For Pete's Sake

Bill Self responds to criticism from former Mizzou chancellor over lack of Border War restart

former University of Missouri Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin.
former University of Missouri Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin. along@kcstar.com

Two weeks ago, Kansas basketball coach Bill Self told The Star’s Gary Bedore it was unlikely that the Jayhawks would schedule Missouri in the near future.

The topic came up (again) after Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk said he would like for the Border War to return.

“I would think that would probably be something that would be a given when asked a question, ‘Would you like to continue or renew the series?’ I think the obvious answer from his standpoint would probably be, ‘Yes,’ ” Self said after the KVC Hero Luncheon in Overland Park. “From mine (standpoint) that’s a decision that will be made at a university level, not just at a basketball level.”

If former Missouri chancellor R. Bowen Loftin is to be believed, Self is the reason why there hasn’t been a return to any Border War games since Mizzou left the Big 12 for the SEC after the 2011-12 season.

Loftin told AL.com that while he was still chancellor, he met with Kansas chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little and there was “a lucrative offer on the table for the Border War to restart in Arrowhead Stadium.”

There was one not-so-tiny road block, Loftin said.

First-year Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk said Monday that he would like to restart the Border War with Kansas during an appearance at the Tiger Club of Kansas City Golf Tournament at Staley Farms Golf Club in Kansas City, Mo. The Tigers and

“The problem was a man named Bill Self who made it very clear this wasn’t going to happen,” Loftin told John Talty of AL.com.

Self didn’t hold back in his response to those comments.

“I heard about what the ex-chancellor from Mizzou said about me and my ego,” Self told Bedore. “I’ll be honest: I haven’t had any discussions with anyone about playing a game in Arrowhead.

“I coach basketball not football. It’d be way too cold to play basketball in Arrowhead Stadium. Whenever he is in Lawrence, I look forward to having an opportunity to meet him.”

The AL.com story focused on lost rivalries since the SEC expanded, and mentions how Texas and Texas A&M are not longer playing.

Loftin is also a former president at Texas A&M, and he thinks the Lone Star State rivalry has a better chance to return at this time.

“I think it’s more likely Texas will bend than Kansas,” Loftin told AL.com, “as long as Self is involved. He has a big ego.”

Whew, that’s not pulling any punches.

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

Gary Bedore contributed to this report.

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