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Originally published April 10, 2018 at 05:16p.m., updated April 10, 2018 at 09:26p.m.

Employee of apparel company illegally paid 2 KU basketball players’ guardians, federal indictment alleges

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York is alleging in a federal indictment that an employee of an apparel company illegally paid the family of a University of Kansas basketball player.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York is alleging in a federal indictment that an employee of an apparel company illegally paid the family of a University of Kansas basketball player.

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The guardians of two likely NBA-bound University of Kansas basketball players received money from a payment scandal orchestrated by an Adidas executive, a new federal indictment formally alleges.

The superseding indictment — which names multiple other NCAA Division I schools — expands the scope of previously filed wire fraud conspiracy allegations against Jim Gatto and two associates, Merl Code and Christian Dawkins, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced on Tuesday.

The parent of one of the KU athletes received at least $90,000 from Gatto’s global athletic apparel company in exchange for signing with KU, the indictment alleges.

The guardian of the second KU athlete received enough money from Gatto’s company to convince him to get “out from under” an illicit payment deal already set up with a rival apparel company to sign with one of the other company’s sponsored schools. That athlete then committed to KU, the indictment says.

The indictment does not accuse KU of wrongdoing. The parent and guardian are described as “scheme participants” but are not charged with crimes in the indictment.

KU on Tuesday evening released a statement saying that it would fully cooperate with investigators.

“Earlier today, we learned that the University of Kansas is named as a victim in a federal indictment,” the statement from Joe Monaco, KU’s director of strategic communications, read. “The indictment does not suggest any wrongdoing by the university, its coaches or its staff. We will cooperate fully with investigators in this matter. Because this is an active investigation, it is not appropriate for us to comment further at this time.”

KU basketball coach Bill Self also addressed the matter at the team's annual basketball banquet, which was held Tuesday evening. He acknowledged the situation was still developing.

"So, yeah, there's some unknowns there that obviously would be a concern to anybody that is involved in the sport right now," Self said in response to questions. "But I'm not to the point where I feel like that there's been wrongdoing on behalf of anyone associated with us.”

Gatto, Code and Dawkins stand charged with multiple counts of wire fraud and conspiracy for allegedly making payments to the families of six student athletes — including the two from KU — to convince them to attend certain NCAA Division I schools, all of which were sponsored by Gatto’s company, according to the indictment.

The indictment does not name any athlete, parent or guardian.

It also does not name the company Gatto was affiliated with, but he is an Adidas executive, and KU is an Adidas-sponsored school.

Other named schools are Adidas-sponsored University of Louisville, University of Miami (Florida) and North Carolina State University.

In exchange for payments up to $150,000 apiece in some cases, those students agreed to attend schools sponsored by Gatto’s company, with the expectation they would later sign “lucrative contracts” benefitting the defendants when they made it to the NBA, the indictment alleges.

•••

Gatto was head of Global Sports Marketing – Basketball for his company, and had a multimillion-dollar annual budget. Code was a consultant for Gatto’s company and its high school and college basketball programs.

Gatto, Code and another unnamed company consultant aimed to convince players to go to schools sponsored by Gatto’s company and sign endorsements with the company when they went pro, the indictment alleges.

The other defendant, Dawkins, worked for sports management companies and brokered and facilitated some of the payments along with an unnamed financial advisor. Again, the indictment alleges, the expectation was that the players would retain their services once they got to the NBA.

The defendants, the families they conspired with “and, in certain instances, one or more corrupt coaches at the universities,” knew that for the scheme to work they had to conceal the illicit payments and falsely certify to their universities that the players were eligible.

NCAA rules mandate that student-athletes must be “protected from exploitation by professional and commercial enterprises” and can be deemed ineligible to compete if they or their relatives — whether the athlete knows it or not — accept prohibited financial benefits. Athletes who compete despite not being eligible can subject their schools to NCAA penalties, including forfeiture of games and titles, plus restrictions on future recruiting and postseason eligibility.

•••

The at least $90,000 deal with the first KU player’s mother began around October 2016, shortly after the player, “who was considered one of the top recruits in his class,” unofficially committed to KU, the indictment said.

The illegal activity continued until at least November 2017, the indictment said.

The indictment includes some specific payment dates and sums, and it outlines allegations involving that mother and player as follows:

The mother received the money in a series of installments, funneled from Gatto’s company and through an AAU team controlled by the unnamed consultant.

Gatto used “sham invoices” describing payments as team tournament fees and consulting fees.

