Talk hoops all year long in Luke Winn's blog, a journal of commentary, news and reader-driven discussions about the college game.
8/29/2006 03:29:00 PM
Postscript To A Transfer
Micah Downs quit the Kansas team on Jan. 24 and headed to Gonzaga, where he'll have to sit out part of the 2006-07 season.
This is the strangest story I've read all summer. In the Aug. 24 issues of the Lawrence Journal-World, Tom Keegan wrote a column after receiving an unsolicited phone call from the father of ex-Jayhawk forward Micah Downs, who transferred to Gonzaga midway through his freshman season. Steven Downs wanted to make a clarification, in the press, that when his eldest son left KU, it wasn't Bill Self's fault.
"It wasn't Bill at all," Steven Downs alleged in the LJ-W. It was Micah's own fault, man. You can't blame the coach or the staff."
Papa Downs then went on to pledge an awkward allegiance to the Jayhawks, rather than Micah. He told Keegan that he wishes Micah would've stayed in Lawrence, and that he still wants his other son, Steven Jr., a prep sophomore, to play for the Jayhawks. "I want everyone to know how much our family appreciated Bill Self and Kansas University," Steven said. "I feel like I owe you guys a basketball player. If I could afford it, I'd be coming down to Kansas for every game. I've been a Kansas fan all my life. I still wear my Kansas Jayhawk cap. We still have our Kansas Jayhawk flag hanging up in our room."
Now, here's the real stunner: The reason there is no objection to all the KU paraphernalia still hanging in the Downs household ... is because Micah no longer has a relationship with his parents. Tough for pops, then, to know the whole truth.
"He hasn't spoken to me for months now," Steven said of Micah in the LJ-W. "We have personal issues because of his girlfriend. I never approved of her."
A very sad tale. And unfortunate, I think, that it had to be aired through the press.
The one thing I've loved about Self since he arrived at KU is that he basically says he does not and will not beg anyone to come to KU. He will continue to go after the top prospects, and they come knowing (at least at this point) your high school stats don't garuntee anything once your enter the fieldhouse, your defense and work ethic get you minutes. Glad dad could admit it was just part of a confused kid growing up.
This is a sad tale and one that hopefully other kids and parents can learn from. I find it ironic however that Luke says it's unfortunate that this had to play out in the press when he is the one who took a local story in Lawrence and essentially made it a national one.
Downs, Big mistake. Rush would of left after his sophmore year and you could of been the man taking his place at Kansas, the best place to play on Earth, now your at that punk school, Gonzaga where not only is it cold outside, your going to see just how cold it is inside.
Who knows what the true story is? I've always wondered about that family. I found it odd that Micah Downs attended seven different high schools in three different states; his dad says that it was because of his (Steven Downs') job as a carpenter.
I'm a KU fan and read the original article in the LJW. The kid may be confused, but the Dad doesn't sound like he has his head on straight either. Give it a rest pops and don't start "pledging" your youngest to KU.
To the anon from Aug. 30, 10:28 p.m. -- and I have to address you as such, because you didn't see fit to leave your name -- it's not that I'm lamenting the actual coverage. I'm lamenting that the father felt the need to air his grievances in the press, rather than keep them private, since his son has refrained from commenting on the situation.
As far as the LJ-W, it was newsworthy that a father of a former player called the paper, and the writer, Keegan, was in the right to print the quotes. And once it made it in the press -- and was available all over the world on the Internet -- I felt that it was fair game.
I find it refreshing that in this day of political correctness, fear of being quoted out of context or out right misquoted, that someone would speak from the heart to a member of the press. I respect Steve Down's desire to set the record straight, and to even lament somewhat in public the fact that his son left a great situation and is under the infuence of someone to whom his son is overly attached emotionally. And if ever there was a human interest story behind a player, this is one. So thanks Luke.
Doc, You've got to be kidding me. Steve Downs is a nut job and he is "pimiping" his next son like he did Micah. The best decision Micah ever made was to distance himself from an overbearing and seemingly unstable father. You are either a huge KU fan or possibly Mr Downs.
I think I have to agree, SOMEWHAT, with 23DPG(Dog Pound Gangstas, LOL) I think the son is the wise one in this situation. He is leaving an evidently overbearing and pushy father who is living, or trying to live vicariously, through his two sons. This is another future(possibly) star leaving their parents in the wind, while they decide to do what is best for themselves, not what their parents thinks is best for their childen, but for themselves.
Micah's been doing a great job here at ZagVille. He's shooting the lioghts out and has developed a great passing game. The best thing usually happens....in this case Mich's been and will be good for the Zags and the school as been good for Micah. Family issues shouldn't be dragged through the press. Even IF Steve called the paper, it's always nice when the paper uses some judgemnt and discretion...Micah will be fine. 23dpg is likely correct. The Dad is one for the ages...the dark ages...Abe