Monday, August 14, 2006

Kansas awaits NCAA fate

Jayhawks make case; formal response still 5-7 weeks away


— Kansas University Chancellor Robert Hemenway's was the lone voice - carefully crafted and, perhaps, humorously prophetic.

Eight hours and six minutes after KU's hearing with the NCAA Committee on Infractions began Sunday, the university's army of participants filed out of the Ionic Room in the Tremont Plaza Hotel. Hemenway unfolded a piece of paper and read the statement that would stand for every member of the Kansas party. Nobody else was allowed to comment.

The statement started with this: "I want to thank the committee for giving us a fair and thorough hearing. The committee was cordial, inquisitive and very businesslike."


¢ July, 2005: KU self-reports minor violations in basketball, more serious violations in football. ¢ April 2006: NCAA alleges KU demonstrated a lack of institutional control within its athletic department from 1997 to 2003. ¢ Sunday: Kansas responds to allegations in front of NCAA Committee on Infractions in Baltimore. ¢ Approx. early October: NCAA rules if KU's self-imposed sanctions are sufficient.

The interesting part? The statement was typed and printed. Considering the meeting wasn't held in a computer lab, it apparently was written before the hearing began - and before the committee had an opportunity to be cordial, inquisitive and very businesslike toward Kansas.

Hemenway said the NCAA's formal response - which might include more penalties - would be available in five to seven weeks.

Beyond that, not much was said, and the KU camp successfully put duct tape over everyone's mouths; Bill Self, Mark Mangino, Bonnie Henrickson, Lew Perkins and Rick Evrard all refused to comment when approached by reporters. Same with Gene Marsh, chair of the Committee on Infractions.

Evrard said he might go on the record today, but until then, a prepared, hollow statement - with questionable credibility considering the likelihood it was scripted - will have to do.

Kansas and the committee discussed in great detail 11 violations committed within the athletic department Sunday, taking only occasional five-minute breaks along with an hour off for lunch. Evrard - the university's legal counsel - did most of the talking behind the closed doors, though generally the committee does ask specific questions to specific coaches, the reason Self, Mangino and Henrickson were asked to attend.

Also attending for KU were associate athletic directors Jim Marchiony, Paul Buskirk and Theresa Becker, and faculty representative Don Green. Former football graduate assistant John Papuchis, who's accused of being heavily involved in multiple violations, attended but was excused after his accusations were discussed early on.

Papuchis, under Mangino's watch, apparently was the unnamed G.A. listed in the report as allegedly committing academic fraud. The football coaching staff also was charged with impermissible assistance for helping junior-college recruits become eligible before they were officially KU students.

When asked if he and Papuchis were on the same page as far as their recollection of the violations, Mangino said, "I can't say anything. The committee told us not to talk publicly."

Of the 11 violations, five were for football, three for men's basketball and one for women's basketball. The 10th was the bundling of 26 secondary violations, and No. 11 was a blanket violation alleging lack of institutional control.

Kansas self-imposed penalties for the violations it found - pretty much the same ones the NCAA found in its subsequent investigation - with hopes that those will be considered enough in the eyes of the committee.

But it's now out of KU's hands. According to NCAA bylaws, the committee now will prepare its report, and in September or October will send its summary to Hemenway. It will be released to the media soon after.

Before the KU party slipped into a different meeting room at the Tremont after the hearing, Hemenway carefully finished his statement, with Perkins, Evrard and Marchiony standing behind him. It was the only peep KU officials had to offer - after a year of vowing to be transparent.

"The focus now is that this chapter is over," Hemenway read. "We can now move forward, confident that the changes we have made in the areas of compliance will help prevent us from going through this again."

Chancellor's comments

Kansas University Chancellor Robert Hemenway, athletics director Lew Perkins and other KU officials met Sunday in Baltimore with the NCAA Committee on Infractions. The following is Chancellor Hemenway's statement following the hearing: "I want to thank the committee for giving us a fair, thorough hearing. "The committee was cordial, inquisitive and very business-like. It was clear they had prepared well. "We reaffirmed to the committee our absolute commitment to NCAA rules compliance. We felt the committee asked good questions, took their time, listened well and allowed us to fully explain our answers. "I don't think it would be productive to speculate on how the committee reacted to our presentation. The focus now is that this chapter is over. We can now move forward, confident that the changes we have made in the area of compliance will help prevent us from going through this again."


Carter Patterson 16 years, 3 months ago

I was a bit surprised that Coach Roy was not there to defend himself. I would think that at the very least he would have submitted a written statement to the committee.

It appears that Lew is "righting" the ship. When I first heard about player gifts after graduation....I was besides myself. I'm no expert on NCAA rules but I think common sense dictates that would be a problem.

StarHawk92 16 years, 3 months ago

I suspect that KU went to the meeting with something written by Roy - hopefully an admission to his mistakes.

I fear for the football team since the "worst" part, the academic fraud, occurred under Mangino's watch and he is still there. I have hope for the football team since the Grad Asst is no longer there, the self-imposed penalties have been in the area where the fraud is alleged, and it appears things have been clean since.

JJHawq 16 years, 3 months ago

post-season ban for football would most likely be 2007 season....

eldiablo 16 years, 3 months ago

Most of these infractions are laughable and happen at nearly every campus across the nation.

The real story should be how the NCAA has nazi-ized college athletes and college sports in general.

jayhawkdan78 16 years, 3 months ago

Just like every other high profile D-1 school...we're probably breaking a million rules right under everyone's noses...but that is the nature of the beast...a few monetary gifts from some really oooollllddd lady who can't even hear anymore????????...strictly a smoke screen...self-punishment???...what a joke...but unless anyone gets caught its fair game in the recruiting/retainment world...these kids have everyone in the world of sports eating out of their hands...i think the "highest bidder" is a not-so-mythilogical figure that is associated with the college choice of any highly touted recruit...oh and i do love ku and college basketball...but i have always believed there is hanky panky when it comes to getting recruits...especially late in the game...see Darrell Aurther's "DREAM"

seattlehawk_78 16 years, 3 months ago

I've always been a bit mystified how giving someone a ride or buying them dinner even rates when you have athletes who beat up their girlfriends and may even go to jail but they are still able to suit up Saturday. And it doesn't just happen at places like Miami. It's happened at Penn State under Paterno's watch and at Nebraska under Osborne's tenure. And these are supposed to be the clean programs.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.