NCAA hits Kansas, Self with major-violation charges

Kansas received a notice of allegations from the NCAA on Monday citing major violations in the men’s basketball program and lesser violations regarding the football program.

Jayhawks men’s basketball coach Bill Self was charged with head coach responsibility violations. The school was charged with lack of institutional control. Three Level 1 violations — the most severe under NCAA rules — are alleged against the men’s basketball team, and the football team faces Level II allegations.

The university responded in a statement that it “will fiercely dispute” the charges.

Self, who won an NCAA title at the school in 2008 among his three Final Four seasons, could face an NCAA suspension of one season or more.

Self replied in a statement, “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 … In its haste and attempt to regain control, the enforcement staff has created a false narrative regarding me and our basketball program.

“The narrative is based on innuendo, half-truths, misimpressions and mischaracterizations … I will strenuously defend myself and the program, but I will respect the process and will not speak to the details of the case.”

The Jayhawks were among the schools that were mentioned in the FBI’s investigation into corruption in the sport that led to the arrest of 10 people, including four assistant coaches, in September 2017.

Stan Wilcox, the NCAA executive vice president for regulatory affairs, said during the summer that at least six schools would receive notice of allegations.

Kansas was among the schools associated with Adidas that came under scrutiny during the federal investigation.

Former Adidas consultant T.J. Gassnola testified that he made payments of $90,000 to the mother of former Kansas player Billy Preston.

Gassnola also admitted two payments totaling $22,500 were made from Adidas to Silvio De Sousa, a current Kansas player who was initially suspended for two seasons. Kansas appealed the second season penalty and the NCAA recently ruled De Sousa is eligible to play this season.

Gassnola avoided prison time at his sentencing date on Sept. 10 due to his cooperation with authorities. He received one year of supervised release, two months of home confinement and a $100 fine, according to reports.

During trial last October, an FBI wiretap was introduced in which Kansas assistant Kurtis Townsend and Adidas consultant Merl Code were heard discussing what was needed for highly sought recruit Zion Williamson to sign with the Jayhawks. Williamson later chose Duke.

Kansas added in its statement Monday, in part, “The university emphasizes that it emphatically rejects the assertion that Adidas and Adidas employees and associates were boosters and agents of the University (as defined by NCAA legislation) during the period of the alleged violations and therefore acting on the university’s behalf when they engaged in alleged violations of NCAA bylaws.

“As for the allegations regarding Head Men’s Basketball Coach Bill Self, voluminous evidence demonstrates uncontestably that he did, in fact, promote an atmosphere of compliance and fully monitor his staff. The university firmly and fully supports Coach Self and his staff.

“Regarding the self-reported football violations, the university’s monitoring systems worked to identify the issues, and KU self-reported violations to the NCAA related to the conduct of two members of the previous coaching staff. Those involved in the football violations are no longer associated with the university.”

Before Monday, North Carolina State was the only school to have received a notice of allegations from the NCAA related to the FBI’s look into corruption.

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