At one point in October 2016, the consultant affiliated with the AAU team personally delivered about $30,000 in cash to the mother at a hotel room in New York City.

Around Nov. 9, 2016, that athlete and his mother signed paperwork committing to KU and certifying their understanding that eligibility must be maintained to play for the Jayhawks.

Illicit payments continued after that.

In January 2017, the consultant delivered another $20,000 — again funneled from Gatto’s company through the AAU team — to the mother at a hotel room in Las Vegas. In June 2017, the consultant wired $15,000 to the mother.

•••

The indictment describes the second KU player as “a top-rated high school basketball player” and alleges payments were made to his legal guardian.

Not only did the defendants pay that player’s guardian to choose KU, the indictment alleges, they paid enough to turn the player away from a previous illicit deal with a competing company.

The allegations surrounding that player, according to the indictment, are as follows:

Around August 2017, the guardian told the consultant — the same one involved with the first player — that the guardian “had received illicit payments in return for a commitment to steer the student-athlete to a university sponsored by a rival athletic apparel company.”

“According to Guardian-1, the student-athlete was more interested in attending the University of Kansas, but Guardian-1 would need to repay the illicit payments in order to do so.”

The consultant agreed, and confirmed that Gatto was on board.

“On August 30, 2017, in what media reports called a ‘surprise’ decision, the student-athlete announced he would not attend the school sponsored by the rival apparel company but would instead enroll at the University of Kansas.”

In a September 2017 phone call the consultant told Gatto they would need to make “another $20,000” payment to the guardian in order to get the athlete “out from under” the previous illicit deal.

That player and guardian signed paperwork with KU around November 13, 2017.

•••

The indictment does not allege that any KU coaches were involved.

However, it alleges specific and flagrant wrongdoing by unnamed coaches at some of the other schools.

In one case, a North Carolina State coach was the middle-man between the defendants and a parent, taking a $40,000 payment and agreeing to give it to the parent of a player who was threatening to de-commit, the indictment says.

More than one Louisville coach was directly involved in talks with the defendants, including one meeting where an envelope containing over $12,000 cash for the parent of a recruit was handed to the consultant, the indictment alleges.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office emphasized in its news release that their investigation remains ongoing — there’s even a special national FBI hotline set up to take in tips.

“The FBI strongly encourages anyone with information they believe to be relevant to contact the FBI by calling a special hot line established to receive tips in connection with this investigation: 212-384-2135,” the news release said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Public Corruption Unit is handling the case.

— KUSports reporter Matt Tait contributed to this report.

Indictment gives a few details about players

While the indictment doesn’t provide the names of players whose family members allegedly received payments, the indictment does provide several specific dates related to those players.

In the case of the first player, whose family was alleged to have received $90,000, the indictment states the agreement to pay the family was made in or around October 2016 “shortly after the student-athlete, who was considered one of the top recruits in his class, unofficially committed to attend the University of Kansas.”

On Oct. 1 prized recruit Billy Preston attended KU’s Late Night in the Phog event. He then officially committed to KU in November. Preston never played in an official game for KU. His amateur status came into question after a minor car accident in November drew attention to the vehicle he was driving and caused KU to look into the “financial picture” of the car. Preston later left the KU basketball team and signed a contract in January to play professionally in Europe.

In the case of the second player, whose guardian allegedly received at least a $20,000 payment through Gatto, the indictment states the player announced on Aug. 30, 2017 that he had decided to attend the University of Kansas. Current KU basketball player Silvio De Sousa announced his commitment to KU on Aug. 30, 2017. Unlike Preston, De Sousa played in multiple games for KU this season, which could subject KU to NCAA penalties, if the allegations in fact do involve De Sousa and are found to be true.

When reached by the Journal-World on Tuesday night, De Sousa's guardian, Fenny Falmagne, denied taking any money.

"The kids and I never took money from anyone," Falmagne told the Journal-World. "This is bigger than basketball. These kids and I have sacrificed so much because we know this could change our countries and nation. Anyone that knows me will know that coach Larry Brown is the only person that I take advice from because (of what) he means to me and the kids. He told me, 'Fenny, the people at Kansas are good people and will help Silvio achieve his dream.' And look what it did listening him. (Silvio) made it to the Final Four and got significantly better."

Comments

Chandler Accipiter 8 months, 1 week ago

The full indictment. Pages 21-26 involve the allegations related to KU: https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/press-release/file/1051216/download

It looks to involve Josh (which we knew) and Silvio (uh oh!).

