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Monday, August 31, 2015

Bill Self says he’s ‘confident’ freshman Diallo will be cleared to play this season

KU coach is also 'nervous because we don't know' status of 6-9 forward who creates lazer-fast pace on court

Cheick Diallo, a 6-foot-9 senior center from Our Savior New American High in Centereach, New York, poses for a publicity photo prior to the McDonald's All-American Game. Diallo on Tuesday, April 28, 2015, committed to Kansas University

Cheick Diallo, a 6-foot-9 senior center from Our Savior New American High in Centereach, New York, poses for a publicity photo prior to the McDonald's All-American Game. Diallo on Tuesday, April 28, 2015, committed to Kansas University

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Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self said on Monday he’s “confident” that 6-foot-9 freshman forward Cheick Diallo will ultimately be cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center and compete for the Jayhawks during the upcoming season.

As to when the word will come down ... “I have no idea,” Self said at his Boy Scouts benefit golf tournament at Lawrence Country Club.

“The thing about it is ... it’s been mis-reported a lot — that there’s been good news, bad news. There hasn’t been any news because the NCAA hasn’t told us no on Cheick. They haven’t told us yes. But also we haven’t wanted them to tell us anything yet, either, because I think it’s nice to see how things play out with other kids who went to that school so we have a better angle of what we’re trying to address, than just going in there cold saying, ‘Here’s your stuff, make a determination.’’’

The NCAA has reportedly been looking into Diallo’s alma mater — Our Savior New American in Centereach, New York — to see if certain classes will be accepted as core curriculum. Recently, Oklahoma State had a player from Our Savior New American be deemed eligible for participation.

“We want to know what all classes counted for other kids, too,” Self said. “Nothing’s negative. It’s nervous because we don’t know. ... We should be getting some answers here soon that will give us an idea if there’s anything we need to do past that (perhaps submit additional materials for consideration). I’m confident. I know with others (players) we’ve had and other schools have had guys that it takes time. This is certainly one that is in no fault of his. He (Diallo) goes to school for three and a half years and finds out after he graduates, ‘Hey we could have a potential problem.’ Hopefully it could be rectified.”

Asked why it’s taking so long to determine Diallo’s eligibility, Self said: “I think it’s a combination of things. I think there is a backlog of cases. But it’s not black and white. When the Clearinghouse or whatever makes a determination they want to look into a school, they are looking into the school not the individual so now ... the next step after they determine what they are going do with the school, then you’ve got to determine what they are going to do with the individual. In this particular case we feel confident. I do.

“We’ve had some cases, Ben (McLemore, ineligible freshman year) primarily was a situation in which they made the right decision. No question they did based on the information we had afterwards. I hate that because we could have had Ben on that 2012 team which would have been pretty special.

“The correct decision with Cheick ... I mean there’s been nothing that’s gone on that is anything other than him doing exactly what people have told him to do, what the school has told him to do. Certainly not knowing there’s any potential issues ... makes it where it's kind of interesting. Other kids are getting cleared from that school, too. They just haven’t made a determination on Cheick because they probably haven’t had his stuff (academic materials) quite as long as they’ve had the other kids.”

Diallo has been faring well at workouts, Self said.

“We’ve never had a big guy that could run like this,” Self said. “It’d be nice to have a mindset to play at a much faster tempo than we have in the past ... Cheick forces a pace that nobody has ever forced here. He can create pace better than any point guard we’ve ever had here. Just because the dude from rim to rim is as good as I’ve seen. I didn’t say the best offensive player, but running rim to rim I think he’ll drag everybody along with him. I also think it forces us to play at a faster pace when your big guys run like that.”

Self said newcomers Lagerald Vick, Carlton Bragg have “done well,” “but I’ve been most excited about Dwight Coleby (6-9 Ole Miss transfer) and Cheick because I haven’t seen them and after seeing them limited the first week they’ve both impressed me quite a bit.”

Comments

Phil Leister 6 years ago

Of all the words Bill spewed out, I'm glad "confident" was one of them. He speaks like a true politician.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years ago

Diallo went to a K-12 Lutheran school. Even though he didn't go to school there until his final three years, I can't see what could possibly be holding up his eligibility. He didn't go to one of the prep schools that usually cause the eligibility questions so I'm at a loss on why this is taking so long.

