University of Kansas basketball fans were disappointed when head coach Bill Self’s Jayhawks didn’t advance nearly as far in this year’s NCAA tournament as hoped.
And I got in alittle hot water with KU fans for saying Self had acted like a $5 million-a-year spoilsport
for his disappointing behavior after KU in March clinched its 10th straight Big 12 title.
But give Self, his staff and his players some credit where it’s supposed to count, too: in the classroom.
The Star reports today
that Self’s program, for the seventh straight year, has earned a top honor from the NCAA.
It’s the Public Recognition Award, which recognizes a high level of academic progress by players, placing them in the top 10 percent of programs around the nation.
“Kansas was one of 40 NCAA Division I men’s basketball programs to achieve the honor. The streak of seven straight is matched by just 12 other Division I teams,” The Star reported.
Self’s defenders constantly say that he does most things the right way.
He attracts top talent to the university, he coaches them with strong discipline, his team wins a lot more than it loses and — to top it off — he makes sure they go to class.
In a day and age when the term “student-athlete” is mocked more than ever by the actions of too many players, coaches and athletic administrators, this accomplishment at KU by Self and his team deserves attention.