Freddie Garza 8 months, 1 week ago

Timeline doesn't match up with Josh. It was Billy Preston.

Brett McCabe 8 months, 1 week ago

Kevin Kietzman is now walking around as if he took four doses of Viagra and had a private visit from Willie....

Dillon Davis 8 months, 1 week ago

F 810. I don't care if they are the KU station. No one besides Nate Bukaty is worth listening on there. Go to 610

Jeff Foster 8 months, 1 week ago

Funny, since 610 lost the radio rights to 810, I've heard more on-air personalities bashing KU and Self than I ever did last year and before. They'll all say anything to get listeners, they're all just there to create an interesting or controversial story. Pick your poison.

Barry Weiss 8 months, 1 week ago

well this sucks big time and will probably ruin our chances of landing Romeo Langford. Granted the indictment indicates Kansas was defrauded in this, but the damage is done. I assume this means Silvio would get the boot for hiding this on his application to KU? Damn.

Pius Waldman 8 months, 1 week ago

Was Silvio aware of his guardian re.ceiving benefits? Incidentally that guardian denies receiving benefits

Craig Carson 8 months, 1 week ago

Ultimately, the NCAA is gonna have to prove that money ever exchanged hands in order to justify any penalty..especially with the fact that THEY cleared him to play..certainly they looked into his situation thoroughly before deciding to clear him

Doug Merrill 8 months, 1 week ago

No reason it would impact KU's future, as it specifies that KU did not know anything about it...

Mike Barnhart 8 months, 1 week ago

We could lose several players to ineligibility.

Marius Rowlanski 8 months, 1 week ago

And then we might not lose any although keeping Silvio on the team might be impossible. If the incoming recruits were ever approached by Adidas, best to come out clean instead of hoping to not get caught.

Hope is not a strategy. And outright lying to Coach Self isn't going to help her basketball career. I still think Billy Preston would have gotten us a title and would have been a lottery pick.

IMO

[''] 8 months, 1 week ago

Thanks parent! And greedy guardian! Idiots! Not true Jayhawks or they wouldn't have put KU in this situation. Good riddance.

[''] 8 months, 1 week ago

Last time Josh's mom was interviewed the article said: "She said she did not receive payments from the agency, Miller or his associate, Christian Dawkins." OK. But did she receive ANY payments? The payments now sound like they were funneled and came from the AAU team - so, ask her again - did she receive ANY $ from ANY person or entity, team etc??? Pretty simple answer ....

Craig Carson 8 months, 1 week ago

this doesnt appear to implicate Josh Jackson..most likely Preston is the player you are thinking about

Marius Rowlanski 8 months, 1 week ago

I'm guessing you didn't take time to read the indictment which names Preston and De Sousa. If the University hadn't investigated Preston's car, we might have a far worse scenario.

Craig Carson 8 months, 1 week ago

looking back at it now, it sucked not having Preston at the time but it has turned into a blessing

Marius Rowlanski 8 months, 1 week ago

Damn right!! We were ALL mad at the pace of the investigation.

Mike Barnhart 8 months, 1 week ago

It sure looks like signing with Adidas was a deal with the devil. Thanks again, Lew!

The (so far) unanswered questions are almost unthinkable:

Did anyone in the athletic department know about all of these direct payments? Even if not, the plausible deniability defense has a real slimy feel to it.

Why do so many of our commits come so late in the process?

If the players involved didn't know about the payments to their parents, are they still eligible to play? Suspensions?

Can we get away from Adidas? Would anyone else give us a contract?

Brett McCabe 8 months, 1 week ago

Lew? You don't remember the crowing from SZ about how much we were getting when "he" re-signed with Adidas? At least get your facts straight. There are a hundred reason Zenge should be fired, this one tops the list.

Dale Rogers 8 months, 1 week ago

But this article makes it clear Adidas is not the only "devil" here. It says Adidas paid additional money so the guardian could repay a RIVAL apparel company who had already paid to convince the athlete to go to a different school. Adidas is probably the tip of the iceberg. I doubt if there is a clean major apparel company that's also involved with college basketball.

Tony Bandle 8 months, 1 week ago

Random Thoughts:

1] Mitch, you better bulk up like crazy this summer because your possible red shirt just flew out the window.

2] Dok, Lawson, McCormack and Lightfoot is still quite a front line package but having De Sousa made it elite.

3] i don't believe KU will suffer any consequences but if the allegations are proved true, it would appear Silvio has played his last game in the Crimson and Blue.

