Notice of allegations news could impact KU recruiting long before results on the court
While Monday’s news of Kansas receiving a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA kick-starts a monthslong review process, its outcome likely will have no impact on the Jayhawks’ upcoming season.
Where it could cause problems first is on the recruiting trail.
That was KU’s reality throughout the recent federal investigation into college basketball recruiting, which KU coach Bill Self on more than one occasion said had hurt the program’s recruiting efforts.
"It has suffered," said 247 Sports recruiting analyst Jerry Meyer in a March podcast, noting KU's inability to land Top 10 talents Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Matt Hurt.
Now that KU has been placed even more directly in the crosshairs of the NCAA, it remains to be seen what impact that news will have on the prospects the Jayhawks are currently pursuing.
A quick check of the social media accounts for some of KU’s top targets in the 2020 class on Monday evening revealed no notable reactions to Monday’s news.
At the moment, KU has one open scholarship — from Issac McBride’s recent decision to leave the program — and is expected to have at least two or three more available after the 2019-20 season. As a result, Self and company could have as many as four or five spots to fill in the 2020 recruiting class for the 2020-21 roster.
While the recruiting efforts for players in that class and beyond have been in full swing for months, the movement from this point on is worth monitoring as the process plays out.
KU has three months to respond to the NCAA’s NOA. From there, the NCAA has another two months to answer KU’s response. And it likely will be another couple of months from there until a hearing can be scheduled and completed.
That puts the timeline for a ruling on the NCAA’s allegations, which include three Level 1 violations in men’s basketball and a head coach responsibility charge levied against Self, toward the back end of the 2019-20 season or later.
While the ruling ultimately will decide what punishments, if any, are handed down to Kansas and Self, the more immediate movement on the recruiting trail could impact KU’s next couple of seasons and rosters well after the case is closed.
In statements released Monday evening, Self, KU administrators and attorneys vowed to fight “vigorously” against the allegations, with KU Chancellor Douglas Girod and Athletic Director Jeff Long saying they stood fully and firmly in support of Self and the men’s basketball program.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the top 2020 targets who are worth watching in the weeks and months to come as their recruitments heat up and decision day nears.
The early signing period is slated for Nov. 13-20, and the regular signing period opens April 15, 2020.
All of the prospects mentioned below have been interested in KU for months and have scheduled official and in-home visits. A handful are slated to come to KU’s famed Late Night in the Phog on Oct. 4: Five-star power forward Isaiah Todd (No. 10 overall in 2020 class per Rivals.com); five-star shooting guard Bryce Thompson (No. 19); five-star point guard Caleb Love (No. 21); four-star forward Kyree Walker (No. 42); four-star forward Moses Moody (No. 50); four-star power forward J.T. Thor (No. 53); four-star point guard KK Robinson (No. 80); and four-star center Gethro Muscadin (No. 130).
The Jayhawks’ exhibition season opens Oct. 24, with the regular season opener slated for Nov. 5 against Duke in the Champions Classic in New York.