Saturday, August 19, 1972

NCAA Socks Jayhawks


Shock and disappointment lingered over the Kansas University athletic department today in the wake of Friday's stiff one-year probation handed down by the NCAA.

During the 1972-73 school year, the KU football team cannot go to a bowl game, the basketball team cannot participate in the NCAA or NIT tournaments and the track team won't be eligible for either the NCAA Indoor or Outdoor competition, as well as the NCAA cross country meet.

In addition, the Jayhawk football team can't be on any NCAA-controlled television program.

Duke and Eastern Michigan were also placed on one-year probations Friday, but no postseason sanctions were levied on those two schools.

The NCAA Council levied the penalties at the conclusion of its week-long meeting in Boston. Ironically, KU athletic director Wade Stinson is a member of that Council.

Also at the meeting this week was Prof. Charles Oldfather, the university attorney who serves as faculty representative to the Big Eight Conference.

"The penalty was more stringent than I thought it would be," Oldfather said. "It seems to me the Coucnil is embarking on a more harsh approach than in the past.

"As a faculty representative, I know KU makes a special effort to comply with the rules. But sometimes things can go wrong. I'm convinced you can investigate any major football program in the country and find these incidents. It's too big an operation.

"And it's difficult for alumni to recognize these precise rules. But overall I felt KU came out quite well. I was pleased the NCAA could run a full-scale investigation and come up with so little."

The most serious charge against KU was one that a former assistant football coach erroneously certified two players as eligible under the NCAA's minimum 1.6 academic rule "on the basis of fraudulent high school ranks."

On Oct. 7, 1970, the Big Eight placed Kansas on two years probation for that infraction, but did not restrict postseason activity or television appearances.

League faculty reps at that time also ordered assistant coach Dick Tomey be denied from recruiting until May 31, 1972. Tomey later went to UCLA with Pepper Rodgers when the then KU head football coach took the Bruin head job in January of 1971.

The case centered around fraudulent high school rankings for Curtis Thompson and Mike Bossard, a pair of athletes from McKinley High in Washington, D.C.

Thompson never played on the KU freshman football because of an injury. Bossard played in all 12 KU frosh basketball games and those contests were ordered forfeited.

Neither Thompson nor Bossard returned to KU for their sophomore years.

Kansas was also censured Friday for giving cut-rate motion picture passes at local theaters to football and basketball players.

"We've been doing this for years along with a lot of other schools," said Oldfather. "We had discussed this with other conferences and as far as we were concerned it was legitimate. Nobody was conceding it. I don't think it will be a common practice anymore."

Three incidents were also cited against the track team and, although no athletes' names were mentioned in the NCAA report, two of them apparently centered around Sam Goldberg.

Goldberg was a decathlon performer who caused a stir when he was kicked off the track team in 1970 and took his case before the student senate.

The NCAA cited an incident where an athlete showed up for a bus trip wearing sandals and the head coach "gave him approximately $10" to buy a regular pair of shoes. Ostensibly that refers to Goldberg and track coach Bob Timmons.

Another incident centered around an athlete's wife being given transportation from Kansas City to Lawrence. Apparently that was Goldberg's wife.

The third incident involved transportation of a high school prospect from Lawrence to Kansas City for the Big Eight indoor track meet. It's believed Brian McElroy, who is now at Villanova, is the protagonist in that citation.

Still another incident cited was an alumni flying a prospect to Lawrence. Apparently that was a football-related citation.

One other basketball charge revolved around the certification of an athlete under the 1.6 rule based on six semesters of high school work. That apparently refers to Leonard Gray who is now at Long Beach State.

"Most of the things that were done," Oldfather stressed, "were things that were thought to have been done in good faith and within rules."

Friday's penalty was the stiffest ever handed Kansas by the NCAA.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.