Thursday, March 12, 2015

Cliff Alexander situation remains in stalemate

Kansas forward Cliff Alexander watches warmups on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas University officials announced that Alexander will not play against Texas after they were alerted to a potential eligibility issue involving Alexander by the NCAA.

Kansas forward Cliff Alexander watches warmups on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas University officials announced that Alexander will not play against Texas after they were alerted to a potential eligibility issue involving Alexander by the NCAA.


— An attorney representing Kansas University freshman forward Cliff Alexander put out a statement on Thursday, before KU’s 64-59 win over TCU at the Big 12 Tournament, indicating the NCAA will not meet with the KU big man until he provides documents that Alexander apparently does not possess.

Attorney Paul Stafford indicated that the 6-foot-8 freshman from Chicago has provided phone records, texts and bank statements to the NCAA. Stafford says the NCAA, which is looking into Alexander’s eligibility, will not meet with the KU forward until he provides additional information.

“Mr. Alexander has completely and expeditiously complied with the NCAA’s requests. Through his attorneys, Mr. Alexander has provided his telephone records, text records and bank statements,” Stafford’s statement begins.

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Self, Oubre and Lucas on beating TCU without playing well

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self, as well as players Kelly Oubre Jr. and Landen Lucas, discuss KU's win over TCU in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament, in Kansas City, Missouri. They say the Jayhawks advanced without playing very well.

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Box score

“Mr. Alexander has been ready, willing and able to be interviewed since March 2. Yet he has been informed that the NCAA will not interview him until they receive additional documents that are not his documents, the content of which he has no knowledge, and documents which have never been in his control or possession.

"Mr. Alexander is in Kansas City with his team ready to be interviewed by the NCAA and ready to clear his good name, so that he can get on the court to lead his team through the championship season.”

Yahoo!Sports reported that a UCC file has tied Alexander’s mom, Latillia, with a finance company that specializes in loans to athletes and agents. Alexander has been held out of the last four games.

“I’ve not (yet) read it,” Self said of the lawyer’s statement. “If that is what is said I’d say that is the stalemate. That’s not us. That’s not Kansas. The whole deal that is frustrating to me ... why can’t we get this thing done or handled? I don’t know exactly what they are asking for. I wish whatever they are asking for it’d be delivered and then you go through it. If it hasn’t been done in two weeks, what makes me think it’d be done tomorrow? I talk about it too much already,” Self added.

He also stated: “It’s almost to the point I’m emotionless about it. To me it’s not that complicated a deal. It seems to me it could be handled. I’m approaching it we’ll coach the guys who are eligible and healthy.”

More news and notes from Kansas vs. TCU at the Big 12 Tournament

By the Numbers: Kansas beats TCU 64-59 at Big 12 Tournament

By the Numbers: Kansas beats TCU 64-59 at Big 12 Tournament


Kenneth Johnson 7 years, 9 months ago

Just another example of how bad the NCAA is vor college sports.

Is there something political here? Someone at the NCAA doesn't like the Jayhawks?

Something smells rotten.

Kenn Johnson, KU ('70) Author of Kansas University Basketball Legends, and More University of Kansas Basketball Legends.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 9 months ago

Not NCAA incompetence this time. The lawyer knows exactly which documents are needed, has probably seen them himself, has seen the incriminating evidence himself, and knows the NCAA can't force those documents to be handed over because the NCAA can't subpoena stuff because they have no legal authority. This lawyer has dealt with NCAA before and knows that he doesn't have to turn over any documents he doesn't want to and this will keep any punishment from ever coming KU's way in this case.

