OTC: Bill Self Stumbles Trying To Clear The Air / Kietzman Goes Full-blown Shock Jock

“It’s difficult to come up with a timeline here that doesn’t at the very least have (Bill Self) misleading the public (about Embiid’s injury).”
Danny Clinkscale, 810 AM
GH: The Joel Embiid/KU/Back Injury story has everything a hungry journalist or a radio shock jock could ask for leading into one of the country’s favorite multi-week passions – the NCAA tournament. You have one of the nation’s most storied programs, maybe the best coach in the game, the projected number-one NBA draft pick and a huge heaping of controversy to stir the pot. While Kevin Kietzman is being credited by many Kansas fans as the shock jock who is making all this up – and he made up plenty during his four-hour show Tuesday – it is Self’s own words before and after the term “stress fracture” was made public that have ignited this debate. Read on.

“We still don’t think it’s going to affect the NCAA Tournament in any way.”
Bill Self, on Joel Embiid’s back injury, prior to Embiid getting a second opinion from a doctor in Los Angeles, Kansas City Star
GH: USA Today had Self saying that he was 100% sure Embiid would be available for the NCAA tournament. Self said that Embiid’s availability would depend on how hard he worked prior to the NCAA tourney. If Self and KU knew Embiid had a stress fracture prior to the third-party doctor’s diagnosis, working hard to rehab a stress fracture in your lower back makes no sense. Self’s words changed greatly after the LA doc’s report. Read on.

“How quickly and if Jo comes back will be determined by his symptoms and how well he does in rehab. I am not optimistic that there is a definite time frame, but I’m very optimistic that it’s possible that if our team is successful enough, he could play again this year. That decision will be 100 percent Joel’s, based on his health, based on his symptoms and based on the doctors agreeing with that (if Embiid says he is symptom-free and wants to play). In no way will any of our players, including Joel, be put at risk. If anything, we are taking a conservative approach, as evidenced by resting him the first time that he experienced any discomfort at all.”
Bill Self, in a story published Tuesday evening and written by Tom Keegan of the Lawrence Journal-World
GH: This article by Keegan read like a direct response to Kietzman’s Tuesday show. And Self sounded a whole lot less optimistic about Embiid playing again than he was just days earlier. And Self has now handed the decision over to the player as to whether or not he will play. There is some damage control going on here and it appears Bedore and the LJW are more than happy to lend a hand instead of biting one.

“It’s nothing where he won’t be feeling great in four weeks with some rest. But we don’t have four weeks.”
Bill Self, on Joel Embiid’s back injury, prior to Embiid getting a second opinion from a doctor in Los Angeles, Kansas City Star
GH: So before the LA docs lets the world know about the stress fracture, Self is telling the media Embiid will be fine in four weeks but they need him now – not in four weeks. But how does he know Embiid’s back issues are so minor? His high school coach just informed us that Embiid suffered similar back pain last year at this time. That just doesn’t sound like something that will be gone in a month.

“On March 1, at Oklahoma State, Jo late in the game hurt his back, and at the conclusion of the game, after being diagnosed in the locker room by our medical staff, I asked the staff how Jo was doing. They told me, ‘Bill, we think he has the symptoms of someone who has a stress fracture.’ That was approximately 11 p.m. We got home at 5 a.m. and at 7:30 March 2, Sunday, he was receiving an MRI. The MRI was read by an independent radiologist that contacted our staff and confirmed at approximately 12 noon that he had developed a stress fracture.”
Bill Self, in a story published Tuesday evening and written by Tom Keegan of the Lawrence Journal-World
GH: This excerpt from Keegan’s article read like it was taken from a deposition. I would have liked Bedore to ask Self why he made the decision to put Embiid back into the game at Oklahoma State after he was seen lying on the floor with a trainer working on his back. Did Self know Embiid had a history of back injuries dating back to high school? Did KU do everything they could to prevent this injury? Would Self have been more cautious if he knew Embiid would be back for two or three more seasons instead of a probable one-and-done? Good questions that were never asked.

“The whole deal is it’s not an injury that he could hurt worse. I don’t think we would put him back out there if it was. We’re going to evaluate him and give him the best chance to finish strong.”
Bill Self, on Joel Embiid’s back injury, prior to Embiid getting a second opinion from a doctor in Los Angeles, Kansas City Star
GH: Again, Self sounded a lot more dismissive about Embiid’s injury before the LA doc’s discovery. I think we know why he chose to sound like a defendant in his interview with Bedore.

“I do not expect to see (Embiid) play again. As far as I’m concerned he’s done. Because if they put him on the court everyone that plays against him is going to go right after him.”
Frank Boal, 810 AM
GH: How can Kansas risk playing Embiid in the NCAA tournament and costing him his NBA career? Keegan used UConn’s Emeka Okafor in his article as an example of a college center who overcame a stress fracture to help the Huskies win an NCAA title. But what about Ohio State’s Greg Oden’s injury-plagued NBA career? If Embiid plays in the tourney and reinjures his already fractured back, who does that serve?

