Bragg walks away from basketball.

  • This may be a de-weedification process. Bong is bad.

  • @wrwlumpy oh no, I really hope he gets the help he needs. He was so excited about being a Jayhawk.

  • I worry about the young man and if he is dealing with emotional issues/ depression. I’ve wondered that since he was at KU. I hope he finds the answers (and hope) that he needs.

  • Rant. Okay folks when I see negative comments about former players it pisses me off. What did Carlton do to you? Nothing, absolutely nothing but yea bag on a kid because he wasn’t as good as you and some writer thought he should’ve been. I thought we were Jayhawks. Let’s hold ourselves to a higher standard.

  • @kjayhawks Who are you replying to? There are no negative comments, certainly no one ragging on him. (Unless something got deleted before I saw this thread.)

  • @mayjay not here, some folks on twitter and Facebook, should’ve cleared it up. Just plain chicken sh** IMO.

  • @kjayhawks Ah, I never go there.

  • Sad. I hope this is what gets him back on track.

  • He always struck me as very nice and mellow person off the court. Seems like he has trouble dealing with expectations. I hope he gets back on track and moves forward in life.

  • kjayhawks said:

    @mayjay not here, some folks on twitter and Facebook, should’ve cleared it up. Just plain chicken sh** IMO.

    Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah twitter, reddit, facebook etc… are all cancer. Any time you have absolutely no barrier to entry and the site is very popular you will get a bad element.

    Reactions in this thread have all been bueno. I made a thread too before I saw this one. I think within minutes.

    Anyway yeah hopefully Bragg can find himself.

  • Hopefully he gets the help he needs.

  • @wrwlumpy

    When I hear these sorts of stories, I wonder if he would be better without pot, or worse?

    This has always been the problem for me with drugs.

    Even if they are doing something good they constitute an artificial baseline.

    One can never know how much of one’s behavior is attributable to an ingested substance, and how much not.

    I was just watching Mike Judge’s marvelous series of animentaries on music stars of the past. Tonight’s installment was about Waylon Jennings. Like Judge, I realized Jennings was a very influential performer when I was back in college and plugging coins in the juke box at Louise’s bar to play “I don’t think Hank done it this a’way.” But I always wondered what he would have been like without all the speed he took before he grew his hair and beard and played the outlaw role, and with probably even more junk and booze afterwards, too. He was just such a giant personality and talent that I have to think he would have been even better. But who knows? By the time he did clean up his health was so shot he was kind of a burned out husk.

    Regarding Bragg, I just have a hunch this is not about pot at all.

    A young man’s ego is such a fragile thing and it has so many chinks in it that one is unaware of at that age. I basically checked out for six months or a year during college, after a young woman dumped me and left town. I didn’t have to perform at a high level in a team sport. All I had to do was make grades. I was blessed with being able to make a 3.5-4.0 on cruise control with a hangover every morning. I just lowered the sheets about three quarters and limped along during the day, then drank myself silly at nights.I was just lucky I didn’t have a car accident. But then one day it lifted. I looked around and it was like a light switched back on. I went harder than I had ever gone before. Took 24 hours one semester just to see if I could do and kept partying while I did. Met more wonder women in one year than I had my entire life. Made a lot of new friends and absolutely broke down the intellectual walls that had imprisoned me even before I had the broken heart.

    I’m not saying Bragg had his heart broken. I’m just saying that the human heart and mind are very fragile at that age, despite being astonishingly robust after recovery.

    I hope Carlton Bragg feels the light go back on pretty soon. It is a marvelous feeling when it does. I swore I would never let it go out again until the final act, when I was 19 years old. I never have. If the girl that ripped my heart out is what kept my light on the rest of my life, then I owe her, but I don’t think it was her unnecessary cruelty that did it. I think I just had the light in their and it was waiting to go on. Whatever, I hope it goes on for Bragg. When it does it could take him away from the sacred wood forever. He could realize that the wood was never the right place for him in the first place. He could find something that makes him feel much more alive. Or he could realize that the wood is the place for him.

    Whatever…keep putting one foot in front of the other, Carlton. No matter how much it hurts. In fact, the more it hurts the more alive you are inside; that was what I learned. Persons with a great fire inside hurt epically when they get hurt. But man do they come back!!!

  • @jaybate-1-0 Given what went on with Bragg last season, pot reliance is the one item that connects the dots. This seems to further that theory. Either way, I wish he was still here and working toward being the player he obviously could have been. Self clearly showed him the door.

