Thursday, December 1, 1983
After more than 20 months, it's finally over.
The NCAA concluded its lengthy and heavily publicized investigation of Kansas University's athletic recruiting practices on Wednesday evening by announcing what the Journal-World reported more than two weeks ago - a two-year probation for football with just one year of sanctions.
In a news release issued to the wire services in Kansas City, the NCAA said Kansas will not be eligible for a postseason football appearance following the 1984 football season, and that the Jayhawks may not appear on television that year.
The NCAA noted that none of the athletic department staff members involved in what it called "significant violations" remained at the university.
However, it said a former assistant football coach - who was not named - must remain seperated "from any involvement in the university's intercollegiate athletics program for a period of three years beginning Nov. 21, 1983."
Violations cited in the release included offering large amounts of money and other benefits to prospective players, providing prospects with expense-paid visits to the campus, providing employment to athletes and filing false statements that Kansas was in compliance with NCAA rules.
More than 30 violations were detailed in the six-page report.
"In considering this case, the committee's primary concern was the recruiting approach utilized by certain former members of the university's coaching staff," Frank J. Remington, chairman of the NCAA Infractions Committee, said in the release.
"Specifically," Remington added, "the statements reportedly made by these coaches while recruiting certain prospective student-athletes were found by the committee to have caused the prospects reasonably to believe that they would be provided certain improper financial benefits if they attended the University of Kansas."
Considering the infractions cited, the penalty could have been much harsher.
However, it's believed the NCAA Infractions Committee took into account the fact that most of the principals in the case are no longer at Kansas. The fact that KU's football program has not been successful in recent years also may have been a mitigating factor.
David Berst, director of enforcement for the NCAA, told the Kansas City Times: "You can't just devastate a program to prove that the NCAA is tougher than an institution. I'd say KU thinks that it's hurt right now, and I think they were hurt before the penalty was instituted."
Meanwhile, Kansas Chancellor Gene Budig and Athletic Director Monte Johnson issued a joint statement about the NCAA penalty through the school's sports information office.
"The university has accepted the findings and recommendation for a penalty of the NCAA Committee on Infractions," the statement said. "The months during which this matter has been pending have been difficult ones for members of the university community and our alumni and friends interested in our athletic program. We appreciate the continued interest and support.
"We are committed to operating our athletic program in compliance with the Big Eight Conference and NCAA rules. We have undertaken additional efforts within the athletic department to ensure compliance with those rules."
Neither the NCAA nor the university would name the former assistant coach who cannot be involved with Kansas football recruiting through November of 1986.
The name of former offensive coordinator John Hadl has been linked in published reports to the NCAA investigation, although he has continually denied being involved in any wrongdoing.
Hadl, who was a kU aide from the 1978 through 1981 seasons under both Bud Moore and Don Fambrough, resigned in April of 1982 - a month after Kansas received word of a preliminary NCAA probe.
Hadl is now quarterbacks and receivers coach with the Denver Broncos of the National Football League. Contacted in Denver, Hadl said he did not know if he were the unnamed former assistant coach who must sever his ties with Kansas, adding that the NCAA " : talked to a lot of people, and I want to see who they are talking about." He declined further comment.
Hadl, Fambrough, and three other former Kansas assistant coaches - Mike Ackerley, Don McLeary and Ivy Williams - appeared before the infractions committee during a day-long meeting on Oct. 28.