4] With those graduating, those leaving and those not coming, Sam, at this rate, you'll be starting come November.

5] At times like these I wonder if Bill thinks the NBA may not be so bad, after all.

6] Dok staying just became even more critical for a successful season next year.

7] If he is indeed guilty, I'm guessing the NCAA will declare him ineligible a lot faster than when they declared him eligible.

8] Without Silvio, I doubt we woild have made the Final Four, so if he is gone, he is still part of the Kansas Legacy.

Dillon Davis 8 months, 1 week ago

Question is, do they take away our Final Four because of it?

Craig Carson 8 months, 1 week ago

I certainly hope not..if Cam Newton can be allowed to play and Auburn be allowed to keep its wins and NC even with Cam's dad being proven to have taken $$, then KU should be allowed to keep all the wins Silvio played in including the FF...just ding us with a massive fine, make the school return its NCAA tourney revenue, fine Adidas, make us vacate a few scholarships but leave the wins alone for christ sake

Marius Rowlanski 8 months, 1 week ago

No. Kansas didn't play a knowingly ineligible player. I think it would be pretty hard for the NCAA to take away anything seeing that they cleared De Sousa to play. This isn't anything like Derrick Rose and Memphis where the University was complicit.

Marius Rowlanski 8 months, 1 week ago

I stated a couple of times that I wouldn't be surprised if Silvio bolted for the NBA after his late-season play, now it is a certainty. Silvio was looking to be the real deal and losing him will not make Kansas better. I hope that this kid doesn't end up going back to Angola when this is over

Barry Weiss 8 months, 1 week ago

I think the school still gets nailed, even if they did not know about the illegal benefits. Reputation alone takes a big hit. Arizona lost all of its commitments once this came out last fall. Not sure if we will lose ours.

Craig Carson 8 months, 1 week ago

AZ was a little different..it had an assistant arrange the payments so it was active in its infraction..as it stands right now, this infraction has nothing to do with the school..there is a chance KU gets off without any penalty since they were the victim

Marcia Parsons 8 months, 1 week ago

Didn't Arizona take the hit from players leaving because the coach was accused of phone calls fishing for $40,000 for a player? It wasn't just because of bad publicity.

Marius Rowlanski 8 months, 1 week ago

And also, the money in the past usually came from Boosters, not anything similar in this case. This was a huge corporation going around the back looking for a weak spot.

Suzi Marshall 8 months, 1 week ago

Wow! This explains a lot, which I never would have dreamed in my worst nightmare.

If one connects the dots, they could conclude since this is the same FBI office that stormed Trump’s private attorney’s office yesterday, this was some of the information they sought.

I would have never thought the NCAA, with KU Baskerball, would have ever been involved with the Russians, to rig the ‘16 elections! This latest piece of data explains more thoroughly why the NCAA would be so deeply involved expending unlimited resources.

We should all feel relieved our government and DOJ are so protective of our personal liberties.

[''] 8 months, 1 week ago

Is that an attempt at humor? Needs work.....

Brett McCabe 8 months, 1 week ago

R humor. Just like Dennis Miller and Tim "drug dealer" Allen. No self-discipline. Fat, lazy, sloppy, intellectually challenged. Not funny. Just sad.

Jonathan Allison 8 months, 1 week ago

Despite all of the love Obama got year after year for filling out a bracket... what if his only lasting legacy is that his FBI investigation destroys college basketball.

Did he do this because of his brother-in-law was fired from Oregon State?

Tom Jones 8 months, 1 week ago

Please leave politics out of the KUSports.com comments section.

Thanks, Management

Rae Bricil 8 months, 1 week ago

if players were actually compensated fairly for the revenue they generate then this would be a non-issue. Making billions off the backs of unpaid workers is wrong. Bilas is spot on :

https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2017/11/the-case-of-jay-bilas-vs-the-ncaa-will-now-be-heard/546425/

Also the "they get a free education" is ridiculous argument for big time sports.

Bill Lamson 8 months, 1 week ago

I know a lot of people think the answer is to pay players, but if you actually look at the numbers, the details and what that would actually look like (which Bilas didn't do) there's no way it would work and it would just open the floodgates to even more abuse. And it would absolutely create a huge system of have's and have not's. You could say goodbye to any parity since there are over 340 div. 1 bball schools and maybe, maybe the top 20 or 30 could afford to pay their players. The rest can barely get by and make any money. Even with all of the money the NCAA brings in, unless they are going to cut checks directly to the schools, which is not even remotely feasible. And if you REAALLY look at it, then you have to look at ALL sports, and once you start doing that there's absolutely NO way schools can afford to pay students. Sure, it's easy, just point to the NCAA and all their $ and say we can afford to pay students. But the fact is that's not nearly as easy as people think and once you introduce money into the system you can forget about it...the sharks will be swarming even more than they are now.