    Your bi-line there has me intrigued. I have long believed that it was Lyndon Johnson that was somehow behind Kennedy’s death, in concert with the CIA. The only true motive that made sense. I have never for one second believed that there was not a conspiracy, and have never once believed Oswald acted alone. It is even more intriguing that after 25 years where all of these agencies could prepare for the lawful release of the documents, all of a sudden, at the last minute, now supposedly we can’t. They obviously planned what just happened.

  • @dylans Nope. Other threads on this are still here.

  • Its a sad situation as the kid has talent, unfortunately the talent could not be developed into skill. Hopefully he will get back.

  • @BShark was the link about the 2008 championship team when you commented? I can’t for the life of me find 2 more threads about the champs.

  • dylans said:

    @BShark was the link about the 2008 championship team when you commented? I can’t for the life of me find 2 more threads about the champs.

    That thread was originally about the Bragg situation but it looks like @KUSTEVE edited it.

  • @BShark Gotcha. Much better topic, but apparently not stirring interest here at the moment.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Since so many players reputedly smoke pot frequently , what does pot reliance look like compared with frequent pot usage? If you were going to use pot reliance as the dot connector, this point seems crucial. You appear to be implying that some persons play well on pot, while others, like Bragg, underperform. Is that what you mean? It seems like a tricky distinction—almost like the bromide that some can handle their liquor and drive under the influence, while others cannot.

  • @jaybate-1-0 Right, I think Bragg is one of those folks that is highly dependent on weed. Some stories/rumors out there about his enjoyment of the substance. A bit like Greene. Personally, I think pot is a scourge much like alcohol. Lots of carnage to families and lives due to these substances. But some (most) can handle it fine and use it in a reasonable fashion. Some though have addictive personalities. If it’s something else with Bragg I’d be surprised.

  • I want to pursue this with you, because you and I share a distrust of ingested, mind altering substances, like alcohol and pot, but, in contrast to me, you seem to be able to recognize behaviors from televised athletic performances that signal one player is enhanced, or unaffected by pot, while another is adversely affected, or likes it too much. I just don’t see these distinctions on the floor on television. All I see is a guy that gained 40-60 pounds and played like he was totally unfamiliar with his body after the weight gain, somewhat reminiscent of Jeff Withey before they let him slim back down. THAT weight things seems apparent to me. But you see, and confidently, too, that pot explains the rapid decline in his abilities. When I consider Bragg and pot, my hypothetical assumption would be that he had been smoking it for years, and had played as well as other players reputedly have under its influence. I’m not doubting you here. I’m trying to learn what is the tell you are seeing. I’m getting older and it wouldn’t surprise me that I miss this sort of thing. Just trying to figure out the tell.

    FYI, I tried to use bold on the portions of your post below I responded to, and tried to fashion an arrow by my response.

    HighEliteMajor said:

    Right, I think Bragg is one of those folks that is highly dependent on weed.

    –>Did he appear to you to suddenly grow dependent during that summer before his last season? Or did it appear to you that this was a pre-KU issue that Self recruited him with believing he could help Bragg resolve?

    Some stories/rumors out there about his enjoyment of the substance.

    –>Anything in particular other than reputed stories relating to off-court issues involving him and Josh Jackson?

    Personally, I think pot is a scourge much like alcohol.

    –>I agree about alcohol and would expect something similar with pot when legalized and accepted the way alcohol is, but I have not yet read any research confirming this expectation.

    Thanks for weighting in and thanks in advance for any further insights you can share.

  • I hesitate to say this, but I heard rumors Bragg had an issue with pills too. I really hope they were just that.

  • @jaybate-1.0 well said dude, well said.

  • While there is some evidence that marijuana might have some beneficial effect for things like pain and nausea control for conditions such as those resulting from chemotherapy and also conditions such as anxiety and bi-polar disorder, there is absolutely no doubt that it affects the mental and physical characteristics negatively.

    Obviously different individuals will be affected differently, some more and some less, but the negative effect is undeniable. We have all seen people high on pot, does anyone believe that that individual’s mental and physical capabilities are enhanced? The answer is no, the “high” state results in a more “mellow” person with much slower mental and physical reactions and responses. Granted that the effect might be considerably less for am athlete in top physical form but evidence suggests that generally the effect of pot/marijuana will be negative with the only variable being the extent. The first link above describes in detail why people might think it is helping, but is really just changing perception, which might be fine for pain or anxiety management but not for athletic performance.

  • @jaybate-1-0 Initially, I do not think that I am “able to recognize behaviors from televised athletic performances that signal one player is enhanced, or unaffected by pot, while another is adversely affected, or likes it too much.” That appears to be a premise of your inquiry.