Dale Rogers 6 years ago

I still think if a student athlete meets the entrance criteria for the university they should be considered eligible for all sports activities until the NCAA declares then ineligible. At that point they would no longer be allowed to play and there would be no penalty for them having played in games up to that point. Just my opinion but it seems it would not be so unfair to those students who were penalized while waiting, only to find they are eligible after all. Something has to be done. The current method is unfair to the student athlete as well as the team and the university.

Humpy Helsel 6 years ago

Reading between the lines...Bill Self just said, "OMG! I'm licking my chops watching this kid and what he can bring."

Jay Scott 6 years ago

Why can't the NCAA just have these kids take an SAT or ACT in a controlled environment and leave it at that?

Isn't it the State of NY's job to accredit their schools?

Marius Rowlanski 6 years ago

Are you saying the school isn't accredited? It is. Accreditation isn't the issue, the issue is core curriculum and eligibility. It's the NCAA's job to determine eligibility.

Unfortunately, Our Savior New American has become another private school that seems to funnel players into the next level.

Jay Scott 6 years ago

Are you trying to make fun of yourself? If "core curriculum" isn't part of accreditation, what is? Isn't that what the state ACCREDITING body evaluates? Wow. Where did you go to school? Why is it the NCAA's job to evaluate what schools teach? Wouldn't an SAT or ACT remove any doubt as to whether a school was admitting deficient kids for competitive reasons?

Marius Rowlanski 6 years ago

Oklahoma State, Baylor and Pittsburgh have also signed players from this year's recruiting class at Our Savior New American.

Kobe Eubanks was deemed ineligible but that was because his school In Plantation Florida altered his grades. He is currently suing Plantation American Heritage but Our Savior New American was not included in the lawsuit or allegations of grade manipulation.

Damon Wilson still hasn't been cleared to play at Pittsburgh.

Davon Dillard has been cleared (August 5) to play at Oklahoma State.

Maybe this would be a school to avoid in the future.

Steve Corder 6 years ago

How in 'Sam Hill' can a kid qualify for The University of Kansas, rated in the top 100 of all institutions of higher education, and not be cleared by the NCAA?

Joe Ross 6 years ago

Kansas is not rated in the top 100. I wish they were. But we're not close.

John Boyle 6 years ago

Joe, Actually they are ranked #106 along with Iowa State, Loyola-Chicago, OU, Oregon, San Francisco and Tennessee. This is according to US News and World Report. To me 106 is close to 100. It still makes Steve's comment incorrect but you painted a much bleaker picture than reality.

John Boyle 6 years ago

Some notable schools ranked lower than KU: 121 Arizona 126 Seton Hall tied at 129 Arizona State, LSU, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Utah 135 Arkansas tied at 138 Oregon State, Washington State 142 Kansas State tied at 145 Oklahoma State, St. John's tied at 149 San Diego State, UAB, Mississippi tied at 156 Mississippi State, Texas Tech, VCU 161 Louisville 168 West Virginia tied at 189 Houston, New Mexico

barely ahead of KU tied at 99 Missouri, Nebraska

Jay Scott 6 years ago

That's among "national Universities". It leaves out top regional private schools.....

Jay Scott 6 years ago

It's it's own category Adam. Use the hand that's in your pants right now and google it.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years ago

The second "it's" doesn't need the apostrophe as it denotes possession. Something someone from a top university would know.

Jay Scott 6 years ago

...or an Android spell check platform, one would think.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years ago

Schools in the National Universities category offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master's and Ph.D. programs... That includes many private schools. The regional universities do not offer both Masters or doctorate programs.

Jay Scott 6 years ago

Creighton is listed as a "Regional" university. They have a med school and a law school. Better than KU? Many would say yes. Forbes does.

Joe Ross 6 years ago

No John. Read Steve's comment. "...rated in the top 100 of ALL institutions of higher learning". Kansas is #208 (which is not close to 100).

Source: http://www.usnews.com/education/best-global-universities/search?region=&subject=&name=university+of+kansas

Paul Nance 6 years ago

Although there are surveys with KU not in the top 100, there are many with KU ranked much higher. USNews currently ranks KU 50th in academics for US Public Institutions. The 106th ranking includes Private colleges which is not really a fair comparison.

Fletcher Anderson 6 years ago

According to the NCAA website "Participating in college sports provides opportunities to learn, compete and succeed. Student-athletes receive top-notch academic support, quality medical care and regular access to outstanding coaching, facilities and equipment. Student-athletes as a group graduate at higher rates than their peers in the general student body and feel better prepared for life after college" If the NCAA tells a kid they are not allowed to play college sports then they are really saying they would like for the kid to graduate at a lower rate then their peers and be less prepared for life after college?

