Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Self, Zenger react to college basketball recomendations with wait-and-see approach

Kansas head coach Bill Self casts a look at his players during the second half on Friday, Nov. 24, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas head coach Bill Self casts a look at his players during the second half on Friday, Nov. 24, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Kansas basketball coach Bill Self and athletic director Sheahon Zenger offered little in the way of specific reactions to the recommendations into fixing corruption in college basketball unveiled early Wednesday morning by The Commission on College Basketball.

But it was clear that both high-ranking KU officials were glad to see such discussion come to the forefront.

“I, like everyone else involved in our sport, looked forward to hearing the commission’s recommendations on how to help college basketball," Self said in a statement. "The commission is made up of a very diverse group that is committed to the charge put to the commission by NCAA president Mark Emmert. We appreciate their time and efforts on this project. The recommendations by the commission will create further discussions and implementations that will lead to significant changes for the good of our game in the near future.”

Added Zenger, in the same statement: "We appreciate the hard work done by Condoleezza Rice and her commission, and the report they produced today. The fact that the NCAA Board of Governors has already endorsed the commission’s recommendations shows there is a genuine appetite for change."

How quickly that change will come and what exactly it will look like remains to be seen.

Although Rice and the commission delivered their address with the tone of wanting results sooner rather than later, Zenger cautioned that hoping for too much too fast could be a mistake.

"The work, though, has only begun," he said. "Some of these proposals can be enacted by those of us within college athletics. Some, though, will require the assistance of individuals and organizations outside of college athletics. We look forward to being part of the solution.”


Brett McCabe 1 year, 5 months ago

If only Zenger had been a OAD at Kansas.

Jay Scott 1 year, 5 months ago

Thankfully people with actual intelligence are in charge of that.........

Jeff Coffman 1 year, 5 months ago

Please...they basically said the NBA should end the one and done they have any say in that.

Joe Ross 1 year, 5 months ago

I don’t see any hesitation in Zenger’s or Self’s statements that is tantamount to the “wait and see”. Zinger repeated what Rice said when he says part of the change can be accomplished by the NCAA, and part by the NBA. But acknowledging this doesn’t make Zenger any more hesitant than Rice to enact the recommendations.

Jay Scott 1 year, 5 months ago

Joe, what part would Zenger actually have the authority to enact?

Joe Ross 1 year, 5 months ago

Athletic directors serve as administrative bridges between universities and the coaches. The AD is the head and supervisor of all coaches and trainers at colleges and universities. The main purpose of the job is to serve the administrative functions within the athletics department instead of academics or strictly athletics, although they provide oversight on academic fraud as it relates to a college’s sports programs. They are charged with ensuring compliance with regulations, including rooting out misconduct and corruption. While the major responsibilities for the Athletic Director vary from school to school, almost all AD’s are expected to provide guidance as well as direction to the athletic department and ensuring that student athletes have and maintain their eligibility for particular sports. The very nature of the job description of an athletic director highlights their importance and mention in the committee’s recommendations as set forth by Condoleeza Rice:

“The commission recommends that member institutions who employ a coach or an athletic director who is under a show cause order for a previous violation of NCAA rules be subject to significantly increased penalties if that individual’s program re-offends up to and including a ban of up to 5 years from post-season tournaments including the NCAA Tournament. Relatedly, the commission recommends a significant expansion in individual accountability for rules violations for coaches, athletic directors, and college presidents. We recommend that the NCAA amend its rules to require colleges to include in the employment contracts of administrators [including Athletic Directors] and coaches individual contractural obligations to cooperate with NCAA investigations, including financial disclosure, and individual agreement to submission to NCAA enforcement proceedings, decisions, and disciplines, up to and including discharge. A failure to cooperate should trigger penalties up to and including a 5-year ban on participation in the Tournament and loss of revenue. Moreover, the commission recommends that the NCAA enact a rule requiring college and university presidents, coaches, and athletic directors to certify annually that they have conducted due diligence and that their athletic programs comply with NCAA rules.”

No person is more central to enacting compliance with any NCAA guidelines at any particular school than its athletic director, and that is the answer to your question. And this:

"Some of these proposals can be enacted by those of us within college athletics...". --Sheahon Zenger

Jay Scott 1 year, 5 months ago

Joe. I was making fun of how you can babble endlessly and say nothing...

You didn't need to add several hundred more words without answering the question just to underscore my point, but it was funny.

Steve Corder 1 year, 5 months ago

Exactly. The headline is a "spin" statement design to provoke more than inform.

Matt Tait 1 year, 5 months ago

No spin. Simmer down. There's nothing about any kind of enactment in the headline, merely their reaction to what was recommended.

Said Self: "The recommendations by the commission will create further discussions and implementations that will lead to significant changes for the good of our game in the near future.”