    What I think I do sometimes relatively effectively is take evidence, and reach a reasonable conclusion. Admittedly when you do not have all of the information, there is always varying degrees of speculation. Even someone that sees a video of a person being shot by another speculates to a decree because they cannot actually see the bullet. We take our experiences, the info we have, and then the result, and we reach speculative conclusion. Much like when you theorize or postulate. Puzzle pieces match up.

    And here, the puzzle pieces seem to fit. When I see what @FarmerJayhawk mentioned about pills, it’s not surprising that something else could be in the mix. We don’t know for sure if that’s true, of course. But one thing we do know is that folks that abuse marijuana many times move to more significant and harmful drugs. Would not be a huge leap of faith.

    When players step away, or someone takes a leave of absence, it could be many things. It could be cancer, it could be a dying grandma, etc. Many things.

    But we do have some pieces fitting together -1) Bong in the room, 2) Decreased performance (meaning, the guy got worse), 3) Self not playing him, 4) the transfer, 5) the “chatter” about the affinity for weed (which I heard from have a kid attending KU, from a professional colleague who had some “insight” shall we say, and the normal social media stuff), 6) stepping away from the game (leave of absence), 7) no explanation given for the leave of absence, which signals a personal struggle (vs. “leaving to attend to a family matter”, etc.).

    And yes, it is certainly possible that substance abuse issues manifest themselves at some point other than the exact initial point of abuse (your reference as to why it might have become more impactful after his freshman season). In fact, as the abuse and reliance deepens, the likelihood of the collapse increases.

    But I think we’re all smart enough to know that “weed” might not be it. It could be something else that precipitated his leave of absence, or a combination of factors. We just have zero information on other possibilities, which permits the arrows to more reasonably point to weed (substance abuse).

  • @HighEliteMajor


    Glad I wasn’t missing something.

    I have never met, nor read of, a pot user that suddenly became nonlinearly less functional only after several years of pot use.

    You mention pot as a drug leading to other drugs. Is your dot connecting suggesting other drugs to be at the root of his problems?

  • The question is whether Bragg has a personality that lends itself to addiction - be it pot, pills, alcohol, or something else. That is the danger for the young man, moreso than any argument we can have about the morality/danger of weed.

    There is a certain percentage of people that have addictive personalities. For those people, it is always a risk that they may become addicted, whether it is to a substance, an activity, etc. They are always chasing and relying on that high.

    I am concerned that Bragg may be one of those people, and I hope that he gets the help that he needs so that he doesn’t wind up as an alcoholic (whether functional or not), serial drug abuser, or otherwise. This isn’t really a basketball thing. This is this young man’s whole life we are talking about, even if he never takes another jumpshot or grabs another rebound.

  • @jaybate-1-0 I think you are presuming his use of marijuana previously. Even with that, your premise presupposes that use, abuse and addiction can’t progress and get worse. Folks that use more and more marijuana become detached and more interested in pot, than the balance of their life. Same with other substances. So no, I’m not using other drugs as the dot connector. I am saying that (as a possibility) his marijuana use, solely, could be the issue an that it got to a crisis or critical level.

    @justanotherfan Right on there. Excellent points. There are folks with those personalities and they are much different that those that are not.

  • Vin Baker, who made almost 50 million dollars playing basketball is now a barista at Starbucks. Pot (and also alcohol) was his downfall. He admits it.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Could it be that you are presuming pot is the issue and so setting the condition of this discourse fundamentally on that presumption?

    Have you (or I) adequately characterized and documented pot dependence, to make it sufficiently meaningful to Bragg’s case? Or anyone else’s? I’m not sure on reconsideration.

    In terms of medical science, pot dependence is reputedly quite unlike alcohol addiction, or heroin addiction. Many argue against it being an addictive substance at all. What does it mean to say pot dependence? Many none addictive issues, like massive weight gain, and weight gain supplements, are dots. Another dot is mental stress from a star confronting less than star success. Another dot is education and campus life waking a person up to a world full of more than basketball. These are REAL dots, not like reputed, vaguely defined pot dependence.

    Could pot dependence not be Bragg’s problem at all? If there were a significant chance pot weren’t his actual problem, but just an excuse for something else, would it be okay to “presume” and explore that possibility without suggesting there is something flawed about one presumption, but not with another?

