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Kansas issues response to NCAA Allegations

Kansas calls the NCAA allegations “unprecedented and novel theories.”

NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Kansas Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

At approximately 7 PM central time on Thursday evening, March 5, Kansas published its official response to the NCAA’s Amended Notice of Allegations which were leveled at the University back on January 30, 2020. (The original notice was received back on September 23, 2019. We talked about that here.)

You can read KU’s entire response to the NCAA here. There’s a cover letter, 149 pages from Kansas Athletics, 77 pages from Bill Self, and 75 pages from Kurtis Townsend.

I haven’t read through it all yet, but we need a place to discuss it, so here are the highlights courtesy of the cover page:

Look, college basketball (and football) players getting paid has been the worst kept secret in sports for the last 30 years, maybe longer. It’s ridiculous to pretend it isn’t happening; it’s equally ridiculous to pretend your team doesn’t do it too (K-State fans). Everyone is guilty to some degree. What we don’t know and haven’t known is who knew what, and who received what.

In a nutshell, Kansas refutes every charge pertaining to Bill Self and the Men’s Basketball Program while accepting responsibility for the football violations, which it blames on David Beaty.

The University says that the allegations against the basketball program set the “unprecedented” and “novel” theories that:

  1. A corporate sponsor of an athletic program, and most if not all of their employees, is a representative of the institution (i.e., the University), and therefore a booster
  2. A head coach becomes representative of an institution for life (in this case, Larry Brown)

KU also forcefully asserts that Bill Self had no knowledge of rules violations or “illicit conduct” by Adidas or its employees. KU also vigorously denies the Failure to Monitor charge, saying that Kansas is nationally recognized by its peers for its strong compliance program and that Bill Self has continually promoted “an atmosphere of compliance.”

The good news is that Kansas is going to fight this, which seems to be the best way to avoid sanctions, right, North Carolina? (Frankly, I’m just happy it wasn’t 300 pages of Jeff Long apologizing over and over again.)

For more breakdown, I would recommend the @JayhawkTalk thread on this, and I’m sure most of the beat writers will have (or already have) articles coming out on their various sites.

As for what happens next, the NCAA enforcement committee now has 60 days to file a reply and “statement of the case.” (By my math, that’s Monday, May 4, 2020.) Some time after that, a hearing date will be set with the NCAA committee on infractions. That’s when the university will present its case; the NCAA ruling follows that hearing. Those rulings sometimes take months to be released after the hearing, plus, Kansas can appeal any penalties that are assessed.

We likely won’t see this resolved until this summer, and possibly into the next school year if things really drag out.