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To Thine Own Self Be True?

Fresh off of his first national title, Bill Self is being courted in a huge way, as Oklahoma State is preparing to throw millions at their next coach and make him, by far, the highest paid coach in the land. Or they could, anyway, depending on who they go after. In Self's case, they absolutely will.As a coach, he obviously knows there's no comparison between his alma mater and Kansas, which has the oldest, and one of the most glorious, traditions in college basketball. You can run down a handful of schools - KU, Duke, UNC, UCLA, Kentucky, Indiana, and after those, and arguably a couple of others, you go down a tier.

Oklahoma State is two or three steps down.

Obviously with the huge money Pickens is tossing at the Cowboy's athletic department, the school can compete in terms of facilities and the like. No matter what they do, though, they're still sort of out there. Kansas is, too, for that matter. One of the reasons Larry Brown gave for leaving is that he had trouble recruiting there. Roy Williams got by, if you will - he recruited California very well, and found more good players on the Great Plains than anyone else ever has. Even in his case, though, you can argue that his recruiting at UNC has been easier.

Self's opening counter to Kansas is that he wants "security", which is completely understandable for any coach. Win today, you're a hero. Fall short in a few years and you're a bum - ask Gary Williams.

"I want to visit with my athletic director," quotes Self as saying. "To be real honest with you, I love Kansas. Love my job here, and hopefully it will be a situation where I can spend a long time here. I'm certainly not looking to leave, but Lew and I got to visit. I'm sure that'll happen in the next couple days...Out of fairness to me, with my contract situation, why would I say that I'm positively (staying) when I don't even know if they're gonna extend me? I've got three years left on my contract, and what I'd like to have is what everybody would like to have. I'd like to have some security. When I say security, I mean years.”

Although Self says security means years, security is more correctly translated as: back the armored car up to my door. He's in a position to leverage a lot of money out of Kansas, and, barring a return of Roy Williams, it's hard to imagine the Jayhawks finding a better coach. Self is being somewhat ruthless, but he's in a heartless profession, and can to an extent be forgiven. When the shoe is on the other foot, his employers will be ruthless as well.