Pitchin With Pritch: KU, K-State put a stain on college hoops

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There are times when the actions and the reactions of players, fans, or coaches can put a big damper on a game. 

Last week KU and K-State played their first Big 12 conference game against each other this year. The game was not a real exciting game as KU won going away,.It was a sloppy game in a lot of ways because there were a lot of turnovers and the things that make coaches wonder if practice did any good or not in preparation for the contest. 

But the ending of this KU-K-State game went way beyond being sloppy—it turned into a very ugly game and both of the teams were responsible for the situation. 

In sports, there are some unwritten rules that guide most teams. 

In baseball,for example, if the hitter hits a home run, he doesn’t stand at home plate and watch the ball sail out of the park. If your team is up a bunch of runs in top of the 9th, you don’t steal bases. 

In football, when the team is running out the clock by kneeling on each snap, the defense line doesn’t slam into the offensive linemen. 

Keeping that in mind, the score of the  KU-K-State game was 81-59. One of KU’s post players, Silvio De Sousa, was right at midcourt dribbling out the clock when K-State player DaJuan Gordon stole the ball and went in to shoot a lay-up. 

De Sousa hustled to the K State basket, rose up and blocked the shot. If that would have been the last action of the game, De Sousa would have probably been really complimented on his hustle after losing the ball. Gordon might have been criticized for stealing the ball when KU was just running the clock out.

 Boy, that sure did not happen. 

If you are a fan or even if you’re not, you may have seen the play and ensuing action over and over on Sports Center or the local sports news .

After the block, DeSousa stands over Gordon and that is an automatic taunting technical foul. Plus, the fight was on. 

Players left the bench and one of K-State’s players, who was in street clothes, throws some punches at De Sousa and it turns ugly in a second or two. 

Just for additional ugliness, all this took place in the handicapped area of Allen Fieldhouse. 

I am and have been a KU basketball fan since I was in junior high school. I am not a K-State fan—I haven’t been one since Mom took me home from the hospital after having me! 

With that being said, there is nothing that would make me say or feel that someone was right in what they contributed as far as players were concerned.

 It is difficult to tell how this will affect the two teams. 

According to reports right after the game, because the game was not over when this started, every player that left the bench to get involved was ejected from the game. I assume the rules are that if you are ejected from a game, you miss the next game as a penalty from the NCAA. 

Multiple game suspensions were announced the next day and De Sousa got hit with a 12 -game suspension and the player in street clothes, I believe, got eight games. KU’s David McCormick, another one of their big guys, got a two-game suspension. 

I thought Coach Self did a great job of accepting blame and not saying it was someone other than KU players that caused it. 

I did not however, think K-State Coach Bruce Weber did the same. Could be that bias showing up. Whatever, both schools should be doing all they can to try and cleanse the stain they have put on college basketball by their actions.

As expected, in the days following this fiasco, all kinds of points of view hit social media, newspapers, and TV sports programs—everything from the sentence was too much, too little, there should be an execution, or whatever comes to people’s heads when they are trying to get an opinion across. 

I really don’t know what is the right amount of discipline that needs to be given out, but the NCAA made a decision and KU will have to do at least that much. I don’t see either school filing any kind of appeal. 

I have, in the past few days, now seen numerous film clips of other fights in the past at the NCAA level. 

All of them were bad and this one might have been the worst, but I don’t think so. Take out the grabbing of the stool and it still ranks right up there with BAD. 

The worst stain is it came at Kansas University, where the inventor of basketball once coached. James Naismith, the founder of basketball and the founder of the KU program is no doubt doing the proverbial spinning in his grave.

When KU wins, the game usually ends with “Rock Chalk Jayhawk” chant. That wasn’t heard at this game and that is a shame.


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