A Kansas fan at Monday’s Williams Fund-sponsored Roundball Club luncheon at the Kansas City Downtown Marriott first praised Bill Self for helping raise about $2 million for hurricane relief by playing Missouri in an exhibition game Oct. 22 at the Sprint Center.
“Wonderful,” the fan said during a Q and A session with KU’s basketball coach, before quickly adding, “However, can you and Dr. Zenger (Sheahon Zenger, KU athletic director) promise you will never schedule Missouri again?”
That fan, who obviously was against the Jayhawks playing the Tigers — who left the Big 12 for the SEC in 2012 — apparently was not alone in his sentiments against the resumption of the Border War.
“I am not going to comment to your point that ‘please don’t ever (play again),’ ” Self told the fan. “But I don’t think there’s a strong feeling among our faithful that we should continue (scheduling Mizzou).”
Self spoke in detail about the exhibition game, which KU won, 93-87.
“Give Sheahon credit,” Self said. “I’m not sure when we talked about it that it was anything that would be a great idea for our loyal giving fan base. I think it was a great idea for people that just have somewhat of an interest. That’s good. People watch the game. It’s fun. But for people that actually have strongly supported our university I don’t think anybody … not one person called me and told me, ‘Hey you are doing a great thing.’ Not one person.
“Even after the game,” Self added, “usually when you win a game or something, or lose, you’ll have people text you and say, ‘Hey good game’ or ‘you played well.’ I got three texts after that game, total. Two of ’em were from family.
“Nobody cared. The people that care about it obviously are people that support Missouri, for obvious reasons.”
He continued: “This was a situation when Sheahon and I talked about it, it was like, ‘How do we do something for the greater good?’ It was a perfect thing to do. Cuonzo (Martin, MU coach) and I get along great. I got along great with all their coaches that we competed against. This doesn’t have anything to do with that.
“This was something (scheduled) at a university level, not a men’s basketball coach level. For this particular deal, the university agreed, ‘Hey we can do something for other people.’ Certainly it worked out great and Sean (Lester, associate A.D.) deserves probably the lion’s share of credit. To get something that good set up in a week is remarkable,” Self continued, drawing applause from the couple of hundred fans at the luncheon. “It was really good.”
Self praised Missouri’s efforts in helping raise a lot of money for hurricane relief.
“To generate that kind of money in that short (period) of time was remarkable,” Self said. “Missouri deserves half credit on it, too. They did a good job.”