Rae Bricil 8 months, 1 week ago

you are living in the past and completely wrong on so many levels--students will get paid it is just a matter of developing the appropriate structure. in the words of Self:

“And you can make an honest case that the student-athletes obviously are the ones that create the money but really receive very little of it. So I think there will be an adjustment. I don’t know the magnitude of it. But I look forward to seeing some changes.”

Titus Canby 8 months, 1 week ago

Not because of these indictments, but because of arguments like this, I'm quitting watching D1 college basketball. I don't like the NBA, and I won't like the NBA version 2 that you suggest, and that we already have. These kids are not college students. They are already paid. Tuition, room and board, summer jobs "working camps," etc. They are not like any other college students. I seriously doubt if Vick, Newman, Svi, or Devonte are still even in Lawrence after tonight.

I suggest we discontinue athletic scholarships. If someone wants to play sports in college, do it for fun, just like we used to do when we were in high school.

I love my school, and always will. But screw this.

John Joseph Gorski 8 months, 1 week ago

"Also the "they get a free education" is ridiculous argument for big time sports."

This I completely agree with! An estimate of the total cost of tuition and fees for a two year degree at Kansas is $55,650 and for a four year degree is $116,759. Also, this doesn't cover other charges for example room and board, books, and transportation. Scholarship players at Kansas get all this free plus free gear( clothes and shoes) from Adidas.

Steve Schoenekase 8 months, 1 week ago

I could live with a system of paying the players, provided that it's equitable across all sports and all D-1 schools, adjusted for the local cost of living. Then I would do away with the free tuition, room & board, medical treatment, etc. and have the players pay their own way, just like any other student. Treat their role on whatever team as their on-campus job. My wife worked for the UDK while in school and used the money she earned to pay rent. I worked at Dillon's and did the same thing. Pay the players a reasonable hourly rate and let them pay their own way to school.

Bill Lamson 8 months, 1 week ago

One way to stop this crap, maybe, is to sue the $*&! out of Josh and Silvio. I like them both as KU players, but what they are alleged to have done is a bunch of crap and can/will do a ton of damage to the school (assuming it's true)...so if it is, sue them!! And if suing one of your former player looks bad to a future recruit and makes him not sign, then he was probably dirty anyway and you wouldn't want him! And I don't even care if the lawsuit works or KU gets anything from hit...I'm sure no 19 year old kid wants to get sued so just the experience alone ought to have a deterrent effect. You HAVE to make it known to these kids...if you come here and take money and get the school in trouble, then all bets are off, we're not friends anymore and we're coming after you. And if the NCAA reaaaaly wanted to get tough, they could put some language in the standard scholarship/financial aid agreement that says that if a player knowingly accepts an improper benefit that results in penalty to the school, then that player can be held financially responsible for damages to the school.

Rae Bricil 8 months, 1 week ago

sue the kids where in some cases parents take money behind their backs? are you an NCAA? just trying to comprehend the basis of your arguments.

Bryce Landon 8 months, 1 week ago

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Craig Jackson 8 months, 1 week ago

Did we get a pick of Apples with $90 large deposit slip?

Steve Jacob 8 months, 1 week ago

Michigan did not know Chris Webber was on the take, and ended up taking down two Final Four banners.

Craig Carson 8 months, 1 week ago

Weber directly took $$...remember the Cam Newton situation, his father took $ but the NCAA could never prove that Newton himself or Auburn knew about it....in the end, Cam was eligible and Auburn didnt have to vacate anything

Barry Weiss 8 months, 1 week ago

hopefully we do not have to forfeit wins and lose our conference championship streak.

Mike Riches 8 months, 1 week ago

Shoot! I just bought several Adidas-branded Kansas shirts that will now be outdated!

David Morrison 8 months, 1 week ago

How do you conclude that Silvio DeSousa is one of the athletes referred to in the indictment? Is it the time frame or the mention of a "guardian"?

Mike Barnhart 8 months, 1 week ago

Documents state that a KU player's parents agreed to take payments on the same day Silvio signed with KU.

