The Kansas Jayhawks are making unfortunate offseasons a habit. In 2009, players on the school's football and basketball teams got into a brawl, resulting in an on-campus investigation and an injury to hoopster Tyshawn Taylor. In 2010, Jayhawks brass were investigated for a massive basketball ticketing scandal.
The trend continues in 2011, this time thanks to Kansas sophomore forward Thomas Robinson. According to the Lawrence Journal-World, Robinson was cited to appear in municipal court by Lawrence police on a misdemeanor battery charge stemming from an April 10 incident outside a nightclub called The Cave.
According to the report, a 2 a.m. fight in the club spilled outside, at which point a bouncer reported being spit on and struck. According to one bouncer's account to the Journal-World, several Kansas basketball players were at the bar, Robinson among them. After a "person accompanying the players" got angry at the bouncers, things escalated, at which point Robinson reportedly threw the offending punch.
This sounds like a minor incident, one of those unfortunate bar-close scuffles that happens when people drink too much and get too aggressive with the large men in charge of keeping the drunken animals at bay. If you spend any time in bars, you've probably seen this sort of thing go down. (Though you've probably never been so unwise as to punch a bouncer. Let's hope not, anyway.)
Unfortunately, there's another issue here. Robinson was born on March 18, 1991. Fight or not, Robinson probably shouldn't have been in the bar in the first place.
In a vacuum, this is no big deal. Thing is, it didn't happen in a vacuum. It happened at Kansas. Assuming Robinson hasn't been falsely cited, his actions join the suddenly long list of recent issues with Kansas athletes, basketball players in particular. The football fight. Tyshawn Taylor's Facebook ban. Brady Morningstar's DUI. Markieff Morris's infamous dorm BB gun incident. Mario Little's arrest.
These things add up. How long until the sum of those parts -- whether fairly or unfairly -- seriously damages KU coach Bill Self's reputation?
That's a difficult calculus to figure, so instead let's just provide some free, easy advice to the student-athletes of America. Guys, don't get in fights with bouncers. Don't anger Division I football players. You'd think this stuff would be self-evident, but, you know, apparently not.