OTC: Naadir Tharpe “Decides” To Leave KU / Detroit At The K This Weekend For Big Early-Season Series

“Naadir (Tharpe) and I have talked numerous times since he’s been here about his role and about his situation back home with his daughter. He’s told me many times how much he misses his little girl, and she’s had some health issues that has certainly made it difficult for him to be away from her for this extended period of time. She’s doing very well now, but Naadir approached me after the season was over about him wanting to be closer to her. This is his decision to try and accomplish that.”
Bill Self, explaining why his senior-to-be starting point guard has “decided” to transfer from Kansas to an unnamed school back near Boston, KUsports.com
GH: “This is his decision…” Really? Who believes it was Tharpe’s decision to leave Kansas before his senior year to go back east to hook on at an undetermined new school to complete his degree and play his senior year? How does this benefit his daughter? If Self and Kansas truly have Tharpe’s best interest, aren’t they advising him to stay at KU, graduate and then head back home with a college degree to aid in his daughter’s upbringing?

“This very easily fits in the category of ‘Social Media Termination.’ You blew it.”
Kevin Kietzman, on the official work from Kansas that Naadir Tharpe will not be returning to Kansas for his senior year, 810 AM
GH: Kietzman, like almost anyone who isn’t a spokesperson for the Kansas basketball program, pointed to the sexually charged photo of Tharpe and a married woman that went viral on social media as to the reason for Tharpe’s “decision” to transfer.

“Less than 24 hours after learning that it was losing its starting point guard, the Kansas University men’s basketball program landed another, when Devonte’ Graham, a 6-foot-2 senior point guard from Brewster Academy in New Hampshire announced his plans to join the KU program.”
GH: What a coincidence…

“I think it’s a good move for both parties involved.”
Bob Fescoe, on Tharpe’s departure, 610 AM
GH: How is this good for Tharpe? Would Fescoe want his son to give up his scholarship at Kansas before his senior year to go find another school where he will not have near the support Tharpe has built up at Kansas?

“It just seems disingenuous.”
Danny Clinkscale, on the KU statement mentioning that Tharpe is leaving KU to be closer to his daughter, 810 AM

“Due to extenuating circumstances within my personal life, I will no longer be attending the University of Kansas. My daughter has current medical issues that require weekly visits to her physician, as well as with a specialist. At this juncture, I feel it is best to be closer to home where I can assist and support in any way necessary.”
Naadir Tharpe, KUsports.com
GH: At least Tharpe came closer to the truth in his statement by mentioning “extenuating circumstances within my personal life.” I doubt he meant his embarrassing off-court behavior but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that maybe he did.

“If that photo doesn’t come out, he doesn’t transfer.”
Jake Gutierrez, 810 AM

“(Bill) Self had no comment regarding any negative issues regarding Tharpe.”
Gary Bedore, KU beat writer, Kusports.com

“What is truly unfortunate is that Tharpe will not get an opportunity to work through his issues and complete his eligibility, or his degree, at Kansas. Tharpe made a mistake posing for the inappropriate photo, which was not mentioned, naturally, in the release KU distributed. … What is distasteful is that KU did not feel compelled to take on Tharpe for one more year.”
Kevin Haskin, columnist, Topeka Capital-Journal
GH: Our favorite universities want us to donate money, love their recruits, worship their coaches…all right up until they decide to fire the coach, kick the player out of school or double-speak their way out of the next embarrassing incident. And this is FAR from a KU issue – this is every big-time university and too many not-so-big-timers as well. Since this is all communicated by rich, powerful men wearing expensive suits, we nod and move on. Thankfully there are columnists out there like Haskin who refuse to look away.

“I’m uncomfortable talking about this.”
Nate Bukaty, as The Border Patrol discussed Tharpe’s now famous photo and how it impacted his departure from Kansas, 810 AM
GH: Bukaty obviously is too close to Tharpe, Kansas’ athletic department and possibly the woman in the photo to feel comfortable discussing something as racy as this photo and Tharpe’s “decision.” Was Nate also uncomfortable discussing DGB’s transgressions at Mizzou? Bukaty had a chance to offer a unique insight into what Self and KU were really thinking but he fell silent on the topic.

“Groundbreaking for the 32,000-square-foot, $18 million DeBruce Center is set for 11:30 a.m. today at the northeast corner of Allen Fieldhouse. The event is open to the public.”
Gary Bedore, KU beat writer, Kusports.com
GH: The DeBruce Center will house the $4.3 million Naismith’s original rules of basketball and provide a student center and dining area for men’s and women’s basketball players. Does anybody else think college athletics has not only jumped the shark but jumped off a cliff that will not result in a bounce but an ugly thud?