    Could it be you are then compounding your original presumption by presuming another something that appears improbable? that a college basketball player that you presume to be pot dependent, what ever that exactly means in Bragg’s case, or at least somehow pot afflicted, is also presumed to have grown suddennly so, when pot usage among highschool basketball players from Bragg’s apparent socio-economic background is reputedly significant?

    Which should we presume? That Bragg grew suddenly pot dependent at KU, or grew so over time? One or the other happened, based on your presumption, and IMHO it matters, because in one case a pot free kid came to Kansas basketball culture and got suddenly pot dependent from the pot available in our basketball culture. In that case KU WOULD SEEM TO HAVE SOME MORAL/ETHICAL obligation to stand by him -and help him, because as you indicate some just are vulnerable to pot dependence/affliction, others are not. KU Leadership realizing that would seem to have some responsibility to help Bragg. If he could stay pot free, or pot independent in his home culture, but not at KU, then KU needs to clean up the pot, right? Alternatively, if the pot dependence/affliction came with him to KU basketball cultur then KU would seem to bear less responsibility.

    And here I am presuming that universities and their basketball programs should have some responsibility for the basketball pot culture they bring teenagers into. Not total, but some.

    When I entered into your chain of presumptions I tried to introduce more probability to one link of your chain of presumptions to make your dot connecting a little stronger. I believe I pushed your presumptive dot connecting toward greater, not lesser fit. But nothing is certain life but death, taxes and and at least some presumption in analytic discussions of presumed pot dependence.

    Rock Chalk!

    What do you think the odds are that a KU basketball player from Braggs background of playing the game

  • P.S.: Asserting it appears more likely for pot dependence to symptomize over time than suddenly is a logical inference qualified in terms of probability, not certainty, as based on my observations of other persons. You were apparently presuming I was doing otherwise. So: no I was not presuming at all on that count. My anecdotal survey may be unintentionally biased in sample, but presuming? Nope.

  • Whatever the cause, both former Jayhawks Bragg and C J Giles have turned out to be huge losses to the program. Both players gifted with super talent and gifted with the opportunity to play meaningful roles in a historically monumental site; but self destructive habits seem to have blitzed their potentials. For decades, Jayhawk Hoops has moved forward as a type of pressure cooker which elevates the lives of many while concurrently boiling a few others to a state of mush. I feel for those kids…and wonder: if I possessed such tremendous potential, would I have held up under such heat? Quite possibly I would not have done so. Maybe even the likes of a Josh Jackson might have crashed and burned if he had faced such intense KU Hoops Heat for 4 challenging seasons. Roy and Bill are two very hardy individuals, maintaining their dominance year after scorching year. Life in the KU Basketball Program offers up a very challenging test for the creme de la creme.

  • Y’all need to chill on the pot talk. It is an irrelevant topic, ESPECIALLY in the context of sports. You have to be naive if you think the majority pro athlete’s don’t smoke. I mean we’re talking about college right? The place you can get weed from any dorm, frat, apartment on campus. Do you really think that smoking hinders players success, the 08 champs would beg to differ.

    Times are changing, even the ol NBA commissioner gets it. Here’s the link if your curious.

  • Pierce was a huge pothead. Didn’t seem to hinder him, but maybe he could’ve been greater? Or maybe it leveled him out and allowed him to cope so he could be what he was?

  • @jaybate-1-0 This is really pretty easy. Think of it as a pie chart. When speculating on what is the reason for him taking a leave of absence, the biggest slice of pie on the chart is marijuana issues. It’s the info that we have. It’s much like investigating a crime. There may be additional info that flows our way. You ask, “Could pot dependence not be Bragg’s problem at all?” Of course. It could be something completely unrelated, as mentioned before. It could be a drug or drugs more significant. It’s all speculation. The speculative conclusions, again, are based on the info at hand. The speculation that it is something else has no facts to support that conclusion at this moment.

    Is it even disputed that folks that are potheads, alcoholics, addicted to meth, etc., as a group, are likely to have lower achievement that those that aren’t?

    @RockChalkRedlock There is a big difference between smoking (or drinking) and abuse/dependence. Your assumption is because it is not an issue for some, it might not be an issue for a few. Wildly simplistic. So Y’all need to chill on the irrelevant topic stuff.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    I would argue that the biggest slice of pie with Bragg could be emotional issues (i.e. depression). Maybe he smokes when he’s down because it eases his mind. Perhaps he struggles with anxiety. Those are things I don’t know. But I agree with @jaybate-1-0 that weed could be more of a symptom than the underlying problem.

    I talked about addiction initially because I know Bragg has been rumored to drink quite a bit sometimes. But even that could be symptomatic of underlying emotional issues.

