KU and UK are synonymous
KU stands for the University of Kansas (*), one of the top collegiate basketball programs of all time. They have a rich tradition and have had some of the greatest names in the game, including coaches Dr. James Naismith and Phog Allen and player Wilt Chamberlain. They play in Phog Allen Fieldhouse, one of the most intimidating places to play in the country. Currently, they are a perennial contender for the National Championship, led by their excellent coach Roy Williams.
UK stands for the University of Kentucky, one of the top collegiate basketball programs of all time. They have a rich tradition and have had some of the greatest names in the game including coach Adolph Rupp and player Dan Issel. They play in Rupp Arena, one of the most intimidating places to play in the country. Currently, they are a perennial contender for the National Championship, led by their excellent coach Tubby Smith.
Never get these confused !!!
To confuse you a little, Adolph Rupp was a player for KU
Check out Kentucky's record against Kansas.
(*) some may then ask why does the University of Kansas call themselves 'KU' and not 'UK' ? That a fair question, and one which many others have wondered too. After seaching through places like dejanews to no avail, I decided to go directly to the source. Here's the best answer I could find to date:
Hi Marc and Jon -- I received printed copies of two e-mail questions. I'm assuming somebody is giving this to me to answer, which is fine, but if anybody else has already replied, and our answers differ, then ....... you be the judge. Anyway, both questions, from Mr. Scott and Mr. Ellison, are basically the same, so I'll do my best to answer: And the answer is: Dunno. The truth is, KU essentially came to be the traditional shorthand reference to the University of Kansas sometime in the late 19th century. I've certainly seen it in archival documents that far back. My personal (unsubstiated) hunch is that it simply was easier to make songs and rhymes with KU than UK; back then, every class, for instance, made up a class song. The newspapers ran regular poetry. There was lots of rhyming, singing, stuff like that going on, and for whatever reason, "good ol' K. U." (usually with periods and the space) caught on. And in any event, once the students, faculty and alumni reached the unofficial concensus on "Rock Chalk, Jayhawk,Go KU!" the matter was settled. I don't think it has anything to do with the University of Kentucky's use of UK. There is also some disagreement about what the exact name of the school is, as written in Latin on the University seal. Some contend it says "Kansas University," and therefore is the source of KU; others say it's impossible to truly make that distinction in the translation. I know and respect scholars on both sides of the argument, and don't know any Latin, so I leave it at: Maybe, maybe not. At any rate, University of Kansas is the official name of the University, it always has been the official name, and KU is the accepted shorthand reference, and origins of the shorthand reference would be anecdotal at best -- except I can assure you it has nothing to do with Kentucky. Mr. Ellison, you are correct in pointing out the similar usage by Mizzou, CU, NU and OU ... Seems to be a typical usage by central-region state flagship universities. But again, the exact answer to "why" is probably unknowable. I can tell you this question has bounced around for a very long time, and I've never heard an authoritative answer any more specific than what I've shared here. Hope this helps. Thanks for writing. Cheers --- Chris Lazzarino, managing editor Chris Lazzarino Managing editor Kansas Alumni magazine 1266 Oread Ave. Lawrence, KS 66044
Return to Kentucky Wildcat Basketball Page.