Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Report: NCAA seeking more FBI information in college basketball corruption scandal for its own investigation

FILE - In this March 14, 2012, file photo, a player runs across the NCAA logo during practice in Pittsburgh before an NCAA tournament college basketball game. What some call the sleezy side of college basketball recruiting will be on display at a criminal trial starting Monday, Oct. 1, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

FILE - In this March 14, 2012, file photo, a player runs across the NCAA logo during practice in Pittsburgh before an NCAA tournament college basketball game. What some call the sleezy side of college basketball recruiting will be on display at a criminal trial starting Monday, Oct. 1, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)


NCAA officials are seeking unreleased information the FBI gathered for three trials for college basketball corruption cases, one of which has already prominently featured the University of Kansas basketball program, according to a Yahoo Sports report.

Donald Remy, NCAA executive vice president and chief legal officer, said the organization was seeking more information as part its own investigation into whether programs caught in the scandal committed NCAA violations, according to the report.

The additional information the organization is seeking could include recorded phone conversations and text messages the FBI gathered in an investigation that was not used as evidence in an October trial where a jury found former Adidas executive James Gatto, business manager Christian Dawkins and amateur league director Merl Code all guilty of fraud.

So far, the NCAA has seen only what has been publicly presented in that first trial. Two more trials are scheduled for April and June.

Remy said the NCAA had begun to contact defense attorneys related to the trials to request access to the government’s unreleased information. He also said the organization may file a legal request in federal court for that information.

"We're actively trying to get that information which we don't presently have access to," Remy said, according to the report.

“What we'd like to do is have [information] at our disposal to make judgments about whether or not it is relevant to our rules and whether or not those rules have been violated," he added.

During the October trial, testimony at times focused on KU coach Bill Self’s relationship with government witness T.J. Gassnola. The former Adidas consultant testified that he paid the families of players to steer them to KU, including $90,000 to the mother of Billy Preston and $2,500 to the guardian of Silvio De Sousa. Gassnola testified that he never told Self about the payments. Prosecutors also presented text message conversations that Self and KU assistant coach Kurtis Townsend had with Gassnola.

It's not known what, if any, other text messages KU coaches exchanged with Gassnola during the recruitment of players. The Journal-World previously filed a request under the Kansas Open Records Act seeking all text messages between Self and Gassnola, but Kansas Athletics denied the open records request. Kansas Athletics cited, among other reasons, a provision in the law that allows records to be withheld if the public records contain “information of a personal nature where the public disclosure thereof would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”

It's not clear if the additional information the NCAA is seeking will have any more details about KU's involvement in the scandal.

While the information Gassnola revealed led to the NCAA ruling De Sousa ineligible to play for KU until the 2020-21 season, how it will affect the KU program as a whole, such as possible NCAA sanctions, has not yet been determined.

When the NCAA will be able to conclude investigations related to the scandal is not clear, according to the report. Remy and Jon Duncan, NCAA vice president of enforcement, said the organization's investigation into NCAA violations has been limited because of the ongoing court cases, according to the report.


Tim Orel 2 years, 7 months ago

Why should the NCAA be given more access than the press? The First Amendment allows for Freedom of the Press and the NCAA should have to read anything the FBI chose not to share in the newspaper like the rest of us.

I'm convinced the NCAA has a vendetta against KU because they didn't get to punish KU for Billy Preston and so they're taking it out on DeSousa (and as many others as they can justify with/without legally obtained information to cite). Meanwhile, no investigations of Duke seem to be in the offing, especially of their star who was the subject of a taped phone call when discussing how much it would cost Arizona to bring him out there, and NC was bungled so badly the NCAA didn't punish their basketball team at all - and players had more dirt on them and were actively involved in the cheating, supposedly, than DeSousa ever was, but DeSousa has to sit out 2 full seasons and NC's players have no punishment?

Disgusted with the NCAA. I'll only give them credit if they hit the other schools including the marquis schools just as hard, if not harder.

Dirk Medema 2 years, 7 months ago

Clif Alexander's mom also.

The NCAA doesn't have the ability to investigate the others, because they can't get the evidence that way the FBI can via subpoenas, so they are counting on the FBI sharing their evidence. The way they've handled SDS's case in particular should warrant withholding all evidence from them.

