Downs' Dad: Micah hasn't spoken to me for months

The whole story of the strange Micah Downs midnight disappearance is now starting to come out. His dad called friend of Phog Blog Tom Keegan out of the blue this week and explained that he (Steve Downs) was disappointed that Micah had left.

"He hasn't spoken to me for months now," Steven said of Micah. "We have personal issues because of his girlfriend. I never approved of her. … My wife is heartbroken over the situation."

In the message-board world in which we live, nobody is spared from criticism. That's life, but Steven Downs doesn't have to like it.

"I don't like the way people talk about coach Self," he said. "That man is a good Christian man. I will stand behind Bill Self 'til the day he dies. He doesn't get the credit he deserves. He's good with X's and O's. … I just want everybody to know in Lawrence that Bill Self is good for Lawrence. It wasn't Bill at all. It was Micah's own fault, man. You can't blame the coach or the staff."

This seems to mesh with what happened, so I don't doubt Steve. I might question whether calling his son out in the newspaper is the best way to reconcile things, but his story explains the facts, which is more than any of the rumors did.

And here the weird go pro:

He said his wife, Gerri, attempted to speak with her son at the home of the girlfriend's parents over the Christmas holidays, but "had no luck."

"I just think Micah's a confused young man," Steven said. "I just really believe the wrong people have gotten in his ear."

Micah Downs: "Kansas Really Sucked"

MySpace is not just for pedophiles any more. Dear friends, this internet marvel now allows fans such as you and I to plumb the depths of the teenage consciousness to reveal the mysterious truths that lie therein. So what's there? Why did Micah leave KU? Because Kansas Sucked. Really Sucked. Or so says Micah, to his buddy snarf snarf:

im doing pretty good. kansas really sucked so i transferred to gonzaga and that is where i am now. me and natanya are still together and as strong as ever.

Glad to hear about Natty. And to know that the Red Vest has been summarily tossed into the blazing fires of fashion hell.

Micah Downs says that Kansas Really Sucked

Katz on Downs

This will inspire a chuckle from more than one KU fan:

Kansas transfer Micah Downs spent time with the Zags throughout the weekend. Downs is still getting his feet on the ground at Gonzaga. He's not on scholarship, but he will be a part of the program. The Zags want Downs to get tougher and more physical before he's eligible next mid-December.

I don't even think this snip needs any pithy editorializing from me...

Self lays out his philosophy for handling Freshmen

Pulled from the Wichita Eagle. Read the whole thing, but this particular bit his helpful for identifying Self's core philosophy - you have to earn it. I think it also reveals one reason why last year was tough - he couldn't make players he didn't recruit appreciate his system as much.

You can argue forever whether Chalmers' defense would have come around just as fast -- or faster -- if Self had started him from the get-go.

"I'm sure if you asked Mario, he'd say yes," Self said. "But from our perspective, when you bring freshmen in, you're not in it to win games in November and December. You're in it to do what's best over time and over their careers.

"If guys don't fight through certain things and understand certain things, they're not going to appreciate certain things. It's better if you have to earn everything you get, especially early in your career when that foundation is laid."

That is the lesson he has applied to all his young players, which the same as saying pretty much the entire team.

Link

Spokane Spokesman Review: Downs is enrolling at Gonzaga

Micah Downs has begun the enrollment process according to the Spokane Spokesman Review. Said Downs:

"I really just want to focus on getting the rest of this (admissions) stuff taken care of," he explained. "Then I'll be willing to set down and talk to the media – hopefully by the middle of next week."

Link to Gonzaga beat writer Steve Bergums blog entry on this topic.

Micah going to Gonzaga

As many have anticipated, at least according to 810 WHB, Micah Downs will be a Gonzaga Bulldog. More as I get it, but if there are any legs to this story, I'm sure you'll be hearing about it soon enough. In the fullness of time as it is said. Paint me naive again regarding those personal problems that weren't basketball related if this is true.

UPDATE: I added this to the comments section, but I thought others might be interested:

I don't thing enrolling is tantamount to playing for them immediately. It may, at this point, be a hedge bet to enroll to try to preserve eligibility. And naturally, it would make sense to enroll at a potential destination.

Don't know if you read this article in the LJW that discussed the complications that Downs would face regarding his impulsive departure:

Should KU release Downs, he won't lose his sophomore season. From there, the best-case scenario is that Downs could suit up and play second semester of the 2006-07 season. However, given the unusual timing of Downs' departure, he likely won't be able to suit up in an NCAA game until the 2007-08 season.

Downs has to sit out two semesters, and unless he goes to a junior college, his down time has to be while enrolled full-time at his next school. Current KU sophomore and USC transfer Rodrick Stewart did this when he began taking classes last January and became eligible to play last month -- after his second semester at Kansas wrapped up.

By enrolling now in a likely destination, I believe he'll be eligible a year from now. I think he'll have to jump through some hoops though with KU in order to be granted a release.

As I understand it, he left without dropping his classes or even picking up his room. We'll see how it plays out, but I think he'll end up a Zag if he has indeed enrolled there).

I can't tell if it's too late for him to have enrolled. This link provides some insight as to that and I welcome any insight that anyone cares to provide.

UPDATE 2:

A moderator from a Gonzaga message board confirms (to the extent that you can confirm such meaningless speculation):

There are conditions that Micah will have to stick to before he gets a scholarship at Gonzaga, and he has agreed to them and understands them. If he proves himself to the conditions, he'll get a ride for next year and beyond. Fwiw, David Burgess is not on scholarship, either, until he proves himself, albeit a different kind of proving himself than Micah.

In short, the law has been layed down and must be abided by, or else.....

His personal issues make it understandable that he wants to be closer to home and away from Kansas. I can't and won't divulge details but it's safe to say that he has left behind a major piece of baggage that followed him to Lawrence.

Micah will be eligible mid- to late-December if everything works out here. You'll see him Saturday in K2.

UPDATE 3: Hate to rely so heavily on message boards for more information here, but the latest twist in the increasingly strange story of Micah Downs comes courtesy of BobZag, the same above-mentioned moderator who provided our last update. Color me a litte tired of all of the "damn drama" to borrow *natty*'s words, but I'll just put this on your plate and you can decide if you wants to eat it.

Re: Micah Downs - a silly question He's here and we'll all see him Saturday at the game.

A couple things:

His transfer had NOTHING to do with his girlfriend.

His transfer had NOTHING to do with PT.

If what happened to his family happened in your family, many of you would want to leave, too, and be closer to your Mom. Most know that his Dad was a problem and moved to Lawrence to be with Micah. Well, Dad is still in Lawrence, he's the only one. Now Micah is free of him which is a good thing.

So what appeared once to be a Micah pendulum, swinging somewhere between no PT and lonely for girl, is now a Micah triangle.

UPDATE 4:

The Star is saying Gonzaga as well (with the caveat that it's just a rumor), as are a few other journo-sources who haven't yet gone to print with it. Here's the Star's blurb:

The scuttlebutt on Wednesday was that Downs is attempting to transfer to Gonzaga, where he'd probably be eligible to play beginning in January of 2007. Meanwhile, Robinson has the place all to himself - again. Robinson's roommate last season, Alex Galindo, transferred to Florida International over the summer.

UPDATE 5: The Seatte Post-Intelligencer quotes Micah's dad as saying Micah's looking at either Washington or Gonzaga.

UPDATE 6: The PI is getting much closer to saying that Micah's going to be a Zag, but that he must walk-on at present, as Gonzaga has no free scholarships.

My question: how can a kid who has evidently struggled for money afford a school that costs over $30,000 a year to attend?

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