Self says fight was bad for university

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Kansas basketball players involved in fighting with Jayhawks football players apologized Thursday, saying they embarrassed themselves and the school.

During an impromptu news conference, basketball coach Bill Self called the fighting bad for the entire university. He and a few of his players met with reporters Thursday for the first time since fighting erupted Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning at two different sites on the normally peaceful campus.

Basketball guard Tyshawn Taylor injured his finger and will be sidelined for up to a month. He was apparently one of the main instigators and posted on his Facebook page that he had injured his finger "throwing a punch."

Taylor's account also included several suggestive and vulgar passages which may have been the lyrics of rap songs. The posting was later taken down. Thursday, Taylor called his actions "stupid."

"I'm embarrassed because of the situation," he said. "It's a situation that none of us should have gotten into. We embarrassed our campus, our university, both teams, and it's just a situation that shouldn't have happened. Looking back at it, it was just really stupid. I wish I could take it back."

Self said he was stern and unyielding when he met with his team Wednesday night.

"We don't act like this," Self said. "To me, somebody asked me how did Tyshawn dislocate his thumb? My reply was: I don't care. It doesn't make any difference to me. The fact is that it happened. The reason it happened was because a really small group of individuals put selfish motives ahead of what was really important."

Self and senior guard Sherron Collins came to Taylor's defense.

"It's not just Tyshawn," Collins said. "It was a group of individuals from both sides that let egos and pride get involved in something that could have been resolved. We let something small become something big. We as a team, we accept this all together. Not everyone had something to do with it, but we are all together as a team."

The Kansas football team is unbeaten in three games and ranked No. 20. Self's basketball team could be ranked as high as No. 1 in the preseason poll.

The incidents, possibly the continuation of bad blood that had been simmering between the two groups for more than a year, drew quick condemnation from school administrators. Self was out of town on a recruiting trip and did not get back in time for a hurried meeting of basketball and football players that athletic director Lew Perkins called Wednesday evening.

"It's very disturbing to me," Self said. "I've coached a lot of great kids, and Tyshawn Taylor definitely fits that bill. His judgment in what he posted on his Facebook is totally inexcusable and it was done in very poor taste. So even though they may not be his words and they may be words of lyrics to songs he listens to and likes, it's still something that isn't to be put out there like that. I do think it's offensive."

But Self also said for Taylor "to be portrayed as anything other than a good kid that really made an ignorant play on doing that with his Facebook would be totally inaccurate."