Mike Riches 8 months, 1 week ago

The indictments say that the second player in question signed with Kansas in August 2017, which is when Silvio signed (8/30/17).

Dyrk Dugan 8 months, 1 week ago

This isn’t Josh Jackson; time line doesn’t match up. This is Billy Preston and Silvio. I don’t know why the indictment would state it was a “surprise” decision by Silvio; he’d been recruited by a number of schools for awhile; he stopped some visits, but I would not classify it as a “surprise”; as if this word gives credibility to the prosecutors. We have a lot of smoke here; and obviously we’re concerned as KU fans; but the FBI is relying on information either given to them from him; or given by others to them about him....Mr. Gatto...who had zero to do with the latest contract negotiation with Kansas, per KU officials. Let’s get some folks on the record here; let’s hear from some parents. Let’s see some real evidence; before we set fire to Kansas basketball and college basketball in general. And in the grand scheme of recruiting scandals; this is a pittance compared to other abuses; mainly in football. And old time gambling in college basketball.

Craig Carson 8 months, 1 week ago

honestly, KU could come out of this unscathed...if the players are indeed Preston and Silvio, Preston never played for KU (would explain the car though) and its possible Silvio never knew about what was going on...I just hope KU isnt forced to vacate any wins from this season..though I get the feeling that in the end they wont..either way, they are gonna have to have some iron clad evidence to back up any claims before there is even talk or losing wins

Steve Jacob 8 months, 1 week ago

Remember, this is not the NCAA where you don't have to talk to them, this is Federal court, talk to me or go to jail people. If anything leads to a coach or an employee at KU, big trouble.

[''] 8 months, 1 week ago

Whoever the parents are they need to use their Adidas $ to reimburse KU for the full tuition and room & board and training table costs of their son who was never a legit KU athlete. Plain and simple.

Barry Weiss 8 months, 1 week ago

it makes it look like Silvio's family took money from a rival shoe company, then someone decided he wanted to go to KU, so Addidas had to give them money to get out of that deal, and then money to go to KU. What a freaking mess. way to ruin your kid's career. Same with the Preston deal. Hopefully future kids and parents learn that taking this upfront cash hurts their kids career.

Craig Carson 8 months, 1 week ago

Maryland and Under Armor would be the other parties involved since Maryland was thought to be his destination..to me, it sounds more like his guardian got money from UA to try to sway him to Maryland, then Silvio himself decided he didnt want to go there and the guardian had to go back on his original deal and work out a new one with Adidas..I really dont believe Silvio knew about all of this though..hopefully Selfs history of sitting players if any infraction is suspected (Preston, Alexander) will cause the NCAA to go easy on KU if anything comes of this situation

Robert Brock 8 months, 1 week ago

Dan Wetzel can never get a story right; when he was a kid he was totally confused about Green Eggs & Ham.

Chris Leiszler 8 months, 1 week ago

So what are the likely penalties here since the university was most likely unaware that any of this happened (assuming the allegations are true)? Are we talking about vacating wins? Probation? Anyone know how this is typically handled by the NCAA?

Mike Maddox 8 months, 1 week ago

If you assume everything in the article is accurate (DeSousa & Preston taking money) without KU's knowledge? Any wins they contributed to would be vacated, as they're ineligible once they or their family take money.

So Big12 Title/Tourney as well as Final Four appearance are gone. At least we could claim the Nova thing never happened!

But that's not the only issue. Romeo Langford is probably not coming here now. Dok may leave early to avoid this mess. It's even possible some of our recruits decommit and change schools. That's what happened to other schools (Zona, Auburn) that were implicated last year. However, we're only knee deep in the mud, not up to our necks like they were, so hopefully that wouldn't happen.

This assumes that nobody from the school is implicated. And that there are no players from past years that Adidas paid off. Because the NCAA will vacate wins from past years if that turns out to be the case.

Steve Jacob 8 months, 1 week ago

Remember, a school will always self impose taking away wins over the possibility of future tournament bans.

Danny Hernandez 8 months, 1 week ago

Kansas was defrauded here and I hope they'd fight this to the end.

