Monday, June 8, 2020

KU asks NCAA to hold separate hearings over alleged football, basketball violations; independent committee still to decide whether to hear 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)


The University of Kansas agreed with the NCAA on Monday that allegations against its men's basketball program should be sent to an independent panel — but it wants the less severe allegations involving its football program to go through the NCAA's traditional process instead.

KU concurred with a recommendation from NCAA Committee on Infractions chair Carol Cartwright that the five Level I charges facing the men's basketball program should be handled by the Independent Accountability Resolution Process — a new organization outside the NCAA that's tasked with handling the most complex violations in collegiate sports.

But the university also requested that the Committee on Infractions, normally the committee that hands down punishments for rules violations, handle the football violations, which center on former coach David Beaty and current coach Les Miles using more coaches than are allowed. The university and the NCAA both agree the violations happened, and it would be simpler for the NCAA committee to handle that punishment, KU argued Monday.

It's not clear whether the cases could be split up as KU is requesting. Only two cases have entered the IARP path so far — Memphis and North Carolina State — and both are only accused of violations in their men’s basketball programs. Neither of those programs requested that any parts of their cases be split off.

KU posted its response to the NCAA's referral, as well as responses from coach Bill Self and assistant coach Kurtis Townsend, on its public affairs website Monday after a Kansas Open Records Act request from the Journal-World.

With both KU and the COI agreeing the men's basketball allegations should be referred to the IARP, it is now up to a subcommittee within that organization to decide whether to hear and rule on the case.

The five-person committee, called the Independent Resolution Panel, has no direct ties to the NCAA and also does not leave KU with the option to appeal the committee’s decision. There also is no timeline for the IRP to decide whether to hear KU's case. It also remains unclear how harsh or lenient the panel may be in doling out punishments, because neither of the cases currently in the process has been finalized.

In Self’s response, composed by a separate legal team in Kansas City, Mo., he argued that the COI has shown throughout the adjudication process that it isn’t an impartial party in the case, and the IARP is the only way KU could get a fair trial.

Self’s team also wrote in his four-page response that the COI had “wrongfully attempted to intimidate Mr. Self for his decision to defend himself against unfounded allegations of wrongdoing.”

In the university’s response, KU attempted to lay the groundwork for a legal appeal through the court system, even though the decisions of the IRP are supposed to be final. In a footnote, the response took issue with the fact that appeals are not permitted — a fact which goes against the recommendations of the Rice Commission on College Basketball, which created the process.

“KU does not waive any right to seek a review and/or appeal in any forum should a procedural error occur or should the IRP render a decision or penalty that is not supported by the record in this case,” the response reads.

The violations facing the men’s basketball program are severe. KU in September was charged with five Level I violations in a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA — the body’s equivalent of an indictment.

Self, a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, faces a "head coach responsibility charge” and the university as a whole faces a lack of institutional control charge for the pay-for-play scandal, in addition to three other Level I violations.

All told, the penalties under NCAA rules could result in a postseason ban for the basketball program, show-cause penalties for Self and Townsend, and vacated wins from the 2018 season due to eligibility concerns involving forward Silvio de Sousa.

A show-cause penalty is the NCAA equivalent of a suspension, but requires any university that hires someone with the punishment to formally prove to the NCAA the charge is no longer warranted.

In its May response to KU’s defense of the allegations against the program, the NCAA issued a blistering takedown of the university’s arguments, saying the violations alleged to have taken place within the men’s basketball program are “of the kind that significantly undermine and threaten the NCAA collegiate model.”

Enforcement staff also took issue with KU not conceding that any Level I violations took place, saying the university was “indifferent” to how the alleged conduct may have adversely affected schools who recruited players in line with NCAA rules.

KU argued in a May statement the accusations against the men's basketball program are “simply baseless and littered with false representations.”

“For the NCAA enforcement staff to allege that the University should be held responsible for these payments is a distortion of the facts and a gross misapplication of NCAA Bylaws and case precedent,” a statement attributed to the university said. “In addition, the enforcement staff’s assertion that KU refuses to accept responsibility is wrong. The University absolutely would accept responsibility if it believed that violations had occurred, as we have demonstrated with other self-reported infractions.”

