NCAA Enforcement Staff Calls Alleged Kansas NCAA Violations “Egregious” and “Severe”

By Kevin Harrish on May 8, 2020 at 10:14 am
Bill Self.

Kansas' basketball program could be in some deep trouble.

On Thursday afternoon, the program was charged with five Level I NCAA violations – the most serious – including a lack of institutional control. The NCAA's enforcement staff called the violations “egregious” and “severe” rules violations that could “significantly undermine and threaten the NCAA Collegiate Model."

The football program was also hit with two Level II violations and one Level III infraction, but the basketball sanctions are much more severe, potentially warranting a show-cause order and a one-year suspension for Self.

"While the football allegations involve alleged Level II and III violations, which are serious alleged violations, there can be no doubt the men's basketball allegations are egregious, severe and are the kind that significantly undermine and threaten the NCAA Collegiate Model," the NCAA enforcement staff wrote in its reply, according to ESPN. "The institution secured significant recruiting and competitive advantages by committing alleged Level I men's basketball violations. The institution, in taking its defiant posture in the case, is indifferent to how its alleged violations may have adversely impacted other NCAA institutions who acted in compliance with NCAA legislation."

The staff alleges that head coach Bill Self and assistant Kurtis Townsend “embraced, welcomed and encouraged” Adidas employees to help sway the decisions of high profile prospects, including former five-star prospects Billy Preston and Deandre Ayton as well as four-star forward Silvio De Sousa.

Adidas executives and consultants are accused of facilitating $90,000 to Preston's mother, $20,000 to De Sousa's guardian, and 15,000 to Ayton's mother.

Kansas officials, Self and Townshend are disputing the allegations, but the NCAA says the infractions aren't in dispute, just who bares responsibility.

"Regarding the men's basketball allegations, very few facts are in dispute," the NCAA reply said, according to ESPN. "The institution does not dispute that Adidas and its employee and consultant provided at least $100,000 to families of three men's basketball student-athletes the institution was recruiting. Bill Self, head men's basketball coach, and Kurtis Townsend, assistant men's basketball coach, also do not dispute many of the facts related to Adidas and its representatives having contact with prospects, and that they regularly communicated with Adidas representatives about their recruitment of prospects.

"However, where the parties diverge from the NCAA enforcement staff is on the key issue of responsibility for this conduct. They assert that Adidas and four of its employees or consultants are not representatives of the institution's athletics interests, arguing the enforcement staff's analysis is novel, unprecedented and never previously contemplated by the NCAA membership."

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