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KU coach Bill Self says delay in Billy Preston situation 'not the NCAA's fault'

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Kansas basketball coach Bill Self talks with freshman forward Billy Preston in the first half of Tuesday's exhibition game against Pittsburg State at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self talks with freshman forward Billy Preston in the first half of Tuesday's exhibition game against Pittsburg State at Allen Fieldhouse.

With Kansas basketball fans becoming more disgruntled by the minute about the delay in the NCAA’s decision on the status of freshman forward Billy Preston, KU coach Bill Self has a message for anyone frustrated by the process.

“It’s not the NCAA’s fault, folks,” Self said Wednesday night on his weekly Hawk Talk radio show.

Reiterating what he has said at various times throughout the long, drawn-out process, Self once again explained that KU officials sought to be as thorough and complete as possible with their investigation into the financial details of the car Preston was driving during a non-injury, single-car accident in early November.

“The way it had to be submitted, it had to be turned in after it was completely done, with corrections, so that way the NCAA doesn’t come back and say, ‘We need more information,’” Self explained. “We tried to make it a complete file.

“When we got it (finished), it was very close to Christmas break (so) it’s been 10-12 days with not a lot being done with it. That’s not anybody’s fault at all. I know it’s frustrating. It’s more frustrating for Billy and obviously his mother than anybody else. We think we’ll have a final decision on this very soon. When that decision is made, we are optimistic and hoping for the best.”

While Self has hinted at a resolution in the Preston situation for the past couple of weeks, the KU coach took things one step further on Wednesday night, saying, “It’s a situation right now where we think we could know any minute on what his situation is. We actually feel very good about what the NCAA has in their hands what we submitted.

“There’s a lot of different things that go into it when you go through all records,” Self said. “As an institution I know we have done a nice job of being very thorough to the point we presented this after more interviews and things like that that you can imagine. If you think of it like this, if you are looking into something and someone tells you one name, you’ve got to go talk to that one name. If somebody tells you two names, that’s two more names you’ve got to go talk to. It takes a little bit longer to do a thorough job to present to the NCAA where they could make their final determination. I know we as an institution believe we have been very cautious and very thorough and basically a young man has been hurt a pretty fair amount by something that he is totally oblivious to.”

Self added that he thought KU’s decision to hold Preston out for the past 14 games as a precaution should be viewed as punishment enough.

“If there is a problem, which we are not saying there is, but if there is one, he has already sat how many games now? Fourteen games? Gosh dang,” Self said. “We certainly hope and believe that would be sufficient if there is (a problem). We are not even admitting there is one. That’s where we are at right now.

“I’m trying to be patient. Certainly the NCAA knows obviously there is a lot at stake, but what is at stake, more than anything else, is a young man’s well being. I’m certainly hopeful that we’re going to have him real soon.”

During his Thursday press conference inside Allen Fieldhouse, Self was asked whether he expected to hear about Preston’s status before Saturday night’s game at TCU. KU’s coach said he hoped to have “some semblance or some idea” of where the process stood before the Jayhawks play in Fort Worth, Texas.

“Certainly I've said for a while now sooner rather than later. I can guarantee you it will be sooner rather than later,” Self said, “but I don't know what the outcome will be on it, honestly.”

If Preston does get cleared to play, Self thinks the 6-foot-10 former McDonald’s All-American will be “pretty ready” to step in and contribute.

“I think we're talking about basically two months since he's played. Has he practiced? Yes. But he's also been on the scout team a lot. If he practiced for an hour and a half, it's hard to give a guy you know is not going to play in the foreseeable future enough reps to really take it away from somebody else that does have to play,” Self said, adding it will take Preston some time, perhaps a week, to get comfortable.

“You shouldn't expect too much right out of the chute, but he's a talented kid, though,” KU’s coach said.

— KUsports.com's Benton Smith contributed to this update.

Comments

DiscGolfer Jason 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Excuse after excuse. Bah bye BP.

OU played 15 players tonight, 8 scored. Won by 20. Welp, we've been spoiled. Time for Reality to come visit.

Jerry Walker 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Yikes. It sounds like whistling while walking by the graveyard.

Joe Ross 2 weeks, 6 days ago

I just don't know why anyone--particularly any fan at Kansas--would have faith in the NCAA's handling of situations such as these, given the Diallo fiasco.