A timeline for when the IARP will hear KU’s case or when it may issue a final verdict remains unclear. Since it has been referred, though, it will issue a statement one way or the other once it decides whether to hear the case.

—Sports editor Matt Tait contributed to this article.


Len Shaffer 1 year, 1 month ago

I don't know if there's ever been a bigger discrepancy between what the NCAA is alleging and a school's response. Usually, the school admits to SOME wrongdoing.

Given Self's track record of no issues before KU and only some minor ones during his time at KU, I tend to believe Self, but who really knows?

In any event, it will certainly be interesting to see how this all plays out.

Bob Strawn 1 year, 1 month ago

Bill Self had 20 self-report violations at Illinois according to a recent comment by an Illini fan.

Shannon Gustafson 1 year, 1 month ago

There was an article about the 20 violations on this site back in 2003. Maybe these examples will create "history of violations" to you but to me it doesn't. They all appear to be examples of not quite having all details of NCAA compliance memorized and missing the mark slightly:

Brian Wilson 1 year, 1 month ago

Talk about chess. It's about time. Someone on legal counsel has a brain! The sum of the whole is greater than it's parts. No piling on allowed. If the NCAA uses issues from football to justify greater punishment IMO it could lead to another argument in a court of law. The punishment for just the football allegations should not be severe and you can't use those just to make a different set of allegations look worse. If so, KU has argument of bias, not to mention due process arguments. A court would separate two unrelated crimes into two trials with two separate punishments making each inadmissable to the other. Getting to the nitty gritty of a reduced list of just basketball allegations pulls the rug and makes it easier to attack and defend. While the NCAA piled on KU now boils it down. Settle with Beatty, reduce new testimony and number of witnesses, separate the infractions, and then attack and destroy the arguments that remain.

John Strayer 1 year, 1 month ago

This is turning into an out of control circus. In the meantime, Nike and "Nike schools" like UNC, Duke and UK are proceeding with business as usual. Another negative fall out from switching from Nike many years ago? Obviously Nike is better at the "game" than Adidas.

Dane Pratt 1 year, 1 month ago

So if the IARP tries our case and finds us guilty on one ore more of the level 1 violations, do they also determine the penalty or is that determined by the NCAA?

Matt Tait 1 year, 1 month ago

The IARP, if it hears the case, rules on it and decides the punishments. Once a case is accepted into the IARP path, the NCAA no longer has any direct involvement with it.

Barry Weiss 1 year, 1 month ago

KU has done nothing that countless other schools have done. this is ridiculous. If the NCAA wants to change the way these apparel companies swirl around the schools they need to find a way to penalize them. Schools can't police everything outside of their own employees.

Keith Gellar 1 year, 1 month ago still believe that. Keeping your head in the sand isn't going to make this go away.

See..what you should have said was "Ku has done nothing wrong", but that's not the case is it.

Barry Weiss 1 year, 1 month ago

You think the Nike schools have not done the same thing?...hahahahahhha

Keith Gellar 1 year, 1 month ago

when did i say anything about nike schools? why is that even being brought up. The moment you bring this up - you pretty much have no case. This is about correctness, not fairness. The NCAA don't care if 20 schools have done the same. What they do care is if you get caught, then need to be disciplined. No different then when you get pulled over. You can always argue others were speeding, but that don't mean jack! At the end of the day, you broke the law and you got caught so deal with it. SO TO ALL KU HOMERS...QUIT WHINING AND JUST DEAL WITH IT. This whole ploy of "oh..but we're a victim" only makes us look even more stupid. I thought Duke and UK fans were shallow, but i'm seeing a new low here.

Barry Weiss 1 year, 1 month ago

lol...slow your roll. I did not mean to upset you. your response seems to indicate KU is guilty without a trial even being held. Let's not have a rush to judgement. My original post was indeed about "fairness" of the selection by NCAA as it relates to KU and other schools. You might be wise to wait until this is over before you attack KU fans and call them names.

Stuart Corder 1 year, 1 month ago

Power Conferences vs. NCAA in a class action lawsuit that alleges that the NCAA violates both the Sherman and Clayton Antitrust Acts by claiming apparel sponsorships are boosters, and selectively targeting universities with the federal probe - using inconsistent scrutiny and punishments as examples of the latter.

