Whenever ESPN’s College GameDay comes to Lawrence, students know to bring their A-game when it comes to signs. In between the signs cheering the Jayhawks and jeering the West Virginia Mountaineers, one student took a jab at the channel broadcasting the whole event.
Oklahoma’s Trae Young, considered by many to be a frontrunner for National Player of the Year, has received consistent coverage from the media all season, drawing the ire of some fans.
Jacob Camenzind, a sophomore from Wichita studying mechanical engineering, decided to poke some fun at the whole situation with a sign that read “ESPN mandated this sign be about Trae Young.”
“I knew College GameDay would probably talk about Trae Young since the show is essentially pregame coverage for all the games that day. I was also well aware of how tired some people are about ESPN’s constant coverage of Young, so I figured that’d be a good subject for the sign.”
A good subject it was, as Jacob began getting compliments and picture requests as soon as he walked into Allen Fieldhouse that morning. As the countdown to going live continued, the sign gained some new fans.
“When Rece Davis walked onto the court, he saw my sign, looked at me, and started laughing. As the rest of the analysts came in, Rece Davis pointed it out to Bilas, Williams, and Greenberg and they all gave a chuckle as well. During the show, one of the cameramen trained his camera on me, and he gave a thumbs up as I held up my sign. When I got on the video board, I knew we were on TV, and my whole section went crazy. Rece Davis stuck around after the show and took pictures with fans, and he told me my sign was hilarious.”
Jacob’s brush with fame wasn’t done. His tweet about the sign began to blow up, with more than 100 retweets on his own account, multiple KU fan accounts joining in the fun, and even a shoutout from Sports Illustrated.
Despite the sign, Jacob wanted to make his actual opinion on Trae Young clear.
“I love him as a player, don’t let the sign fool you. And to be completely honest, I have no problem with ESPN’s coverage of Trae Young. He is putting on a historic season, and he deserves every minute of attention he gets. I’m pretty tired of all the hate directed to him, but I still couldn’t resist making the sign because I knew people would find it funny.”
—Ryan Camenzind, j’17, Jacob’s brother, stood next to Jacob at College GameDay and watched as Jacob’s phone died in 20 minutes due to the constant buzz of notifications.
Nobody likes to watch a rerun, especially sports fans. But at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, we watched a rare rerun of the women’s 4 x 100 meter relay, and it was a first (in more ways than one) thanks to the fast efforts of a Jayhawk. Let’s rewind.
On Thursday night during their preliminary heat of the women’s 4 x 100, the U.S. team was bumped during the second exchange. The Brazilian team inadvertently made contact with American Allyson Felix, running second leg, while attempting to hand off the baton. Trying to recover, Felix awkwardly tossed the baton, which dropped to the track. Dazed and confused, unsure what to do next, Felix suddenly remembered what Tim Weaver, g’97, told her. She recounted to ESPN what happened next.
“At our technical meeting, Tim Weaver really emphasized that if something happens, you have to pick up the baton and finish in order to protest,” Felix recalled. So she did, turning around with sudden urgency to retrieve the baton and hand it off. Once convinced that all was not lost, English Gardner took off after the field that had left the U.S. team far behind. Once finished, the protest was filed.
As we shared on this blog previously, Weaver is working in Rio as a team manager with USA Track and Field, helping advocate for American athletes throughout the process of filing protests. As the former meet director for the Kansas Relays, Weaver has seen it all and understands the idiosyncrasies of international track and field. Once the team had finished and was officially disqualified, Weaver immediately flew into action.
Simply advancing the American team for getting bumped wasn’t possible because the final was based on the top times. And there could only be 8 teams in the final because the track only had 8 lanes around it. Since eight other teams had already established the fastest legal times, a run-off was required, and that left only one option.
A rerun for Team USA, against a single, unforgiving opponent: The clock.
If they could finish among the top 8 times, they’d earn a spot in the final. So, in a never-before-seen relay with one team on the track, running in the exact same lane, and in the exact same order, the four U.S. women ran their relay, turning in the fastest time among all qualifiers, earning them a spot in tonight’s final. The rerun, at least according to USATF, was unprecedented in Olympic history.
After qualifying, Felix gave credit to the Jayhawk who helped save the day by getting the team one more shot, which was all they needed.
“After the race, I was texting (Weaver) saying thank you. I was so grateful.”
Sometimes it helps to have a Jayhawk in your corner.
In what coach Bill Self promised will be the last extensive media access to freshman sensation Andrew Wiggins–a guard from Ontario, Canada, who is widely expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in next year’s NBA Draft–ESPN The Magazine today rolled out its cover and feature story.
In the story, Wiggins said that he chose Kansas in part because his brother Nick is a senior at Wichita State–”What does Kansas have that UNC doesn’t have? My brother’s an hour and 30 minutes away”–and because he felt a family atmosphere within the KU basketball program. “When I say that Kansas all rolls as one unit, they all roll as one unit,” Wiggins said in the article. “Like, everyone. They never leave anybody out.”
In his video interview with Bilas, Wiggins confirmed that he intends to spend only one year at KU. Asked by Bilas about his goals for the year, Wiggins responded, “Win another championship, a national championship. Following Anthony Bennett’s footsteps and going No. 1.” Bennett, also a Canadian, was last year’s No. 1 overall draft pick, by the Cleveland Cavaliers, after his freshman year at UNLV. Asked by Bilas, “So that’s a goal of yours, is at the end of this season to put your name in the draft and be the No. 1 pick?”, Wiggins responded, “If that’s possible, if I can, yeah.”
As for expectations created by the magazine covers and even a photo spread in GQ, Wiggins said, “I feel them, but I never let it get to me.”
Ben McLemore, who became a top NBA draft prospect after playing just one season at KU, shares intimate details about his life’s journey with ESPN’s Andy Katz. Today’s draft coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. (Central) on ESPN.