Nov. 30, 2004

Contact: Lisa Eitner, Oread Books, (785) 864-4431.

Authors to sign book celebrating 50 years of KU basketball in Allen Fieldhouse

LAWRENCE -- Authors Doug Vance and Jeff Bollig will appear Saturday at Oread Books in the Kansas Union at the University of Kansas to sign copies of their new book, "Beware of the Phog: 50 Years of Allen Fieldhouse."

The event, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, is free and open to the public. It also will include a special appearance by Mary Burchill, author of the recent booklet "A Fan's Guide to KU Men's Basketball in Allen Fieldhouse."

"Beware of the Phog," published by Sports Publishing LLC, chronicles the history of the massive limestone fieldhouse that houses KU basketball. Dedicated almost 50 years ago on March 1, 1955, it was the largest campus arena in the nation at the time.

The inventor of the game of basketball, Dr. James Naismith, introduced to KU both the sport and his most prized pupil, Forrest C. “Phog” Allen, in the early 1900s. It was Allen, known as the “Father of Basketball Coaching,” who elevated the sport to practically a religion among the Jayhawk faithful. When the new arena was built to satisfy burgeoning fan support, it was named in honor of Allen.

The book, an official KU publication, features an introduction by KU Athletics Director Lew Perkins, a foreword by Jayhawk greats and an afterword by KU men's basketball coach Bill Self. "Beware of the Phog" is a hardcover book with 160 color photos and an audio CD narrated by KU announcers Bob Davis and Max Falkenstien. It is available in a regular edition, a leather-bound limited edition with a signature by a KU player or coach, and a leather-bound collector's edition with gilded pages, multiple signatures, a holding case and an invitation to the 50th anniversary party on the fieldhouse floor.

Doug Vance, of Lawrence, worked for 20 years in Allen Fieldhouse as assistant athletics director for media relations. He also served as associate athletics director for communications. Vance collaborated with Falkenstien to write "Max and the Jayhawks." Co-author Jeff Bollig is director of communications for the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, based in Lawrence. He lives in Overland Park.

Mary Burchill, a Lawrence resident and longtime KU basketball fan, has compiled an account of what happens inside Allen Fieldhouse on game days. Burchill's detailed descriptions of the ongoing events and living traditions associated with Jayhawk basketball are fond reminders to fans who have attended games in the historic fieldhouse, and will allow those who have not had that privilege to imagine it fully.

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