This Kansas thing just gets uglier. A report yesterday from the Lawrence Journal World & News associates two other criminal matters with the fights between KU football and basketball players on Sept. 22 and 23. Officials were quick to say that these crimes do not involve Jayhawk athletes, but from a public relations standpoint, the company you keep can be just as revealing as your own behavior (FB updates for all the world to read). It’s not fair, but it’s real. Footage released yesterday showed what appears to be a large crowd of people standing around outside the now-infamous Jayhawker Towers watching something go down (see full video report here), but the angle and quality of the video is not good enough to pick out particular parties who were involved.
What we do know is that the mother of Mario Chalmers’ child, Andrea Johnson, was cited over the summer for battery in another dispute at the Towers, and she apparently was also somehow mixed up in the mess at KU last week along with another woman who may or may not be the flash point for all of this machismo. According to court records, Guy Lipscomb, a Lawrence resident who is not a KU student, threatened to shoot Johnson and that woman in the parking lot outside the Towers shortly after the first Sept. 22 melee (pictured above).
Now, we don’t know about how heated your arguments get with people, but we think it’s safe to say that, as a general rule, if you’re pissing someone off enough for them to seriously threaten to SHOOT you, then there’s probably a decent reason (or two) why that person is angry with you. Clearly, RTC doesn’t condone assault or battery of any kind, and the police did their sworn and rightful duty to take Lipscomb off the street and away from a potentially deadly situation. But what’s going on with these two women to make everyone so flippin’ mad?
We say it again. Despite what Mark Mangino does, Bill Self has to get in front of this situation. The more things come out like this, the worse his program and players look in terms of public relations and perception. And perception impacts recruiting. He needs to impose sanctions on the involved parties and do so immediately. And if he cannot figure out exactly who was involved (or the players won’t talk), then he needs to punish the entire team until they do. This would send a loud and clear directive that he will not tolerate behavior that results in people threatening to shoot each other on his campus. And remember, despite what anyone else says, KU is Bill Self’s campus. He’s the national title coach at one of the biggest basketball schools in the country. His actions and words are the most important on that campus, and his paycheck reflects that reality.