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Friday, July 15, 2005

Chancellor’s comments on KU NCAA report

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The following are comments made today by Kansas University Chancellor Robert Hemenway about the report KU released to the NCAA.
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Good afternoon.

As you know by now, the University of Kansas is today releasing a report we delivered last month to the National Collegiate Athletic Association detailing what we believe are violations of NCAA rules in three sports at KU - football, and men's and women's basketball - during a period that ended in 2003.

The NCAA has informed us that, consistent with its enforcement department's procedures, its staff is reviewing the university's self-report and conducting follow-up interviews. We have cooperated with them in every way, and they have told us they will keep us informed during the process.

We initiated this report immediately after I hired Lew Perkins as Athletics Director in June 2003, after former interim athletics director Drue Jennings informed Lew of possible NCAA rules violations.

We hired an outside agency to investigate the possible violations because we wanted to avoid even the appearance of any kind of bias. Rick Evrard, a former NCAA enforcement official currently a partner in the law firm of Bond, Schoeneck & King in Overland Park, Ks., conducted the investigation. Soon thereafter we asked Rick to conduct a full compliance audit of the university's athletics compliance program, and to recommend changes for restructuring, if necessary. We told him to identify, investigate and report any violations of NCAA rules that the firm discovered during its review of the program. During this audit, Rick and his firm discovered several other possible rules violations. The university included all such violations in its self-report to the NCAA, and we are releasing that report to you today.

The report you see is nearly two years in the making; it not only lists violations we believe occurred, but also penalties I have imposed upon the athletics department after discussions with Lew Perkins. More importantly, it lists corrective measures the athletics department has instituted since Lew arrived in the summer of 2003 to help ensure compliance with NCAA rules.

We set very high standards for ourselves at the University of Kansas. We want to win, and we want to do so with the welfare of our student-athletes in mind, and within the letter and the spirit of NCAA rules. We are very disappointed that at times we fell short of those high standards. That is why I imposed the penalty of probation, which means that lapses have occurred and that we will have no tolerance for future mistakes.

Over the past 24 months we have engaged in a thorough process that I am confident has put us on the right track so that we can consistently meet those standards now and in the future.

We have followed all NCAA and Big 12 enforcement procedures since this process began. We contacted the NCAA and the Big 12 Conference; both of those entities have praised the process we initiated and implemented. We hired an outside agency to ensure an unbiased investigation; we have self-imposed appropriate penalties to recognize our mistakes, and we have instituted corrective measures to make sure this does not happen again.

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