NCAA Charges Kansas with Lack of Institutional Control and More Allegations

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 23, 2019

Kansas coach Bill Self reacts during the first half of the team's second-round game against Auburn in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Saturday, March 23, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Jeff Swinger)
Jeff Swinger/Associated Press

One of the nation's best men's college basketball programs is facing serious charges from the NCAA that could result in significant penalties. 

As first reported by Pat Forde, Pete Thamel and Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports, the NCAA issued a notice of allegations to the University of Kansas on Monday. The men's basketball program was charged with three Level 1 violations and lack of institutional control.

What's more, Bill Self is facing a head coach responsibility charge.

The men's basketball program wasn't the only one impacted, as the football team was charged with less-serious Level 2 violations that include allowing an additional coach to work during practice. 

Director of Athletics Jeff Long released a statement defending Self:

"Obviously, we are disappointed in the allegations leveled against our men's basketball program as well as our self-reported violations from the previous football staff. We strongly disagree with the allegations regarding men's basketball. We fully support Coach Self and his staff, and we will vigorously defend the allegations against him and our University. As for the football violations, we fully met the requirements and our responsibility to the NCAA by self-reporting the violations when our compliance procedures uncovered the issues. I am confident in our process to respond to the allegations and look forward to resolving this matter."

Meanwhile, Self suggested Kansas is merely a scapegoat for the NCAA while denying the allegations:

“By the NCAA's own admission through its public statements early this summer, it's no secret that there is tremendous pressure on the NCAA to respond to the federal court proceedings involving college basketball. Compelled to reassure member institutions and the general public that it can police its member institutions, the NCAA enforcement staff has responded in an unnecessarily aggressive manner in submitting today's unsubstantiated Notice of Allegations, and I, as well as the University, will vigorously dispute what has been alleged."

Given Kansas' status as a blue-blood basketball program and annual national championship contender, any penalties such as postseason bans or loss of scholarships would mark the most significant on-court development in the FBI's investigation into college basketball corruption.

The Yahoo report noted the recruiting of Billy Preston and Silvio De Sousa is directly tied into the Level 1 violations because Adidas consultant T.J. Gassnola testified he paid De Sousa's guardian $2,500. Testimony and documents also revealed Gassnola "conspired to illicitly funnel approximately at least $90,000" to Preston's mother.

What's more, evidence that was presented includes text messages between Self and Gassnola in which the head coach discusses Adidas helping the Jayhawks land recruits. Self even said in one of his text messages: "That's how (it) works. At UNC and Duke." 

Jesse Newell and Steve Vockrodt of the Kansas City Star summarized the process that led to this notice of allegations, pointing out NCAA vice president of regulatory affairs Stan Wilcox said in June at least six schools would receive notice of Level 1 violations. North Carolina State—another Adidas school—received one on July 10 that featured two Level 1 violations.

As Newell and Vockrodt described, it will likely be several months at the earliest until Kansas is punished.

The school has 90 days to respond to this notice, and an NCAA enforcement committee then has 60 days to reply to that response. After that process, there is a hearing with the NCAA committee on infractions that precedes a deliberation period before there is a ruling, which the school can also appeal.

As for the football allegations, Chris Vannini of The Athletic pointed out former head coach David Beaty is suing the school for his buyout after he was fired for cause. He alleged Kansas was seeking violations to justify the firing.

The Yahoo report noted the football allegations occurred under Beaty and not current head coach Les Miles.

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