“Johnny Manziel. I don’t like Johnny Manziel but I didn’t like Tony Dorsett. If Johnny Manziel falls that far (to the Dallas Cowboys with their 16th pick)… He can grow up. They can teach him how to grow up.”
Stan Weber, a lifelong Cowboys fan, when asked by Soren Petro who he thinks the Cowboys should take with their first pick, 810 AM
GH: Manziel is the anti-Roger Staubach – Weber’s boyhood hero. Jerry Jones would likely get his investment back in jersey sales alone if the Cowboys could land this native Texan. Next week’s NFL draft is going to be fun.

“I think this is a series just from a fan’s standpoint where the Royals can make a little bit of a statement. One, we’re not going away. And two, we’re the ones everyone in this division needs to be concerned about. I think it’s a good statement weekend for the Royals.”
Mike McFarlane, with Detroit in town this weekend for a three-game series, 810 AM

“It’s early, but let’s continue to watch them swagger their way on through this schedule – especially this weekend when the Tigers come to town. It could be really exciting.”
Rex Hudler, 610 AM
GH: If the Royals are swaggering through their schedule at 14-13, they should be in full-on twerk mode with a successful month of May.

“We’ll go day to day with it but for the foreseeable future yeah, probably.”
Ned Yost, when asked if he has made the decision to platoon Mike Moustakas and Danny Valencia at third base, 610 AM
GH: I take this as Ned saying the Moose is no longer loose. It will be interesting to see if Valencia is as good against lefties as his numbers state.

“It’s a lot easier handling the second guessing, handling the criticism when you’ve got faith in your players.”
Ned Yost, when asked by Ryan Lefebvre if he felt vindicated by Alcides Escobar’s recent hot bat since he stuck with him despite his offensive woes, Royals Radio
GH: Ned is a baseball manager. He should understand if not welcome second guessing and criticism. It’s not only part of his job but an enjoyable part. Instead of biting back at the media, smile at the dumb questions and revel in the chance to explain the game to those of us less enlightened.

“No (MLB TV broadcasting) crew received more total F’s or a higher percentage of F’s than the White Sox crew. Essentially, people either despised Hawk (for obvious reasons) or tolerated him for the sheer humor of it all, while there was a soft spot for analyst Steve Stone.”
Awfulannouncing.com, on the White Sox TV crew being ranked last by fans

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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28 Responses to OTC: Naadir Tharpe “Decides” To Leave KU / Detroit At The K This Weekend For Big Early-Season Series

  1. Jim says:

    Everyone falls into the same trap of wanting THE reason Tharpe is leaving KU. Rather than speculate on something that nobody knows (sans Tharpe & Self), why not look at a combination of several factors? His daughter’s health, the release of the Twitter photo and most likely less playing time. Logical conclusion is that a lot of things played into the decision. To me, there’s no bad guy in this situation. Just a kid and an institution that decided to part ways. Life goes on.

  2. chuckart says:

    Or the bad guy is Tharpe for sending out a picture of himself with the married Julie Bilhimer. She lost her job at Gardner Edgerton, lost her marriage, and her kids have been bullied at school over the incident. She is a POS for cheating on her husband but he had no right to publicly release that picture. Of course kU and the KC Star try to paint Tharpe as a sympathetic figure who is leaving to be closer to his daughter. If that was the case why didn’t he transfer a year ago when the issues were still ongoing?

    • Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

      That article in the KU Star by Rustin Dodd was a flowery pile of crap. I’ve never seen such an overload of ridiculous prose in all my life.

    • Jim says:

      Clearly seems like her job, her kids and her husband were first and foremost in her life.

    • Kyle R says:

      Tharpe’s no angel in that situation but I have a hard time feeling sorry for a married jersey chaser. Sorry, if you’re in your mid-30’s and live in Kansas, you should be smart enough to understand the risks and the strong possibility that you’d be found out, given the attention all KU players receive.

  3. Will says:

    Are we just supposed to assume that Naadir Tharpe has enough credit hours to graduate on schedule? Would love to know what that number is.

    There must be a huge ecco in Ned Yosts’ dome. Lotta empty space up there.

  4. Brummy says:

    Tharpe = father of the year

  5. geoknows says:

    Seriously doubtful. I can’t remember the exact percentage of scholarship athletes who utilize their entire four years of eligibility and actually earn a degree in those four years, but my recollection is that it was under 10%.

  6. Gavin says:

    I don’t necessarily think the photo was THE reason for Tharpe’s departure. I think it was a combination of things. I think the photo was one of them, along with poor play. And I think it’s reasonable to think that Tharpe’s daughter was at least a factor for consideration. But in the final analysis I suspect that Self just decided that in this case the juice wasn’t worth the squeeze. But if Tharpe was setting up to have the kind of year Juwan Staten looks like he is about to have, he would still be with the team, picture or not.

    So, I’m sorry to disappoint everyone who expected me to just blindly defend my beloved Jayhawks.

