At least in the media, it's not fun to be a Jayhawk right now.
The Kansas football and basketball teams have been involved in three public skirmishes in the past few weeks, allowing many in the media to joke that there is a KU Fight Club.
Now the latest involves junior basketball player Brady Morningstar. The sharp-shooter was arrested this past week after driving while intoxicated and booked into Douglas County Jail.
He has since been suspended by head coach Bill Self for the first semester.
If the 'Hawks don't calm down, somebody may mistake them for Missouri. While no team is immune to negativity, KU is usually looked upon as a stand-up program all around. Sure head football coach Mark Mangino cussed out a player (who deserved it by the way) and found his way on youtube, and senior guard Sherron Collins was taken to court last year with the charges dropped. But neither of those made national news. Instead, it was the great success of the football and basketball teams since 2007 that was making headlines.
"Mario and the Miracle" was much more exciting for KU fans than "Brady and the Beer." What they Jayhawks need to do is come out and stomp Iowa St. and Colorado, setting up a 6-0 record with No. 21 Oklahoma.
Yes, the Sooners are swooning right now, but a victory against their Big XII South nemesis would go a long way toward silencing some doubters. The Jayhawks have not beaten OU since 1997, and the Sooners could be hitting a groove by the time these two hook-up Oct. 24. It also will be the second straight season the Sooners play the Jayhawks a week after taking on Texas.
Last year the Lonhorns took out OU and the Sooners promptly took out the 'Hakws 45-31 the next week. If Oklahoma is coming off its third loss of the season after the Texas game, the Jayhawks could be playing a team that is ready to implode. However, it also could be playing a team that is ready to explode and take all of its frustration out on them.
If the 'Hawks leave that game at Memorial Stadium 7-0, their brushes with the law will soon be forgotten. That's not to say they shouldn't be held accountable. Morningstar's punishment fits the crime, and even though no football or basketball players were arrested or suspended for the fights, Mangino and Self surely made the guilty parties pay in some fashion.
I would guess there was a lot of running involved. Either that, or the coaches made the guilty players do their laundry for the rest of the semester.
The point is, KU cannot afford any more negative press. The Jayhawks have to go out and let actions speak for themselves and destroy the Cyclones this week at Memorial Stadium. They need step on their throats when they are down, but do it with some class.
As long as the fighting stays between the white lines, and against the opposing team, everything is fine. However, another fight on campus between fellow Jayhawks may lend some credence to the unflattering nickname, "Jailhawks."