According to a former chancellor at Missouri, Kansas basketball coach Bill Self made sure the two schools weren’t going to meet on the football field after Missouri left for the SEC.
Self wants it clear that he’s the school’s basketball coach.
In an interview with Al.com, former Missouri (and Texas A&M) Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin said Self’s ego was responsible for squashing a game between the schools at Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium. The longtime Big 12 rivals haven’t played since Missouri left for the SEC after the 2011 season and Loftin said he had met privately with Kansas’ chancellor about the possibility of the two schools playing again in KC.
“The problem was a man named Bill Self who made it very clear this wasn’t going to happen,” Loftin says.
Self has been adamant about not playing Missouri in basketball. And from a financial aspect, it’s understandable. It’s more lucrative for Kansas to play at home at Allen Fieldhouse than it is to meet Missouri at Sprint Center in Kansas City, even though the game would sell out in minutes if the cheapest tickets were $100.
And with the state of Missouri’s basketball program in recent years, the Tigers wouldn’t have put up much of a challenge either. But on the off-chance that Missouri did win, it wouldn’t be a great look for Kansas.
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But as far as getting in the way of Missouri and Kansas playing each other in football, Self told the following to the Topeka Capitol-Journal.
“Tell the ex-Missouri chancellor that I coach basketball, not football,” Self wrote in a text message to The Capital-Journal. “That we would never play a game in Arrowhead or even discuss it. It’s too cold. We play our games indoors. But (I) look forward to meeting him someday if he’s ever in Lawrence.”
Loftin was the president at Texas A&M when the Aggies went to the SEC with Missouri. He came to Mizzou in 2014 but resigned at the end of 2015 as many at Missouri took issue with his leadership.
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For its part, Missouri has always wanted to play Kansas after moving conferences. Life just isn’t the same with the two schools playing each other — especially in Kansas City, which had become the host for the schools’ annual rivalry football game. And Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk said earlier this month that the school was open to resuming the series.
But it doesn’t seem likely, no matter how much sway Self has regarding the football team.
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