Jim Stauffer 6 years ago

If indeed KU determines Diallo is a qualified student academically, I think it is time some institution said to the NCAA, "We demand a reasonable explanation of his failure academically or we will play him. We will not sit him because you have an agenda, rational or not, against his High School."

Would really love to see how this would play out. Bill is big enough to try it. He could always get another job as a college coach or Governor of the state, etc.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years ago

Really don't want to see an entire season stricken from the records. Challenging the NCAA would all but ensure that outcome.

What bothers me more is that there were several other bigs interested in KU. None nearly as talented but would be for more productive than Diallo if he is ruled ineligible.

Joe Ross 6 years ago

...and if he isn't? The entire situation is bothersome either way, so there's no point in being partial about it or negative with respect to Diallo's being here. First of all, he's done nothing wrong so you don't avoid a kid based on the strength of his character. Secondly, I understand that the issues that came up with respect to Diallo didn't surface until after his recruiting closed. Do you expect that the coaching staff should be able to see the future? Thirdly, if Diallo is ruled ineligible it is more a reflection on his school and the extent of the jurisdiction of the NCAA (which many have an issue with) than anything having to do with Diallo himself. Should Kansas not recruit from that particular school or withdraw affiliation from the NCAA? If Diallo is ruled ineligible you can't say we should have recruited someone else without availing yourself of the perspective of hindsight. And finally, if he is NOT ruled ineligible then won't your specific issue of the recruiting target be moot anyway? What should guide you is a principle upon which NOT to recruit this kid. What

Marius Rowlanski 6 years ago

"Should Kansas not recruit from that particular school or withdraw affiliation from the NCAA?"

FOUR players from Our Savior New American were recruited and signed at D1 schools and all have eligibility questions with only one player so far being cleared to play. That seems to me to be a red flag.

Joe Ross 6 years ago

...and if he isn't? The entire situation is bothersome either way, so there's no point in being partial about it or negative with respect to Diallo's being here. First of all, he's done nothing wrong so you don't avoid a kid based on the strength of his character. Secondly, I understand that the issues that came up with respect to Diallo didn't surface until after his recruiting closed. Do you expect that the coaching staff should be able to see the future? Thirdly, if Diallo is ruled ineligible it is more a reflection on his school and the extent of the jurisdiction of the NCAA (which many have an issue with) than anything having to do with Diallo himself. Should Kansas not recruit from that particular school or withdraw affiliation from the NCAA? If Diallo is ruled ineligible you can't say we should have recruited someone else without availing yourself of the perspective of hindsight. And finally, if he is NOT ruled ineligible then won't your specific issue of the recruiting target be moot anyway? What should guide you is a principle upon which NOT to recruit this kid. I ask you: "What is that principle?"

Marius Rowlanski 6 years ago

I really wasn't going to comment on this but I can't help but wonder what this diatribe is based upon. First, never said anything negative about Diallo. I only pointed out that to play him without first getting him cleared by the NCAA would be extremely risky.

Second, never said I disagreed with the coaching staff in recruiting Diallo. I thought then and still think Self did a great job in signing him. I was only pointing out that it could turn out to be a negative. Nowhere did I say that the coaching staff needed to be clairvoyant. It simply would be bad luck for us doing a good job of recruiting.

Third, again where did I say ANYTHING negative about Diallo. Did I ever imply that Diallo had done something wrong? Please, point out where you got this from my post.

And finally your question: " What should guide you is a principle upon which NOT to recruit this kid. I ask you: "What is that principle?"" What are you talking about? This is so far in left field that I wonder if you forgot your meds this morning or whenever you posted.

You've got all this from "What bothers me more is that there were several other bigs interested in KU. None nearly as talented but would be for more productive than Diallo if he is ruled ineligible."?

I will reiterate what I stated earlier in that signing a top player could work against us. Not stating any recruiting principal, not stating the need for clairvoyant recruiters, not blaming Diallo for anything... Just simply that his signing might work against us. No blame, just bad luck.

Allin Herring 6 years ago

Anybody think maybe we got this One and Doner because everybody else dropped him like a hot potato because of his schools scholastic reputation? I am getting kinda of tired of getting kids like this that we have to wait to see if they can play like Ben and Jamari or parent involvement like Alexander. Give me some Hayward's from Butler or the kids at Wichita State. We seem to be getting the last OAD left in the recruiting class.

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