Craig Carson 8 months, 1 week ago

@Mike..i wouldnt assume KU would vacate anything..Auburn didnt have to vacate its wins or NC even when Cam Newtons dad was proven to have taken $$..the NCAA concluded since Aubrun and Cam didnt know about it that they couldnt punish either one...why would any our recruits decommit? AZ was directly implicated and could be losing its coach AND receive a post season band..KU isnt in danger of any of that happening..and Auburn didnt lose commits, they sat the guys that were suspected out of competition..this isnt gonna affect Dok's decision or Langfords..KU is in no imminent danger of being banned from postseason play

Danny Hernandez 8 months, 1 week ago

the rival shoe company's name will soon come out meaning they too were funnelling money. Another shoe could fall. Kansas is named a victim in the indictment. That's what's also important to remember. Kansas could sue Addidas for 100 million plus

Jonathan Allison 8 months, 1 week ago

did the FBI indictment actually call KU a "victim"? Or is that just the way the KU's PR guy decided to spin it.

Not saying that KU is guilty of anything... I would rather hear them say that they believe based on the FBI Indictment that they have been defrauded by their apparel company, or that their apparel company maybe have participated in illegal activity in breach of their contract with the University and that they will cooperate with the FBI and ensure that this doesn't ever happen again and intend to be treated fairly for any damages that the breach may have incurred on the university.

To me, the usage of the word victim seems petty and inappropriate in this context. It makes it sound like the University is claiming that they were powerless to protect themselves and blah blah blah. Call the waaaaambulance.

The Athletic Director needs man up and take control of this situation and put the University in a position of strength. Can he do it? It wouldn't be appropriate for his inaction to force Bill Self to step up as the face of the University on this issue.

Barry Weiss 8 months, 1 week ago

well, I don't see a problem with KU using the word victim. I do not believe it is in the court filing, but it is accurate to the extent KU had no knowledge and I'm not sure how any university can be 100% a recruit's family has not taken cash or benefits. Its almost impossible to police. KU is a victim in that its reputation is tarnished, we may lose our shot at Romeo, maybe some previously committed recruits can de-committe, we have to vacate wins, conference championship, etc. So we get blasted hard on a deal like this even if we are 100% innocent. If we did have involvement, then we deserve it. Its just a bad deal all the way around.

Jonathan Allison 8 months, 1 week ago

Silvio De Sousa wanted to come to KU and his guardian capitalized on it.

Not Silvio's fault, and I doubt that KU loses Silvio for good over this, though it will be interesting to see how it plays out and if the NCAA decides to hand out discipline based on the FBI indictment. We don't know exactly how much money the guardian took for Silvio's commitment, so it's hard to say what NCAA discipline would be appropriate.

I still don't think that Silvio is eligible for the NBA draft, because he's not one year removed from HS graduation unless the NBA eligibility rule considers December 2017 to be a year prior to June 2018... But maybe his guardian can use that Adidas cash to hire a lawyer to fight for his NBA eligibility.

As for Billy Preston, is anyone surprised by this? I didn't think so.

Barry Weiss 8 months, 1 week ago

Id offer up to the NCAA that Silvio be declared ineligible for all of next year, then he could be on our practice squad. I'd like to keep him for the future, he was really coming on strong. What a shame.

Dillon Davis 8 months, 1 week ago

It all comes down to the question of how much did the coaches and Bill Self know about all this. If they truly were blindsided by this and had no involvement and didn't know until just yesterday, then I don't see how we get any sanctions.

Now, that doesn't mean that we won't have to vacate wins because of what Silvio may or may not have done.

This is really unfortunate given the timing of Romeo's decision but I really don't see it affecting any of the other recruits for next year unless it comes out that KU coaches knew something. Doesn't seem like Bill's style to play for players nor does he really need to. I mean we're Kansas. And I highly doubt his assistants went behind his back and worked with Adidas reps on this. But we will see what happens...

Alan Dickey 8 months, 1 week ago

The indictment states that:

(i) “in order for the scheme to succeed and for the student-athletes to receive athletic scholarships from the University of Kansas,” “[t]he payments … were designed to be concealed, including from the NCAA and officials at the University of Kansas”; and

(ii) Jim Gatto, a “consultant for” Adidas, Preston’s mom, and De Sousa’s guardian “made … false certifications to the University of Kansas and the NCAA about the existence of the payments and the known violations of NCAA rules.” Indictment at ¶43.

So, the DOJ is affirmatively stating that the scheme could not have worked if KU knew about it. This all means that the DOJ believes that: (a) the scheme was fraudulently concealed from KU; and (b) KU would not have gone along with the scheme if it had known about it.

Jason Venable 8 months, 1 week ago

"The indictment does not allege that any KU coaches were involved.

However, it alleges specific and flagrant wrongdoing by unnamed coaches at some of the other schools."

I think KU will be okay. If the NCAA says KU has to vacate the FF banner, KU should go tell the NCAA to kick rocks.

