The University of Kansas men’s basketball team won its third national championship Monday night. We can’t say there were any great legal issues at stake, but as a KU alum, I decided to call James P. Pottorff, Jr., the university’s general counsel, to talk about the game.
Where were you for the game?
I was in San Antonio.
Well no, I wouldn’t say great seats. They were seats that allowed us to enjoy the atmosphere. It was just a tremendous, unbelievable game.
Obviously that would have to be the Mario Chalmers shot that put it into overtime.
How did you get the job as GC?
I served as the deputy general counsel at the United States MilitaryAcademy at West Point for three years as part of a career in the Army JAG Corps. I’m a KU Law grad. My wife went to law school with me. She told me, “When we’re done with the Army, we’re going back to Lawrence, one way or the other.” She just loved the town. So did I. When I retired [from the Army], I came here.
Classes at KU were canceled on Tuesday to allow students to celebrate. Did you have to sign off on that decision?
Absolutely not. That’s under the purview of the chancellor.
What do you think the win means for the university?We are ecstatic here. This is a tremendous year that we’ve had. It willtranslate into, I think, more support for the university, more student interest from around the country, and overall a better atmosphere.
Were there any reported problems during the celebration?
By all accounts, the celebrations here in Lawrence and on the university campus were very good. We were very pleased that we celebrated responsibly.
Did any liability issues arise?
None that I’m aware of. I think people respected the property of theuniversity and the city.