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KU Seeks to Separate Basketball, Football Cases

Jason Scott

The University of Kansas is seeking to separate infractions cases against the school’s men’s basketball and football programs. 

ESPN reports that in a response to the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions referral to the Independent Accountability Resolution Process, the school argued that the allegations made against the football program be adjudicated through the Committee on Infractions, and that only the basketball portion of the allegations should be sent to the IARP.

In sum, the school’s programs were charged with five Level I violations, as well as two Level II violations and a single Level III violation. The most severe Level I violations accuse the basketball program of a lack of institutional control — the penalty for which could result in head coach Bill Self being hit with a show-cause order and a season-long suspension. The lower level violations against the football program came under previous head coach David Beaty.

"Here, it is clear that there is a significant difference between allegations involving men's basketball and those involving football,” the school said in its response. “Specifically, the football allegations were self-reported, the institution and enforcement staff substantially agree on all aspects of the football allegations, the allegations involve only Level II and Level III violations, and the football allegations are not contemporaneous with the men's basketball allegations."

The basketball allegations stem from apparel sponsor Adidas funneling money to the families and representatives of high-profile recruits as a way to get them to sign with the school or other Adidas-sponsored programs. Self has disputed each of the Level I allegations, and denied that he should have known about the scheme. 

Carol Cartwright, the chair of the COI, said that it’s important for the basketball allegations to be adjudicated appropriately. 

“The case involves one of the premier men's basketball programs in the country, one of the winningest head coaches in Division I men's basketball history who is in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and alleged violations that are central to a federal lawsuit," Cartwright wrote on May 18. "Few cases have so much at stake. The stakes are particularly high for the Kansas men's basketball program. The Level I allegations include an illicit recruiting scheme, other recruiting violations, a head coach responsibility violation and lack of institutional control.”

"The enforcement staff also identified a prevalence of aggravating factors for Kansas, Self and [KU basketball assistant Kurtis] Townsend. If a hearing panel concludes that violations occurred, the penalties may be significant." 

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