Basketball and Snoop Dogg, an irrelevant pairing that should be on separate stages

By Joel Alderman

This shouldn’t be a basketball story but, unfortunately, it is.

When the University of Kansas staged it annual Late Night in the Phog introduction to its basketball program on the first night of allowable pre-season practice, it included more than the usual slam dunks, 3-point shooting contests and an intra-squad scrimmage at its Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan.

Besides the conventional court activities, the night included performances by the rapper Snoop Dogg, dancers on stripper poles, and fake money flying over the heads of would-be recruits. It turned out to a bawdy show having nothing to do with the game of basketball.

Reaction from Kansas U

Jeff Long, the Jayhawks’ athletic director said “we expected a clean version of the show” and he took “full responsibility for not thoroughly vetting all the details of the performance.” He offered his “personal apology to those who were offended.”

He added “We strive to create a family atmosphere at Kansas and fell short of that this evening.”

I’ll say. Parents who brought their children should not have had to expose them to what went on.

They did it before, but not like this

This was not the first time Kansas has used rappers such as Tech N9ne, Lil Yaghty, and 2 Chainz at these season kick-off events, to borrow a term from football.

On this occasion, Snoop Dogg brandished a No 20 jersey with “Snoop” on the back, and performed for about 35 minutes, during which he delivered unedited versions of several hits, such as “Gin and Juice” and “Drop It Like It’s Hot.”

Not that any time is appropriate to do this at a student gathering, but the incident came at a difficult time for the school. A few weeks earlier it received a notice from the NCAA claiming three recruiting violations, a responsibility charge against Coach Bill Self and a lack of institutional control within the program.

The document does not detail what Kansas is accused of doing. But the program is among those in an NCAA inquiry into a pay-for-play scheme. It is also involved in an FBI investigation into Adidas.

No connection with basketball

Though Snoop, who is 47, is a known sports fan, we fail to see the connection with his act and the game of basketball, especially when the Jayhawks are expected to be a top team and don’t need such “off court” associations.

Self, the well known coach, was not on the court for most of the performance, but was in the locker room saying he wasn’t feeling well. He told The Kansas City Star he expected a “radio edited” version of the songs.

He admitted it was “not the right way to provide the entertainment.”

The school said it will appeal and “strongly disagrees” that it lacks institutional control. But the show itself cannot be denied. An NCAA hearing will take place in the months to come.

Wonder if Snoop will be invited to render a few songs.

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