It’s not just the Kansas fans and media who are fretting about the Jayhawks’ conference future. Men’s basketball coach Bill Self’s right there.
“I’m not in panic mode yet, but I’m very concerned,” Self told SI.com’s Luke Winn. “I believe that Kansas will be OK no matter what, but for us to continue to compete at the level where we’ve been competing, and recruit at that level, I really believe that we need to be aligned with a BCS conference. It would be very disappointing to me if a team that’s won three national championships, and is one of the three winningest programs in college basketball, wouldn’t be a part of a BCS conference.
“I think there are a lot of Kansas alums out there right now that are very concerned, that the face of our athletic department and our university could be changing, in the next 72 hours, for the next 30 years.”
That was from a story focusing on Kansas and Kansas State, the two Big 12 schools who would seemingly be left to fend for themselves with the great Big Ten/Pac-10 conference expansion/realignments. Friday is reportedly the day we’ll find out the Big 12’s future (Nebraska may join the Big Ten) and the folks in Lawrence and Manhattan are more than stressed.
How can one of the premier basketball programs and its state counterpart – that reached the Elite Eight this season – be left out in the cold when it comes to a BCS conference? One might think the NCAA would give schools and conference presidents a little nudge to help out the Jayhawks and Wildcats.
“The NCAA makes 95 percent of its money from men’s basketball, and our tournament, so you’d like to think that they would get involved and try to smooth the waters,” K-State basketball coach Frank Martin told Winn, “but obviously, that’s not happening.”
Then again, there’s always the ultimate oversight body that no one wants to talk to: Congress. If the Big 12 does splinter, Kansas senator Pat Roberts thinks there could be justification for Capitol Hill to check things out.
“There’s going to be a lot of litigation, and then Congress will probably try to stick its nose into it,” Roberts said. “I would prefer that that not be the case, but there have always been antitrust concerns. …
“I think the big concern here that Congress could take a look at is how the network television contracts are driving different schools to consider different conferences to attract the money — and those that will be in those big conferences, or super conferences, will get the money and others won’t.”
Super. Can you take a look at the BCS while you’re at it?
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