“I don’t think it’s going to be real comfortable at the team picnic at the end of the year between Bill Self, Joel Embiid and his parents.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: This is where KK loses me and anyone who expects some professionalism from him when behind a mic. Kietzman has no idea what Embiid is thinking or thinks of Self. Everything I have seen and read leads me to believe Embiid is completely comfortable with Self and the decisions he is making about his health and playing time. As for Embiid’s parents, has Kietzman talked to them in Cameroon? He spent much of his show swinging wildly at the Kansas basketball program with little or no thought to how his fantasy scenarios were erasing any semblance of credibility. But he continued…

“Every coach everywhere is going to say (to recruits), ‘Kansas is going to make you play hurt.’ They’re going to tell the story of Embiid.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Every coach everywhere. Typical Kietzman treatment of a legit story that he inflates to a cartoon-sized TMZ after-school special. What parent or athlete who knows anything about Kansas basketball and Self are going to think KU forces injured players to play hurt? Do coaches really think this is an effective recruiting tool? To paraphrase Scott Pioli, I’m sure Kansas wishes Kietzman was coaching at Kansas State.

“If we’re going to credit Bill Self for being the great coach that he is, we also have to look at the reasons why he is so good. He gets the most out of these guys. A lot of that has to do with fear and intimidation.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Frank Boal added the word, “tough,” to describe Self’s coaching style. I have never been to a KU practice but I don’t think fear and intimidation is how Self has built his program. Those who have been to his practices speak of how tough he is on his players. KK is implying that Self is using fear and intimidation to force Embiid back onto the court – and that Self’s actions have alienated Embiid’s parents. But he refuses to own his agenda. Read on.

“Something went really wrong between these parties. We can’t say exactly what. But there is no way that this was anything other than somebody either got mislead or misdiagnosed. Now we have a doctor on the record saying that was wordplay on the release (KU) put out. Using the word ‘prognosis instead of diagnosis. Everything we said today she just confirmed.”
Kevin Kietzman, after interviewing University of Kansas Hospital’s Dr. Barbara Semakula, 810 AM
GH: “Everything we said today she just confirmed.” Kietzman might be ready for a doctor’s appointment himself. She did nothing of the kind as far as confirming KK’s wild stories. She has never examined Embiid. The day before she and KK were positive Embiid’s injury was purely musculature. This is why KK is looked upon by many as nothing more than a younger version of Jack Harry.

“If I get one more email from a Kansas fan who says, ‘You’re a shock jock,’ or ‘You’re making this up,’ or ‘Why are you doing this?’ I’ve never seen this! I’ve never seen Bill Self in a position where he said something like he said yesterday, ‘Oh, 100% he’ll be back fort the NCAA tournament,’ and then hours later do a complete 180.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman had an interesting story to investigate and report on but turned it into his own little vendetta against his hated rival, Kansas. Sad.

“It’s unbelievable how many people have an agenda. And not just running us down but running us down in a derogatory way.”
Gregg Marshall, on the national media’s perspective of his 34-0 Wichita State Shockers, ESPN Radio
GH: I guess Marshall and WSU hears more than I about their program but I sure hear a lot of positives as well. I don’t think many folks are going to allow Marshall to play the underdog card when his team is 34-0. If/when they lose, it will be an upset.

“Tuesday, 1 a.m. ET: The NFL’s first billion-dollar day is over, and it’s officially the craziest day in the 22-year history of free agency. I’ve done the math with the available numbers: 64 player signings for an estimated total outlay of $1,001,500,000. One billion dollars. In nine hours, NFL teams agreed to contracts totaling $1 billion.”
Peter King, SI.com

“Last OL out of Kansas City turn off the lights. Schwartz, Albert, Asomoah.”
Trey Wingo, @wingoz, Twitter
GH: So maybe Andy Reid isn’t quite as high on offensive linemen as we thought. I don’t see anybody in that threesome who is irreplaceable. 

“We’ll I guess everyone has heard the news… You hear it from now officially… I am now a Miami a Dolphin….this is bitter sweet… I want to thank the chiefs organization and the chiefs nation and fan base for 6 great years of my career… Thanks to all the loyal fans.”
Branden Albert, @B_Albert76, Twitter
GH: Nice guy. Way too average football player for the draft pick and the money. 

“So Elway signs Manning (2012), Welker (2013), Talib and maybe Ware (2014). Among others. Best recruiter in football (sorry Saban).”
Dan Wetzel, @DanWetzel, Twitter
GH: I guess Elway is just going to haunt Chiefs fans to his grave.