The NCAA has a story that's got no moral, but screams "let the bad guy win every once in a while." Seems like we're going around in circles.

DiscGolfer Jason 2 weeks, 5 days ago

But you know Joe, why has Self and KU been in this position a few times over the last few years? I have my thoughts but I'll not say.

It's getting O-L-D.

Craig Carson 2 weeks, 5 days ago

you act like Self keeps picking kids that have a KNOWN checkered past and possible concerns with eligibility??!!! Not Selfs fault that Diallo didnt get cleared, not Self's fault Bragg couldnt control his personal life off the court, not Selfs fault Alexanders family took $$ and its not Selfs fault that Preston is in the situation he is in, NONE of those kids had any red flags..what the hell do you want him to do, hire a some sort of fortune teller before he recruits a kid?? Bill Self is BLAMELESS in ALL these situations...class dismissed

Ashwin Rao 2 weeks, 5 days ago

This case is still murky, to say the least!

I ask: Why did it take so long for us to get all facts straight, if it is a straightforward case? Why did we not time the submission to NCAA to give us more chances of getting Preston back sooner? Why did we not grease the skids to ensure smoother processing by NCAA (kept NCAA in the know, so we fulfilled all their needs with the first go around).

Either we always end up getting weird cases with our players, or our staff is not competent enough. I really don't see this happening in other programs so consistently (year-after-year). We have dodged the bullet until now because of some great players doing more than their share, but this year is different.

Allan Olson 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Why does it take almost two months for KU internal people to complete their presentation? He was driving a "QUESTIONABLE" car...got into a simple fender bender, single vehicle accident...promptly reported said accident to his coach,,,and, was immediately benched before playing in any real game. Then, how do these basic facts translate into almost two months of internal investigation? Just how complicated are the true facts of this incident? And, will the fans ever get to hear the "true facts" after this whole enchilada is resolved? The live-and-die, stressed, out of the loop, loyal KU fan base deserve that answer.

Tony Bandle 2 weeks, 5 days ago

The phrase "we are optimistic..." coupled with the phrase ",,,and we are hoping for the best" appears to be one of the most obviouis aximorons I've heard in a long time;

Tony Bandle 2 weeks, 5 days ago

PS That being said, I've just got a feeling that Billy and Silvio will both be in uniform the next time KU takes the floor in Allen.

DiscGolfer Jason 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Thanks. Now I can't get that song out of my head!

Ooga-chaka, ooga-ooga Ooga-chaka, ooga-ooga Ooga-chaka, ooga-ooga Ooga-chaka, ooga-ooga

Craig Carson 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Tony..I certainly hope so because KU could be looking at a 3 game skid by that point

Don Perry 2 weeks, 5 days ago

One aspect of this investigation which is being overlooked, I believe, is the affiliation between KU and Addidas. With the news that broke this summer, it is imperative for schools like KU to be ultra-diligent about their compliance to keep from having even an appearance of a connection with the pay-for-play scandal. Therefore, the compliance department picks at every thread, every rumor, every memo that might have the slightest connection. I am hopeful the NCAA rules quickly on this and the Sousa cases as there doesn't appear to be much, if anything, behind the rumors and questions.

Greg Lux 2 weeks, 5 days ago

NCAA = North Carolina Amnesty Association Not likely they will act expectantly on anything or any one. K.U.'s internal investigation took far to long with a multi-million dollar program at stake. If the athletic and "compliance" department are this slow there need to be serious changes at the university level. How hard can it be to keep tabs on just over a dozen basketball players an their obvious areas a possible non-compliance issues? It's past time to step up and admit that changes need to happen and happen fast. RCJH.

Barry Weiss 2 weeks, 5 days ago

nothing new here. Obviously KU felt something was not quite right with the "financial" aspect of this car and have self imposed their own penalty (keeping Billy out of games) in hopes that is enough of a penalty. Now we just need to wait to see if the NCAA agrees.

