Thursday, October 27, 1960

Zealous KU alumni cause school to be on NCAA ‘carpet’


Zealous alumni had Kansas University on NCAA probation today, and since it is known other charges have been filed in recent months, this might not be the end of KU's athletic troubles with the college athletic governing body.

The NCAA Wednesday slapped a two-year probation on KU basketball and a one-year probation on football. The agency charged that KU boosters provided former basketball star Wilt Chamberlain with a 1956 Oldsmobile convertible while he was at KU. It also said alumni indulged in illegal recruiting practices in the transfer of three football players - Bert Coan, Mickey Walker and Jim Street - two from Texas schools.

Terms are cited

Under the terms of the NCAA probations, which became effective Wednesday:

The KU football team cannot participate in a bowl game this season and cannot participate in a televised game for one year. Theoretically, KU will be able to appear n a televised game after Oct. 26, 1961., and can appear in a bowl game after that time - providing the probation on football is lifted a year from now.

KU can share in TV receipts brought to the Big Eight Conference by participation of league teams in televised grid games - since Big Eight policy is to share such funds equally among members.

The KU basketball team will not be able to participate in the NCAA playoffs after this season (1961) or next (1962). The probation also says KU cannot participate in any invitational tournaments sanctioned by the NCAA, but this does not eliminate the team from the annual Big Eight tournament. That is purely a league function. The KU cagers can appear in TV games.

The NCAA action affects only basketball and football and has no effect on such activities as track, baseball and other sports. KU has won the NCAA outdoor track and field title the past two years.

There is a chance new problems will arise for KU.

New Charges Filed

It is known that new charges about recruiting have been filed with the NCAA against KU in recent months by Oklahoma and Missouri universities. OU filed several charged and MU one, the Journal-World has learned. If the NCAA finds KU guilty of these charges, the present punishment could be stiffened.

KU has been on NCAA probation once previous to the present penalty. That was in 1956 when Dr. F. C. Allen, then KU basketball coach, was accused of illegal recruiting tactics in regard to a Kansas State cager, Kent Bryan. Bryan never enrolled on Mt. Oread. However, that one-year probation period did not alter post-season activity as the present punishment does.

The NCAA notified KU by wire late Wednesday but did not specifically name the athletes involved. However, there was no doubt as to the identities.

The NCAA mentioned the purchase of a one-year-old auto for a student-athlete by representatives of the University. It pointed out that "known representatives of the athletic interests of the university" put up $1,564 for purchase of the car. The athlete was Chameberlain and his older model car was used as a down payment. The auto was sold by Karl Reber, local car dealer, and it was a 1956 red and white Oldsmobile convertible.

Car is purchased

The purchase was made a few months after the close of the 1956-57 KU season in which Chamberlain, as a sophomore, led KU to the finals of the NCAA tournament. Chamberlain left school for a professional debut after the 1957-58 season. At the time he bought a plush red 1958 Olds convertible with money he got from a Look Magazine article telling why he was quitting college.

University officials and staff members disclaim any part in the car deal. The NCAA makes it clear this was purely an alumni transaction and lauds KU for its cooperation in the investigation.

The football recruiting illegalities involve Bud Adams, Houston oil man and millionaire, a former KU grid letterman and the son of K.S. Adams, chairman of the board of the Phillips Petroleum Co.

In the case of the football players, the NCAA charged excessive entertainment of propective student atheltes and failure of KU to notify the schools from which they transferred of the fact KU was dealing with them.

Coan, now a top halfback on the KU grid team, transferred here in the fall of 1959 from TCU after a disagreement with the trainer/track coach. At the time, TCU athletic director Dutch Meyer was irate and insisted he would press the matter with the NCAA.

Transferring here with Coan were guard/tackle Mickey Walker and end Jim Street, who came from Texas A&M.; Street has since left school and Walker is scholastically ineligible to compete this year. A third Texas A&M; gridder, Rodger McFarland, transferred to KU but was not included in the NCAA charge. McFarland left the school during his freshman year rather than at the end of it, as did Street and Walker. McFarland is now a top performer on the KU Varsity as a sophomore.

The NCAA charged that Adams was guilty of taking Coan on an "entertainment trip" to the Chicago All-Star game the summer before he came to KU. NCAA rules say only on-campus entertainment is legitimate for prospective athletes and labeled this move out of line. Adams denied he took Coan to the game as a recruit, but more as an acquaintance.

Then TCU and Texas A&M; declared that KU violated another NCAA rule by failing to notify the Texas schools that it was dealing with Coan, Street and Walker. Adams, however, made the contacts and did not deal through the University. KU pointed out that it notified proper authorities when it learned of the recruiting contacts. Apparently this came too late to satisfy TCU and Texas A&M.;

KU coach Jack Mitchell said he didn't talk to any of th eplayers until they had obviously left their schools and declared innocence in the matter. KU athletic director A.C. Lonborg said he notified the schools as soon as he heard about the contacts.

There have been reports of KU's being in trouble with the NCAA ever since Chamberlain enrolled here. Then the case of the Texas grid transfers was brough to light in 1959.

Last spring it appeared certain KU would be rapped, but nothing was done. Many felt that the storm has subsided and that the Jayhawks were "home free." However, the rumors of probation cropped up again this fall and became realities Wednesday.

NCAA president Walter Byers said the delay in settling the case was created because boosters refused to make records available. However, the NCAA did not identify these boosters and their identities today were still topics for speculation.

Whilte KU officials will not speak for publication on the matter, it is known they are greatly disturbed by the attitude of Byers and the fact the NCAA "dragged out" the matter so long - to the detriment of KU. They feel that Byers was too arbitrary in this handling of the matter and there is a great resentment on Mt. Oread.

KU also deplores the method the NCAA used to probe the Chamberlain case. A former FBI agent, Charles Gray, was sent to Lawrence on a "cloak-and-dagger" mission for long periods of time to talk to anyone who might shed light on alleged illegalities in the Chamberlain case.

Gray, now alumni secretary at Arkansas University, apprently left no stone unturned to find something. He talked to many, and a number of those he contacted have referred to him as "rude, bothersom and overbearing." The tactics of Gray provide another poing of resentment in the University family.

However, the KU group appeared steeled for the news when it finally came. Given false hope last spring, they had seen that hope shattered this fall when probation rumors arose anew. There seemed a sense of relief to "get the thing over with" and to make necessary mental adjustments to meet conditions imposed by the penalties.

The big hope now is that "this ends it" and that there will be no new action. The feeling has long been that the NCAA would not let up until it had proved something in the Chamberlain case. The impression was when Chamberlain was still a high schooler that any college he attended would be subject to a microscopic inspection, and probably would be rapped. So touted was the seven-foot great, that the conclusion was any school which got him would have to do something illegal.

There was obvious disappointment among some of the KU athletes at first Wednesday. But then most seemd to take the attitude of anger or revenge. They seemed seized by the desire to compensate for the loss of the chance for postseason play by doing an even better job in regular games.

Several football players quickly declared "Let's win them all now and wreck the Orange Bowl trip for somebody else." The basketeers seemd more intent than ever to win the Big Eight so a second-place team would have to go into the NCAA-sponsored show.

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