Kansas suspends coach Bill Self for four games, self-imposes recruiting restrictions amid ongoing investigation

Kansas suspends coach Bill Self for four games, self-imposes recruiting restrictions amid ongoing investigation

Kansas imposed four-game suspensions on coach Bill Self and senior assistant Kurtis Townsend to start the season in response to the NCAA’s ongoing investigation into potential wrongdoing by its top two coaches, a announced the school on Wednesday. The Kansas investigation, which has yet to be concluded as one of the few ongoing cases tried in the IARP process, began in 2017.

Self and Townsend were both kept off the road by Kansas during the June and July live recruiting period as the NCAA’s investigation into the program dragged on, a source said. Matt Norlander of CBS Sports during the summer. This may have been the school’s first self-imposed sanction as part of a collaborative effort with the NCAA to finalize the investigation, although several other KU coaches are still on the road to recruiting at the during the same period.

The suspensions are just a sliver of some of the self-imposed sanctions the school has announced as its case moves closer to resolution. In addition to keeping Self and Townsend off the road earlier this year, they also included the following:

  • The reduction of four official visits during this academic year and in 2023-24.
  • The reduction of three scholarships in total in men’s basketball; to be spread over the next three years.
  • The implementation of a six-week ban on recruitment communications, a six-week ban on unofficial visits, and a thirteen-day reduction in the number of recruitment days allowed during the year calendar 2022-23.
  • No official visits for 2022 Late Night in the Phog.

The NCAA investigation into Kansas began in 2017 after the FBI investigation into college basketball bribery and corruption ensnared the Jayhawks. KU received its Notice of Allegations from the NCAA in September 2019 which included several Level I violations – the most severe of NCAA regulations – which were related to recruiting irregularities, a lack of institutional control and an accusation of head coaching liability brought against Self.

“We hope these tough self-imposed penalties help close the deal,” Kansas athletic director Travis Goff said in a statement. “Until then, our focus will continue to be on supporting our outstanding student-athletes and coaches in men’s basketball. Assistant Coach Norm Roberts will serve as the interim head coach for the first four games. confidentiality related to the breach cases, we are unable to comment in depth until there is a full resolution of this matter.”

Self and Townsend missing the No. 5 Jayhawks’ first four games of the season would keep them out of contests against Nebraska Omaha on Nov. 7, North Dakota State on Nov. 10, No. 7 Duke in the Champions Classic on November 15 and southern Utah on November 18. Their first game back in action is Nov. 23 in the Battle 4 Atlantis vs. NC State.

1. Little confession of *a little* guilt?

In the original federal indictment against Kansas, in which prosecutors presented arguments that an Adidas representative agreed to pay money to the family of a Kansas recruit to induce their enlistment, Kansas went so far as to not only deny wrongdoing, but suggested that this was the victim in the case.

“Earlier today, we learned that the University of Kansas is named as a victim in a federal indictment,” KU said in a 2018 statement. “The indictment does not suggest any wrongdoing. by the university, its coaches or staff. We will fully cooperate with investigators in this matter. Because this is an active investigation, it is not appropriate for us to comment further. for the moment.”

If Kansas were really the victim — a silly argument to begin with given that they undoubtedly benefited athletically from such an alleged arrangement — then it’s hard to imagine KU would capitulate and impose any kind of punishment on themselves. he felt his case. was strong enough to win. It’s not a technical admission of wrongdoing, of course, but it does appear to be a negotiated midpoint that could appease the IARP and potentially allow the school, Self, and Townsend to avoid harsher punishment. .

Which brings us to…

2. Aim to avoid the playoff ban

Oklahoma State had a rogue aide who got caught up in the FBI scandal and pleaded guilty to accepting around $20,000 in bribery money to influence student-athletes by directing them to certain financial advisers. The OSU fired the assistant, Lamont Evans, after hearing this news. But the damage done — in addition to Evans’ refusal to cooperate with NCAA investigators after his dismissal, which was apparently an aggravating factor in OSU’s case — led the NCAA to impose a ban after -season against the program in addition to severe recruiting penalties and loss of scholarships. Kansas, however, despite five (5!) Level I violations, seems on track to avoid such a fate.

KU’s case is being tried by the IARP, the special committee formed only for complex cases in the wake of the FBI scandal. OSU was not. But the belief in the industry is that Kansas’ self-imposed sanctions, like keeping Self and Townsend off the road and the others announced Wednesday, could help them avoid a postseason ban. If this does indeed come to pass – the IARP’s sanctioning timeline remains unclear – it would give the defending national champions the chance to defend their title in 2022-23.

3. Bruce Weber can finally get his ears down

It is possible that the two least discussed topics and The most hilarious storyline of the 2021-22 season was Kansas State coach Bruce Weber’s adamant public refusal to cut his hair until schools faced the heat of the scandal. FBI, including and especially its interstate rival, Kansas, be punished for its irregularities in the NCAA case.

Weber was fired after the end of the season, so the storyline kinda died out. But in March, when his hair was rapidly spiraling out of control, he took a stand by bragging that he ran a clean program while giving a little nudge to others who (allegedly) didn’t. This included a not-so-veiled jab at KU, who at the time were headed for a 1-seeded on their way to ultimately winning the NCAA Tournament.

“We did it the right way,” Weber said. “We’ve done it with our guys graduating. I’m on the NCAA ethics committee. And at the meetings I was told they were going to deal with the FBI people. So I told someone, ‘I’m gonna grow my hair out until something happens. Obviously it’s still growing. That’s the sad part of our business. Lon Kruger told me said the other day, think of all the FBI guys. They’re all in the NCAA tournament except one. I’m just proud of what I did.”

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