Jeffery Sutton 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Seems pretty clear the real questions are how Billy got the car and how the expenses were being paid, ie the financial picture. By taking the bull by the horns and drilling into this situation, KU is out front on this which means their people are getting statements from anyone even remotely involved. There is a stark difference in the way those statements are taken, depending on your agenda. Is the objective to establish no wrong doing, which is best facilitated by asking questions that lead the discussion to the best result possible and give you spin control? Or, are you pointedly looking for improper actions, the statement would likely take the tenor of an interrogation? If you follow the former path, you give all of the witnesses an intellectual road-map on how to respond to investigators later were that to occur. There is typically more than 1 way to tell the truth, KU's internal investigation before they give anything to the NCAA, give it the best position to present the best version of the facts for a favorable outcome. it may not be the quickest resolution on the front end, but when the NCAA is involved, it's far better to be safe than sorry.

John Brazelton 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Within two weeks, KU should know the status on both players. If cleared to play, there's 10 more fouls to give each game. Doke will be able to play more aggressively, providing his back injury is not permanent. Bill Self will be able to play his offensive style that he likes best. KU should be fine.

Craig Carson 2 weeks, 5 days ago

If and WHEN they get Preston and Silvio, I think Self needs to abandon the 4 guard lineup and play with 2 big...starting Azibuike with Preston alleviates A LOT of the troubles they currently have..they wont have to hit 10+ 3's to win big games and they wont get out rebounded every game

Harlan Hobbs 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Haven't seen Discy Jason post before. He certainly is getting his feet wet. Perhaps he has been around under another name.

I thought that the LJW's policy was that full names have to be used. Apparently not. Therefore, let's all work under pseudonyms.

Could it be that Discy Jason is just a troll with little or nothing positive to add.

DiscGolfer Jason 2 weeks, 5 days ago

  1. Not a troll
  2. Praying, hoping, positive only comments will not change outcome for KU.
  3. Because some comments are negative does not mean there is not truth to them. I see things two-ways, not one-way.

I love my school, but sometimes it's frustrating seeing KU in the national media spotlight when it comes to some of our recruits over the past few years.

If you don't like my comments Harlan then don't read them. Been reading comments for years, just now registered recently.

Have a good day. .

Allan Olson 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Keep the faith Jason, you anarchist. I will eagerly await the next left wing, lets all love each other sermon. U da man!!!

Roy Delano Loren 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Of course it’s not the ncaa’s fault. It’s KU’s compliance’s fault that they don’t believe that black student athletes can afford nice things without nefarious assistance.

Barry Weiss 2 weeks, 5 days ago

not sure how the color of his skin relates to an impermissible benefit review. the only color that matters here is GREEN. If any kid, black or white, can show he had the green to buy the car, KU would not have held the kid out of 14 games and hurt not only the kid by the university.

Douglas L. Boehr 2 weeks, 5 days ago

I could see your point on the skin color. When I was at KU all of us athletes were poor and we would have suspect if we had a Lambo( or whatever). I had mom's beat up Buick Special.

Suzi Marshall 2 weeks, 5 days ago

It seems the NCAA is a lot like Congress in so many ways. Both turn a blind eye toward institutional corruption within their direct area of responsibility (UNC) while exercising power over trivia and the helpless, and they both shut down for extended holiday periods. Since this is a Kansas initiated thing, I think Self should come out Saturday at the latest, assuming we have not yet heard from the NCAA, and state something to the effect of: "The Kansas compliance office has taken proactive steps to investigate Billy Preston's private financial matters. We are not proclaiming an guilt or innocence to that matter but we consider the matter closed. Billy Preston will commence his collegiate career Saturday vs. TCU.

Seriously, this is ridiculous this kid is punished like this over a $20k Dodge, especially with the UNC and the FBI investigation as background events. It's complete BS for Preston to sit out any longer.

Bora Mac 2 weeks, 3 days ago

“If there is a problem, which we are not saying there is, but if there is one, he has already sat how many games now? Fourteen games? Gosh dang,” Self said. “We certainly hope and believe that would be sufficient if there is (a problem). We are not even admitting there is one. That’s where we are at right now."

Well gosh dang...we FINALLY get a glimmer of TRUTH from Bill Self.

There was a problem way before the tires got slashed up. Hopefully a small...not significant problem. But HONESTLY -- if that is what KU is about -- there WAS a PROBLEM from the jump.

And why did it take 6 weeks to document.? Bill Self finally just told you...it was a big enough problem to sit the student for a semester....and that's exactly what the slow-walked, KU response ENSURED. Billy doesn't play the first semester...and when does second semester start...January 16th.

If the problem was not significant...Billy's suspension - a state of "suspense" - only has 10 MORE days to run.

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