  7. buttnutz says:

    Is it a prerequisite for a KU basketball player to have at least one kid? I doubt Tharpe even knew he had one until it became a convenient excuse to leave Lawrence.

  8. FJH says:

    “It just seems disingenuous.” Thanks for clarifying that Danny. What do you want them to say? Well, there was the no pants picture, the turnovers, etc. He’s just an idiot, and we told him to leave. No one is going to tell the truth to the media – ever.

  9. sporty says:

    Lost a lot of respect for Bill Self. I’m far from a Ku fan, but I always thought Self was a good guy. Instead, he kicks a kid to the curb when he’s down. Then, magically, has a pg commit to his program. Typical Ku, I guess.

    • Jim says:

      No, it’s typical D1 college basketball. There were more than 450 D1 transfers in 2013. According to the NCAA, 40% of all D1 men’s basketball players are not at the initial university they joined coming out of high school after their sophomore year. That’s alot of kid-kickin’ to the curb, huh?

      • sporty says:

        You can’t be serious? If Tharpe played well in the tournament, he would not have been “asked” to transfer. Karma is a b**ch.

      • Alphonse Tooty says:

        No, it doesn’t happen “everywhere.” But, if it makes you feel better about your school, go for it, man.

        • Jim says:

          Yeah, don’t let statistics or facts get in the way of your argument, Tooty.

  10. The Independent Rage says:

    Betcha they got a lot of school nurses in Boston proper. The pickins had to have been rather slim in and around Lawrence. Maybe this figured into the decision? I mean, just take a look back at that broad in the Tharpe picture. I’d rather bang Fountain Mom, truth be told.

  11. brett says:

    isnt this just one more reason these guys should be paid? schools care not one bit whether these guys graduate. they are there to win and make the school millions of dollars.

  12. Juan Pablo says:

    I have met Tharpe 3 times . twice at Self’s basketball kids camp and Tharpe was the nicest guy around, he would take time to talk to and play with the kids. Also out in public once and he was also very nice.guy, Hate to see him go, but it may be better for him in the long run ad hope his kid gets well.

  13. nick says:

    Tharpe letting that photo out into the world was a colossal blunder.

    I’d guess Self’s punishment was telling Tharpe that he’d be dropped to the bottom of the pg depth chart until he could prove to Self that he deserved better. Tharpe was likely horribly embarrassed and felt as if he let his teammates and KU fans down.

    Whether Tharpe’s daughter was the real reason or not, that’s the story that needs to be made public. Self and Tharpe both want Naadir to get a second chance at another good school.

  14. sporty says:

    Better? Debatable. Although, having to listen to all the classy Ku fans after bad games, he will probably be happy to get away from Lawrence.

  15. KV says:

    Swaggering their way through their schedule? What were they doing in Minnesota and Cleveland? Strutting? This “swaggering” may be part of the problem with this team. I think they too often buy into their own hype. It doesn’t help when you have a collection of fanboy announcers like Hud, The Beav, and Goldberg fawning over them either. You need 90+ wins to make the playoffs. This team isn’t winning 90 games. I’ll be on the edge of my throne watching the Royals? Why spoil a good crap by watching Moose strike/pop out?

  16. carelessdonkey says:

    As good a salesman as Self is, my guess is that Tharpe believes the reason he’s leaving KU is to be with his daughter. Self probably doesn’t care what anybody else thinks.

  17. CM says:

    “If Self and Kansas truly have Tharpe’s best interest, aren’t they advising him to stay at KU, graduate and then head back home with a college degree to aid in his daughter’s upbringing?”

    Are we still pretending that a sports athlete “graduating” with a “degree” is worth ANYTHING in the real world? Let’s be honest: Universities have NO INTEREST in actually educating the “student athlete” — they want them to do one thing: SUIT UP AND PLAY WELL SO THEY CAN MAKE $$$, and my guess is that a basketball player with a degree in “sports management” or “communications” (easy degrees that the teams coax players to choose because it’s easier to keep them eligible and focusing on more important stuff – like sports) isn’t exactly a college graduate that companies are dying to hire.



  18. FJH says:

    Here we go again…KU haters say that “Self kicked him to the curb”, Jayhawk fans say “it was Tharpe’s indiscretion”…not ONE of you knows the real reason! Speculate all you want – what is the point?

  19. JP says:

    “I think this is a series just from a fan’s standpoint where the Royals can make a little bit of a statement. One, we’re not going away. And two, we’re the ones everyone in this division needs to be concerned about. I think it’s a good statement weekend for the Royals.”
    Mike McFarlane, with Detroit in town this weekend for a three-game series, 810 AM

    Yeah, the Royals made a statement alright. They made a statement that the more things change, the more they stay the same. They got bitch slapped by the Tigers, who didn’t even give them the courtesy of a reach around. That series was brutal. Nothing positive came out of this weekend.

  20. Harry Balczak says:

    This must be the nadir of his career so far

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