Independent committee agrees to hear, rule on KU's NCAA infractions case

The NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis is pictured, Thursday, March 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

The NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis is pictured, Thursday, March 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

A new panel designed to handle the most complex rules in collegiate sports has officially agreed to hear the University of Kansas' case surrounding serious pay-for-play allegations in the men's basketball program, the sports' governing body announced Wednesday.

Over a month after KU's case was officially referred to the Independent Accountability Resolution Process, a five-person panel finally accepted the request to have the case heard outside the processes of the NCAA, the governing body for collegiate sports.

"Consistent with rules and procedures governing the process, details about the matter will remain confidential until the Independent Resolution Panel releases its decision," Emily James, associate director of communications for the NCAA said in a brief statement.

Decisions that come from the IARP are not subject to appeal. In past legal filings, however, KU has appeared to try and lay the groundwork for a legal appeal through the court system, even though the decisions of the five-person committee, called the Infractions Referral Committee, are supposed to be final.

In a footnote in its June response concurring with the decision to refer the case to IARP, KU's response took issue with the fact that appeals are not permitted — which goes against the recommendations of the Rice Commission on College Basketball, the body that created the IARP.

KU is now the third program to have its violations adjudicated through the IARP process, joining men's basketball programs at the University of Memphis and North Carolina State University. Neither of those cases have been ruled on, so there remains no precedent for how tough or lenient the IARP may be in these cases.

The charges facing KU, which include a coach responsibility charge against Bill Self and a lack of institutional control, carry potential penalties ranging from postseason bans and vacated wins to suspensions for Self and assistant coach Kurtis Townsend.