Highly successful and highly paid Kansas basketball coach Bill Self has spoken out on the need to build luxurious dorms for the student-athletes who play basketball for him and for the schools womens program.
By Yael T. Abouhalkah
The Kansas City Star
And on Wednesday, the Kansas Board of Regents dutifully obeyed the $5-million-a-year coach, endorsing a plan to build a $17.5 million apartment complex. The dorm will be privately funded, but be on the publics campus and be part of a public universitys amenities to offer other students (though not many).
The Fieldhouse Apartments could house up to 32 mens and womens basketball players and about an equal number of regular students.
...Housing, where our student-athletes reside now, is way, way, way, way behind what the competitors would be housing their student-athletes in, in a big way, Self said recently.
He also added that the players deserve to have a situation to live in which they can be monitored, in which they can obviously have more security.
So it will be interesting to see how much power Bill Self has to control who, exactly, gets within a few dozen feet of his precious players at the apartment complex when its built at a cost of $265,000 a person or four times as much as KU is spending on a couple of new dorms for the ordinary students its taking tuition from.
The regents approved the plan partly because KU fans think they are in some kind of arms race to attract students to the university.
That is preposterous.
Only one other school the University of Kentucky keeps getting mentioned as a school that has gone this far overboard in pampering its basketball players. Theres no real race on right now. But there soon could be, thanks to the regents action on Wednesday.
In addition, the University of Kansas remains a tremendously popular place to play for young athletes. Just this week, Allen Fieldhouse topped a list of the best college arenas. Yes, money was spent to make that a nice play for the players.
Finally, speaking of Bill Self, doesnt KU pay him that outrageous sum of money to coach college basketball players precisely because he is such an excellent coach (he led the Jayhawks to a national title in 2008)?
And because of Selfs reputation, dont lots of great players want to come to KU?
Yes, they do, as Selfs success shows every year in getting some of the top players. (See: Andrew Wiggins.)
The furor over the dorms and some of the excessive campaigning for it by KU basketball fans is yet another indication that weve gone too far in bowing to the demands of sports on the nations campuses.