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Friday, July 15, 2005

Athletic director’s comments on KU NCAA report

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The following are comments released at today's media conference from Lew Perkins, KU athletic director, about KU's internal investigation on NCAA rules violations.

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Good afternoon and thank you for being here.

On my first day as athletics director at the University of Kansas some 24 months ago, former interim athletics director Drue Jennings informed me of possible NCAA rules violations in the Kansas athletics program.

That same day I contacted Rick Evrard, and asked him to investigate these possible violations and to advise the university on NCAA compliance and infractions matters. As the Chancellor said, soon thereafter we instructed Rick and his firm to conduct a full compliance audit of the university's athletics compliance program, and to recommend changes for restructuring, if necessary. We instructed them to identify, investigate and report any violations of NCAA rules they discovered.

I have worked in intercollegiate athletics for some 37 years. Nothing is more important to me than winning. But as I told you the first day I met you all, we will not win at the expense of the University, and we will not win at the expense of our student-athletes. I know the Chancellor feels the same way, and that is why we ordered an independent audit of our compliance efforts here at Kansas.

I want to make one thing perfectly clear about the donors who are named in this report: Those donors did nothing wrong. In fact, they did the right thing by calling the university before they did what they did. All of our supporters can learn from the example these donors set.

As soon as I arrived here, I began to reshape the Kansas athletics department. I restructured the staff and hired new compliance personnel. I also increased the number of employees in the compliance office.

I believe the report we have given you speaks for itself, and represents everything the university knows and has reported to the NCAA. We have nothing to hide. If we discover any additional information about these or any other issues, we will investigate fully and follow the same procedures.

We began this investigation as soon as I found out that violations may have occurred. We actively followed up on every piece of information; we discovered errors and we self-reported them as we are expected to do as members of the NCAA. We wish we did not have to go through this process, but we believe in the process and, in the end, it will make us better.

We have given you a list of violations, our self-imposed penalties and corrective measures we have taken. I want to take this opportunity to say that I support the Chancellor's actions; we share the same goal of excellence within the rules.

I want to review with you some of the corrective measures we have begun to institute:

  • We have begun to provide additional rules education for all of our coaches.
  • We have prepared an in-depth compliance manual that we will send to all representatives of the university's athletics interests reminding them of NCAA rules and regulations.
  • We have restructured the academic advising office to centralize responsibility for academic support for all prospective and enrolled student-athletes under the Associate Director of Athletics for Student Support Services - Paul Buskirk.
  • We have increased our compliance staff by two full-time and one part-time position, and will add one additional full-time position prior to the 2005-06 academic year. Additionally, we have budgeted for one additional full-time compliance position beginning in the 2007-2008 academic year.
  • We have contracted with an outside firm to have annual athletics department-wide compliance reviews performed.

As I said, the report we've given you speaks for itself, and represents everything the independent audit uncovered.

We are committed, as the Chancellor said, to winning within the spirit and the letter of NCAA rules. Our university, our student-athletes and our fans deserve nothing less.

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