Jonathan Allison 8 months, 1 week ago

It makes me all the more curious about KUs investigation into Billy Preston's car.

If KU had clearly investigated the source of the finances for Billy's car, then why did Bill Self seem so confident that Billy Preston would be cleared by the NCAA to be eligible to play in games at KU.

My guess is that Bill Self knew in November that Billy Preston would never be cleared to play at KU, but in order to protect Billy Preston's reputation and that of his mother he pretended that he believed that the car situation would be resolved quickly.

A much worse case would be that Bill Self or someone working on his behalf was involved in fabricating false financial documents in order to attempt to get Billy Preston cleared by the NCAA, but that seems far less likely, because of the risks of being exposed.

Freddie Garza 8 months, 1 week ago

Doubtful, because all of the stuff with the FBI investigation into college basketball at large was public news at that point. If the Athletic Department was involved in any sort of fabrication of documents knowing that this investigation was going on, then they deserve everything that happens to them.

I highly doubt they were though, which is probably why Billy Preston ultimately left...because he knew he was never going to be cleared.

Jeff Foster 8 months, 1 week ago

For any of these players, if it's proven that they or their families took money and they are ultimately declared ineligible, I'd love to see the NBA or any other league/organization where they can go get paid, shun them and not give them a contract. Ultimately, they could walk away without any harm. Now, since the FBI is involved, that could lead to prison, but someone really needs the hammer dropped to help stop all this and send the message. It's obviously gone on for years without any real punishment.

Corey Sparks 8 months, 1 week ago

Jeff, you seriously want to shun a teenage kid for life from supporting himself and his family? These kids make so much money for their schools, and don't get paid. Most of these kids also come from struggling families just trying to get by. Can you really blame them for wanting some sort of compensation? You. Guys need to take those rose colored glasses off.

Russ McCaig 8 months, 1 week ago

you can condone the behavior if you desire...I don't care what their background is...its an ILLEGAL process...I can totally blame them...its AGAINST the law...it doesn't just affect THEM, it affects the collective student body, fan base and years of the university culture...it is incredibly selfish behavior...

[''] 8 months, 1 week ago

Uh oh -- Fenny took advice from Larry??? Gulp! Great coach - suspect recruiter.

Jonathan Allison 8 months, 1 week ago

Not that I disagree that we should terminate our deal with Adidas, but who should we go to for a new apparel contract?

Squeaky clean Nike? Under Armour, who apparently was paying for De Sousa to Maryland? Reebok? Converse? Champion? Li-Ning?

Russ McCaig 8 months, 1 week ago

We would be naïve to think that this is not happening on a much broader scale...unscrupulous parties on both sides of the fence...EVERYONE looking 'to get paid'...at the expense of the student athletes...GEES...

Freddie Garza 8 months, 1 week ago

So ADIDAS employees were making these payments, knowing full well they were breaking the law. How about a million dollar fine levied on ADIDAS for every instance in which this happened? Guarantee you that would put a stop to this REALLY quick.

Alan Dickey 8 months, 1 week ago

Who is going to impose a fine on Adidas? Who has the power to do that? NCAA doesn't have power to fine Adidas. Who does? The United Nations?

Corey Sparks 8 months, 1 week ago

@russ I'm not condoning it but like you said this is happening at broad levels. And for a fanbase that has the mentality of "final four or the season is a bust," you need top level players. And top level players are more likely to want to be paid...or at least have greedy family members manipulating and taking advantage of their 18 year old kids. So yes we can pretend to be shocked at this news and blame Adidas, or we can understand, that until this gets cleaned up it comes with the territory of being a top team year in and year out.

The other option; we can just stop recruiting top players avoid all this, and then become a mid major team...who's happy to make the tournament once every 3-5 years.

Corey Sparks 8 months, 1 week ago

Also to everyone saying we should drop Adidas...okay and go to who? Nike? They do it to. Under Armor? They do it to. I know let's just sign with Big Baller Brand....oh wait Lavar just sent his 18 year old kids overseas to get paid...that won't work either. Maybe converse..or Puma? Vans? Make our own equipment?

Brad Watson 8 months ago

I hate the over reach of apparel companies...they are all dirty...so stick with Adidas and Silvio will be back next year...lots of smoke here...not caused by fire....Arizona has real fire...relax...we run a good program here...not perfect..but solid...I'm out of here till August...I will miss all of your comments and I will be on the football blog this fall......GENE CHIZIK is who we need to go get!

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