Further discussions and implementations = wait

Will lead to significant changes in the near future = see

Said Zenger: "The work, though, has only begun. ...We look forward to being part of the solution.”

Work has only begun = wait for more work to be done, as will be necessary

Look forward = see what happens in the future

Joe Ross 1 year, 5 months ago

Fair enough, but by that standard Condoleeza Rice herself has the same "wait and see" approach to her own committee's recommendations as KU brass; in which case, characterizing Zenger's views in this way (true as it might be) doesn't really tell us much. The issue for me stems from what one could construe from the headline as a tepid response to the committee's recommendations (even if that were NOT the intent), when there doesn't appear to be any evidence that either Self or Zenger is anything but supportive of them.

Matt Tait 1 year, 5 months ago

I hear ya. But reading between the lines is often the right way to go with these sorts of statements. I'm not saying they didn't like the recommendations. I haven't talked to them to know one way or the other.

What I am saying, though, is that their statements, at least to me, seem to indicate that, while happy that these things are being discussed, they realize that there's still a long road ahead and that the commission really has not accomplished anything at this point.

That's not a knock in either direction, more a simple statement of fact that all of the recommendations in the world can be viewed as a good thing but they don't really amount to much if they're not implemented, enforced and effective.

Time will tell on all of that. But right now all we've got is a list of things they hope to accomplish. Some of them are terrific. Some of them seem doable. But it's hard to imagine that everything on that list will get done.

Suzi Marshall 1 year, 5 months ago

You know what this all means don't you? Since 3rd party compensation sources will likely be allowed, the major commercial centers (LA/NY/Chicago) will be the big winners. The blood bloods (KU/UK/Duke/UNC) will continue to thrive. Schools like WSU, Creighton, etc will become more insignificant.

Joe Ross 1 year, 5 months ago

I can go with you that far, Matt. It would be interesting to dig more into their feelings about the recommendations, and what their concerns would be based on if in fact they have any. I suppose they wouldn't divulge that at this point, because everything is hot off the presses. It might be interesting in the meantime to speculate about what potential misgivings they might have, and if any potential concerns are unique to Kansas' situation or if, on the other hand, they would be common to all high-profile basketball programs (which are usually the schools involved with blue-chip recruits).

An issue that I wished were discussed in greater detail is whether or not schools should be punished by vacations of wins if they didn't have knowledge of any impropriety. That situation needs to get sorted out, because HAD a University known about impermissible benefits of a kid who, for example, cheats the system, they may well have avoided that player altogether.

Harlan Hobbs 1 year, 5 months ago

Good job, Matt. I guess that you rendered the nitpickers speechless.

No harm in waiting to see what flies and what crashes.

Joe Ross 1 year, 5 months ago

I understand your eagerness to defend Matt. He's a good writer and he goes above and beyond to cover KU sports. But rather than look at this like some of us are "nitpicking", consider Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman (not that Matt is one, and one or any of us is the other, but follow me here). I'm quite sure those guys have a personal affection for each other without any animosity; but when they discuss sports they obviously disagree on a lot. I don't have any issue with Matt or Tom or whomever else writes for the LJW. Quite the opposite, in fact. But the reaction of our administration and coaching staff to these recommendations is definitely not an inconsequential matter in terms of fan interest, and if it wasn't this article would never have been written. You can possibly understand then, why some of us who see no clear evidence of a particular point of view might question it. It doesn't mean we're right or wrong, or that Matt is right or wrong. I'm just saying it's hard to fault people from expressing a perspective on the issue especially considering the fact that we're in the midst of an investigation related to matters germane to the recommendations.

Steve Corder 1 year, 5 months ago

Matt wrote a nice piece. I only agreed (with Joe’s initial comment about “wait and see”) in that I thought the headline could easily have been proffered simply, “Self, Zender issue statement on college report”.

Matt basically used quotes for about 70% of the article. Self and Zenger didn’t have much to say and Matt had yet to digest 60 pages and ancillary footnotes, so contained.

Much ado about nothing.....why n Sam Hill am I even writing? Hang in there Joe, Matt.

Tony Bandle 1 year, 5 months ago

Matt...are you a parent? You continue to express the patience of Job with us posters. :)

Everyone,....solving this issue will be like a giant iceberg that has to be to be reduced by an ice pick, one small piece at a time. This is going to be a long painful process that in the end no one will completely like, although isn't that considered the best type of contract?

Brian Conrad 1 year, 5 months ago

You are the best Matt ! I myself can get little carried away talking basketball .. we need you to inform and to tell fans to simmer down when they go off ! I am still laughing. Good for you ! Sports writers need to be able to tell fans to ease up when getting carried away . Great job keep up good work. Now I can go over to Kevin K and 810 unleash on him. All good in Lawrence .. Glad I am not a KSU fan 😁🏀

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