Sanity prevails: Politicians reject KU basketball players’ luxury apartments

02/14/2014 10:22 AM

02/15/2014 6:22 PM

Hold those plans to build over-the-top, costly luxury apartments for University of Kansas basketball players.

In a move showing sanity and reasonableness, a

Kansas House committee on Thursday

told KU officials they could not have $17.5 million of bonding authority to build the apartments.

This is a needed move toward reining in KU coach Bill Self’s attempt to push the project, which would construct 66 apartments, with almost half being used for men and women basketball players. “Regular” students would live in the other half.

The Kansas Regents unfortunately had approved the bond request last month.

Self and far too many other ardent Jayhawk basketball fans wrongly contend the university needs to build the units — on public university land but backed by private dollars — to attract good players to the basketball-loving school. They say other schools are doing this, too, and KU must get involved in this “race.”

But in reality, very few are doing it, and KU has many other strengths to keep it atop the collegiate basketball heap.

• KU already has one of the best places to play in the United States — Allen Fieldhouse.

• KU already has one of the highest paid coaches in the land — Self at $5 million a year.

• KU already has one of the best college programs — winning a national championship as recently as 2008.

• And KU already has the reputation gained over decades of passionately supporting the sport, something players love to see.

Even without the luxury apartments, the University of Kansas would be able to woo the top high school players in the land and continue to be one of the top five programs in the country.

Here’s a longer column on this issue

from last month.

The overview: “The proposal to build this Taj Mahal of student-athlete housing shows a callous disregard for common sense and for other students at KU, students who have no chance of living in such opulent quarters.”

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