The NCAA leviathan must be defeated outside its own system, on a level playing field - federal court.

Precedent: - O’Bannon v. NCAA (2014) - NCAA v. Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma, 468 U.S. 85 (1984)

Brian Wilson 1 year, 1 month ago

Exactly! KU has a pretty good School of Law. Maybe its time the students do some research.

Bob Strawn 1 year, 1 month ago

that would assume that other power five schools would join in. i doubt that would ever happen. ku isn't exactly beloved by its peers, particularly basketball.

Dane Pratt 1 year, 1 month ago

Based on the NCAA reply to KU’s response to the Notice of Allegations, it seems abundantly clear the NCAA has already reached their conclusion. If given the opportunity they are going to throw the book at us. We have little or nothing to lose if the IARP hears our case. One of these days I’ll have to read that 92 page report to see why they are so pissed off at us.

Stuart Corder 1 year, 1 month ago

Link to the 92-page report...

It reads like a letter written by the president of a “Cat Lady Club” whom is arguing why apparel sponsorships are like dogs, and KU is a dog breeder. The NCAA makes a lot of unreasonable conclusions: such as alleging that coaches knew Billy Preston had a car, but he didn’t register it until KU forced him to in order for him to enroll. The NCAA alleges that this example of institutional control is, in fact, a perfect example of “lack of institutional control”.

Okay, “Karen.”

However, there is one area where both KU and the NCAA agree, and that is that Beaty was not the answer to KU’s football woes.

Look at the NCAA situation in its full context: - erosion of power and leverage over universities due to apparel companies - major NCAA penalties for multiple power schools - major blowback from large fan bases in power conferences - states passing real laws that contradict NCAA “bylaws” - dramatic loss of revenue & budgets industry wide

The NCAA is a monster fish that is floundering as its once precious river evaporates into an ever smaller stream. The NCAA has no obligation, right, or reason to levy these charges against KU for the justifications given. In my opinion, KU’s adamant rejection of any NCAA-imposed sanctions in relation to these matters is justified.

Dane Pratt 1 year, 1 month ago

Sounds like they have nothing to lose. OSU cooperated with the NCAA and got hammered.

Jeff Coffman 1 year, 1 month ago

I actually think that OSU had a bigger problem then KU. An employee of the school was actively taking bribes.

Dane Pratt 1 year, 1 month ago

IDK Jeff, you might be right. At least on the surface it seems more severe since Evans was actually convicted of a crime but the NCAA acknowledged there was no competitive advantage gained. That, coupled with OSU’s cooperation with the NCAA resulted in only a one year post season. A level 1 violation carries a post season ban of as many but no more than two years.

Brian Wilson 1 year, 1 month ago

Dane....not really a point arguing "there was no competitive advantage gained." In case of KU the players involved played for other schools and never played for KU ...and Silvio served his punishment and has yet to make a difference. So KU received no advantage. The best the NCAA can argue is KU tried to get an advantage but failed...which is a pretty lame argument. And by the way, that's what you would say about OSU....except, they, the staff, whom was actually out of control, actually committed a crime, and took brides of $40,000 So, OSU was a bigger problem.

Dane Pratt 1 year, 1 month ago

Ok. But we have five level 1 violations and OSU only had one.

Stuart Corder 1 year, 1 month ago

Lamont Evans from OSU was the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for Oklahoma State. He was caught red handed taking money and steering active players towards bribing agents, provenly unbeknownst to OSU and supposedly behind the back of apparel sponsor Nike. None of it taxed. This is why he is now a felon that may actually get deported. The players involved all saw playing time, and that’s why OSU got the post season ban.

No member of KU’s basketball or university staff is accused of taking any money or bribes. Any player allegedly involved in self enrichment either never committed, never played, or served self imposed suspension - the latter two providing direct evidence to institutional control over the men’s basketball program. Yet, the NCAA wants to crucify HCBS & the KU program.

The only comparison between Ok State and KU is how the NCAA is now arguing that the universities it once claimed in federal court were victims, are instead actually complicit in their own victimization - per NCAA rules. That is a bureaucratic paradox with pungent hypocrisy. The NCAA would rather damage itself than concede it can not monopolize nor regulate industry and therefore must adapt.

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