    This country as a whole hasn’t done well with de-stigmatizing emotional health issues in a way that allows people to get help. One such issue could be addiction. In Bragg’s case, I do not know. For others, substance dependence is a coping mechanism (self medication). Again, with Bragg, this is all just guessing from the outside. If Bragg is taking his time away to get some help for something like that, I applaud the young man for recognizing the issue and getting some help. As much as we in society tend to associate mental health issues with weakness, it takes an incredible amount of strength to recognize and admit that struggle, and then get some help.

  • @justanotherfan I acknowledge it could very well be depression. However, when I talk about speculating on the biggest piece of the pie, I’m talking about using facts that we know. What information do you have at the moment that it is depression? There literally is none. Not to say that it might not be that, or that the speculation you suggest isn’t reasonable. I’m just talking the items we know. We do know a bong was found in his room. We do have significant chatter on the pot use. We do have a decline in performance. We do know that Self cut him loose (or, uh … he chose to leave).

    We’ve heard no chatter about him being depressed, wanting to return to home, etc. I would speculate that a depressed individual might want to go closer to home (Ohio), not farther (ASU). On other hand, home might be the issue. We don’t know.

    The reality is, as someone else mentioned, the answer is probably a combo of things. At the moment, as you mentioned, we’re guessing. My pie chart is just based on the bread crumbs we have so far.

    Regardless, we can all hope he’s ok and bounces back as good as ever.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    I agree with your analysis. This is one situation where the Occam’s Razor principle would seem applicable.

  • @RockChalkRedlock Read up on Vin Baker.

  • Ralster used to be here, but has dropped I guess, but he had some good things to say from a medical perspective of the detrimental effects of pot.

  • @HighEliteMajor Estimates range from, I believe, 30% to 75% of people habitually involved in substance abuse (drugs and alcohol) may be suffering from undiagnosed depression and engaged in “self-medication”.

  • @mayjay Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Makes sense though.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    We have all talked about how “happy” Bragg seemed even off the court, even as he struggled with his play. Yet his play was uneven and inconsistent. A bong was found in his room. Rumors of drug use and some heavy drinking.

    He leaves school, but rather than return home, he goes further away, both from home and from where he was.

    When you look at the facts through this lens, that looks more like a potential mental health issue (anxiety? depression?) than substance abuse or dependency.

    How many people that “looked” happy turned out to be depressed, anxious or stressed behind closed doors?

  • @justanotherfan Ok … I’m not understanding how someone can see more evidence of something when no evidence of something exists. Could it be a mental health issue? Again, sure. But even in what you say the only real evidence is substance abuse. How many people looked happy and are happy?

  • @HighEliteMajor

    I’m taking everything we know into account.

    I’ve talked to mental health professionals over the last few years. One of the things they say is that we often look at the symptom (in Bragg’s case, substance use and possible substance abuse) and conclude that the symptom is the problem. We treat the symptom (substance use and abuse) through AA or other programs, but never deal with the root problem.

    That often leads to a person that was previously coping through alcohol or drugs becoming unstable, and then people wonder why this person who “just got sober and had things looking up” had everything suddenly fall apart. It’s because the underlying issue (depression, anxiety, etc.) was never addressed. Just the thing that stuck out that everyone could see.

    This knowledge has made me try to be much more aware of that, particularly in an industry (in my case, the legal field) where substance abuse is high and often masks underlying problems. We have to de-stigmatize mental health issues. It’s socially okay to go and get help for drug or alcohol use and abuse, but we poke fun at people that need help for depression, stress, anxiety, etc. That has to change.

    Like I said before, I don’t know specifics on Bragg’s situation, but I see signs that suggest he may have some underlying issues that he is masking with drugs and drinking. Should he get help with the drugs and drinking? Of course! But he also needs help with any underlying issues he may have to be sure that the problems are not multiplied when he gets rid of his coping mechanism but feels the same way.

  • Here’s a guy who says he’s used substances since he was in 7th grade, made his way to the pros, and it all caught up with him (@jaybate-1-0 ). No mental illness, depression, etc. was noted. (@justanotherfan).

  • @HighEliteMajor @justanotherfan

    For more information and thoughts regarding substance abuse, addiction, the complex factors involved in this issue, AND in the context of Josh Gordon’s history, you both may wish to read an article dating from last year. It is written by someone with years of experience in the field.

  • Good grief, I’m shocked this thread is still alive. You don’t know shit, and it’s NOT YOUR PROBLEM, people.