU make it to the Final Four, even with center Udoka Azubuike slowed by a sprained MCL of the left knee.

The federal indictment released Tuesday charged that the guardian of a player who announced on August 30 he would be attending Kansas, proving wrong those who guessed he would attend Maryland, would receive payment from Adidas.

De Sousa’s guardian, Fenny Falmagne, denied to the Journal-World’s Matt Tait taking any money to steer the power forward to Kansas.

If it’s proven that De Sousa was steered with a payment and he knew about it, the NCAA could rule that Kansas played an ineligible player and he would have to forfeit eight victories from the Big 12 regular season, one nonconference victory (Texas A&M), three Big 12 tournament games on the way to the title, four NCAA tournament games, and the word “Kansas” would be changed in the 2018 Final Four record book to “Vacated,” which could explain why Villanova had such an easy time scoring.

It’s all such messy stuff to have to come across a chancellor’s desk. Normally, I’d say football season can’t come soon enough for the chancellor, but we all know how that story will unfold.

By the way, walking in East Lawrence Tuesday evening, I caught up to Gray-Little. As much as I hate being the bearer of bad news, I was the first to let her know that the Adidas scandal had reached Kansas and asked her if she would want to give me a comment.

“Oh, no,” she said.

Comments

Pius Waldman

Was there a reason you felt she should have offered an opinion?

1 week, 4 days ago

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