University of Kansas

KU would ‘love’ to play another disaster relief game, but can’t, Bill Self says

Bill Self says Kansas would “love to” explore the possibility of playing a “Showdown For Relief” encore basketball game this October — maybe a second battle against Missouri in as many preseasons.

However …

“We’re not going to be able to,” Self, the Jayhawks’ 16th-year coach, told The Star on Thursday night. He was referring to perhaps holding an exhibition game for victims of Hurricane Florence floodwater and wind that devastated parts of North Carolina earlier this month.

A year ago, KU and Missouri played an Oct. 22 exhibition at the Sprint Center that raised $2.011 million for relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey that had ravaged Houston last August.

“(It’s) because of the (new) rules,” Self explained. “You can’t play three exhibition games. You can only play two. The only ones who could do it are teams that play one exhibition game and one scrimmage (in lieu of a second exhibition). The scrimmage in that case could become a disaster-relief game.”

KU plays Emporia State on Oct. 25 and Washburn on Nov. 1, both at Allen Fieldhouse. Those games are on KU’s season ticket package. Money from those games is counted on yearly in KU’s budget.

“We’d have to break a contract with somebody. We can’t do that,” Self said. “It’s on the season ticket package. Our ticket holders have already paid for the games. We’d love to (play a third game), but we’re not going to do that.”

Self said, yes, he would have considered playing rival Missouri again with proceeds going to 2018 disaster relief. Last year’s game was a positive experience for both KU and MU and the disaster-relief recipients.

“I definitely would have wanted to talk to Cuonzo (Martin, MU coach) about it and see if he thought it would be good for them,” Self said. “We can’t do it.”

Self said he actually “was in the room (this past spring) when we debated it.”

He was referring to the NCAA rule that allows teams to play just two exhibitions.

“I was disappointed in that rule. I understand what people are saying, you can’t allow that much freedom to allow things to happen (in adding games some seasons), but you only would be allowed to do it if a natural disaster met certain criteria.”

The bottom line is “they wanted the consistency of two (exhibition) games max,” Self said of rules-makers.