“Long way to go before the season, I guess, but the gap between the Broncos and Chiefs is on HGH right now.”
Sam Mellinger, @mellinger, Twitter

“Am I the only one who thinks the NFL offseason is better than the MLB postseason?”
Daniel Jeremiah, @MoveTheSticks, Twitter
GH: Asking for Royals fans, “What is the MLB postseason?” I am sure Dayton Moore thinks this feels like the Chiefs have already won the Super Bowl.

“The Braves have agreed to terms with RHP Ervin Santana on a one-year Major League contract. Santana will wear uniform number 30.”
Atlanta Braves, @Braves, Twitter
GH: Not sure how to feel about this one. Santana sat on the vine a bit too long this offseason. That usually means his season will be a stinker. The Royals probably saved $14 million and got a decent draft pick.

[email protected] and Twitter @greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.
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61 Responses to OTC: Bill Self Stumbles Trying To Clear The Air / Kietzman Goes Full-blown Shock Jock

  1. Orphan of the Road says:

    Caught the end of Keegan on BTL today. After KU said no more comments, Keegan got Self to talk to him.

    Pretty much told KK that his show was why Self spoke after KU said we have nothing more to say.

    Blind squirrel finds nut?

  2. Old Man Kissel says:


    Can’t wait for another one of KK’s takes.

    810 scoops 610 once again…

  3. D says:


    • Esteban says:

      I agree, D. This Embiid story is as overblown as the story on the explosion in Harlem today. I mean I fell sorry for the kid and wish him well but injuries happen all the time. It’s just unfortunate timing. Perhaps, like Democratic Congressman Charlie Rangel this is Kietzman’s 9-11?

      • Kansas Marine says:

        This is just Kevin’s most recent attempt to create a story out of nothing and smear KU’s name.

        Here’s a few of my favorite Kietzman cluster$ucks:
        -Orange Bowl “ticket conspiracy”
        -Sherron Collins “elevator assault”
        -Tyshawn Taylor’s “free car from a booster”
        -Bill Self’s “John Wall bump”
        -Xavier Henry “being forced to attempt KU”
        -KU fans “making racial slurs to Denny Clemente”

        And oh yeah, “Missouri is headed to the Big 10.”

        • Doug says:

          Add to that the story from Power Cat Illustrated’s Tim “the Master of Misinformation” Fitzgerald that KU players yelled racial slurs at K State’s Denis Clemente during a game. KK kept this one going for days and then even after Clemente said this story was a lie KK never came out and apologized for his part in continuing the story.

  4. JimmyD says:

    GH: Kietzman had an interesting story to investigate and report on but turned it into his own little vendetta against his hated rival, Kansas. Sad.

    Pot meet kettle. Greg, just call KK and bury the hatchet.

    • Kansas Marine says:

      I’d rather he didn’t. And thankfully we have someone like Greg in this town that has some journalistic integrity.

  5. Ron says:

    “Am I the only one who thinks the NFL offseason is better than the MLB postseason?”
    Daniel Jeremiah, @MoveTheSticks, Twitter

    It is amazing how NFL fans can’t just enjoy football, but continually have to put down MLB fans at the same time? Why is it so inconceivable to NFL fans that there are millions of fans who actually like both sports? I know football appeals primarily to heavy drinkers and invertebrate gamblers who like to act like crazed, boorish chimpanzees at sporting events, and that good baseball fans tend to be highly intelligent people who enjoy the strategy and drama that builds up over the course of a nine-inning baseball game and season, but there’s no reason a person can’t like both sports. Hardcore baseball fans don’t seem to feel the need to put down football in order to enjoy baseball. Why can’t football fans just relax and enjoy both sports? Perhaps baseball is just too mentally-taxing for hardcore football fans.

    • trajan says:

      Please explain how baseball is more cerebral than football? This is something that douches like Costas say when they aren’t in a position to be challenged, then a bunch of other dipshits start exclaiming “thinking mans game” because they heard Gammons or Costas or some other effeminate speak this nonsense. I have played both sports and more brain calories are used on one football play than in a season of baseball! The double switch is not splitting the atom!

      • tigerpiper says:

        Ned Yost acts like figuring out righty/lefty matchups is rocket science. Football is much,much more cerebral.

  6. John says:

    Not like I’m a Kietzman fan, but every single coach who is recruiting a player against Kansas absolutely will and they should use this against Kansas. Why wouldn’t they? He’s not some untouchable deity though the local press treats him as such. He is a phony douche who tries to get his players to play hurt even though it risks f’ing up their career. People who are competing against him are going to use this against him for good reason.

    • BlackJack says:

      Absolutely zero evidence to suggest Self tries or has tried to force any of his players to play hurt against their will, except for wishful thinking in the biased minds of KU/Coach Self haters.

      Move along, nothing to see here..

  7. John says:

    “What parent or athlete who knows anything about Kansas basketball and Self are going to think KU forces injured players to play hurt?”

    Anybody who has any familiarity with what has happened to Embiid and Bill Self’s magical change of mind.

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