Brian Wilson 2 years, 7 months ago

Kind of surprising that DeSousa doesn't sue the NCAA and naming the individual decision makers. I would think that being punished for something that he didn't do is enough to being a lawsuit for damages. By now, DeSousa could be in the NBA making a million dollars plus a year. Not to mention that a judge could get an injunction on the penalty the NCAA assessed and could order that the NCAA reconvene and require presentation of evidence and due process or be forced to drop the punishment. Organizations have the right to govern themselves but they still cannot punish without due process or punish someone not guilty especially resulting in damages. If those responsible for the decisions inside the NCAA were named individually in the lawsuit due to the evidence that decisions in NCAA infractions is biased it would put an end to the Duke, UNC, UK favoritism.

Barry Weiss 2 years, 7 months ago

Hopefully if any penalties are assessed against KU, we are somehow able to bring all of the others who have done the same or worse than us to the same punishment. The whole Nike part of this deal smells ten times worse than the Addidas part.

Dale Rogers 2 years, 7 months ago

Maybe we should have just offered our athletes opportunity to get grades for classes that don't exist and then we'd not even get our hands slapped, like North Carolina.

Dane Pratt 2 years, 7 months ago

No reason KU can't be implicated in the Nike and UA part of the investigation just like Duke was implicated in the Adidas part.

Jason Brinker 2 years, 7 months ago

Curious if DeSousa could transfer to a NAIA school for a year and then transfer back to KU without having to sit out any additional time upon his return? Not sure of the transfer rules between NAIA and NCAA. It would free up a scholarship for KU for next year and allow Silvio a chance to at least play some form of competitive basketball. If he's committed to playing his final season of eligibility at KU, maybe it's best for him to stay and practice against the KU guys and make everyone better. I can't imagine the NCAA could stop him from playing in the NAIA since it's a separate entity. Feel bad for the kid. It would be a nice middle finger to the NCAA if he was able to find a loophole of some sort. A loophole that doesn't result in him playing professionally overseas next year.

[''] 2 years, 7 months ago

If so, go play at Baker then back to KU. OR could he go to D2 Washburn under Ballard?

Dirk Medema 2 years, 7 months ago

I have a suspicion that if he stays around, the NCAA will fabricate a reason to suspend KU from post-season play in 2021.

Brad Watson 2 years, 7 months ago

Nothing new...........give us more...The Will Wade...Sean Miller stuff.....rats live in the sewer

Tony Bandle 2 years, 7 months ago

Random Thoughts:

1] The NCAA is embarrassed by their own blunder in allowing Silvio to join KU early so they are covering their tracks by over compensating on his punishment.

2] The NCAA can twist and turn the truth anyway they wish to justify their decisions.

3] For those of you who think Kansas is innocent and should receive no punishment...well, you all are half right. Something bad is coming. You can count on it. Just how bad is the question.

4] I am convinced we have not heard from Matt Hurt because he and his parents are waiting to see if the other shoe is going to drop on Kansas.

5] No Conscience All Avarice.

Marius Rowlanski 2 years, 7 months ago

He will be entering college (Matt Hurt) late if he is willing to wait and see what penalties the NCAA will be handed down if they hand down.

He could stay for four years before the NCAA makes a decision.

Dale Stringer 2 years, 7 months ago

So Silvia's guardian got $2500 from Adidas to pay for attendance to an online (IIRC) high school in order to complete his education and graduate early in order to go to college in the spring and play basketball.

Take out the last third words and he basically got a scholarship to private high school.

Dyrk Dugan 2 years, 7 months ago

Silvio De Sousa is the first athlete in college sports history, to be ruled ineligible to play for TWO YEARS; for receiving no benefits. None, Nada. Money not used to pay for one meal; no car payment; no new set of threads; NOTHING. And now, based on all of this FBI created nonsense, we’re going to get punished by the NCAA? I think not. If they do come for us; and it’s going to be awhile, year or two at least; we should circle the wagons and fight this with every fiber of our collective school, coach, administrator and legal department being. We didn’t play Preston; sat him after we got info. on some of these payments; we sat Silvio after the trial info in the fall; we’ve taken the proper steps in response to the news. But in addition, we have to govern everybody we talk to, including apparel company contracted employees? Give me a break.

Marius Rowlanski 2 years, 7 months ago

To replace Bill Self? Seriously? The first big job comes down from the NBA and off he goes.

He could have had a really solid program at Iowa State which would have become our major rival, for a while anyway.

Barney Kruse 2 years, 7 months ago

Time for the Elite 50, pay the players, and say addidios to NCAA stupidity.

David Howell 2 years, 7 months ago

Nope, let them go to the NBA right out of High School. Only a few will be drafted, but most of the others get to go to the D or G league and earn apartment and grocery money. Then after a few years the rest will see their plight and how they forgave a FREE college education with a degree that will help them get a job !

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