Curtis Stutz 7 years, 9 months ago

Why would the attorney be concerned with it coming KU's way? NCAA has no legal authority prosecute anybody over any documents, all they can do is withhold Alexander's eligibility. That's what is happening now anyway, so it really wouldn't hurt his clients to turn the documents over. Best case they could work something out or wouldn't hold Cliff accountable, worst case he's declared ineligible from further NCAA athletics and declares for the draft. Not sure I see how it hurts his clients to give them the documents. It might be better for KU if they never do, so I appreciate it if that is their concern. I think the concern is to save face for his mom, which is understandable also.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 9 months ago

Where did anybody say anything about legal prosecution? Secondly, Cliff Alexander's eligibility has not been rescinded, KU could still technically play him if they really wanted to. Thirdly, why would the lawyer representing Cliff and his family in this matter voluntarily hand over incriminating evidence to a group who don't have the legal authority to obtain the documents? That man would have to be the dumbest lawyer ever to do something that stupid.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 9 months ago

I can't tell you what the difference is between the many draft board sites but DE seems to quoted often by reputable sources.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 9 months ago

That statement from Alexander's attorney is meant solely for Bill Self. The attorney is trying to buy time with Self.

My bet is the NCAA wants the loan papers, which they have every right to see. I expect those loan papers will clearly show the loan is guaranteed by Cliff Alexander's agent, which as previously stated, puts the our Number 11 in harms way.

If Alexander misses the NCAA Tournament, Self is going to be POed. They probably want to mitigate the possibility Self recruiting over him and not renewing his scholarship. If Alexander's scholarship is not renewed, his transfer options to another NCAA team is questionable. More than likely Alexander would need to go overseas or try to get into the D-League. If Alexander can't work things out with the NCAA and Self in a couple of days, this thing could cascade to where he may never get a serious shot to play in the NBA....ever.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 9 months ago

A couple of questions for you.

Do you really believe this lawyer, one who has apparently dealt with NCAA before, is going to voluntarily hand over the financial records that are incriminating (only reason why they would be withheld this long) to an institution that can't legally subpoena them? The NCAA will never get their hands on the documents they want in this case because of that fact.

Also, what makes you think Cliff is going to try and transfer anywhere? He's still a projected first round pick this year and that's where he's headed. If he's lucky, he lands on a playoff team that can develop him. The NBA doesn't care about issues like this because it's not a legal issue, they only care about what he can become and Cliff can become an NBA caliber PF.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 9 months ago

No I do not think his lawyer will turn over the financial records. His lawyer probably thinks he can litigate this over the summer and possibly win but more likely draw out his fees.

I also do not think an Alexander transfer is realistic. His draft stock is falling rapidly. Draft Express has him projected as the LAST first round pick ( We have all seen Alexander's skill set and motor. He's headed to the D-League and may never see the NBA without another year of hard work developing under Self.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 9 months ago

So you're using a website that doesn't specify the last time their big board was updated as your proof that Cliff won't be a first round pick? I can show you another website that was updated 2 days ago that has Cliff going 20.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 9 months ago

I don't know the difference between any of the draft boards but DE seems to be the one most quoted by reputable sources, including the LJW.

Joe Ross 7 years, 9 months ago

Suzi, why does the NCAA have the legal right to see private loan documents? Even the fifth amendment to the Constitution of the United States affords private citizens the right not to have to provide self-incriminating testimony. I'm not sure, but it appears that private loan documents are not a matter of public record. If they were, the NCAA would not have to request them from the family. If they are not, then surely there are governmental sureties in place safeguarding the privacy of personal loans, and the NCAA should not therefore be able to arbitrarily contravene the authority of the government to prosecute its investigation. To be succinct, if the government provides non-disclosure protections for private loans, the NCAA has no legal right whatsoever to see them contrary to your assertion.

I go on record as saying I think the Alexanders have broken the NCAA regulations. But to quote a line from "A Few Good Men", " doesn't matter what I think, it only matters what I can prove."

Dirk Medema 7 years, 9 months ago

Joe - you are correct that the NCAA doesn't have a legal right to see private loan documents. It is also true though that this is their BB game, and they have the legal right to decide the rules of playing in their game, such as amateurism. I'm pretty sure that their amateurism rules extend to family members. Wasn't that the case with Cam Newton also. In that case, Auburn played him anyway and won a NC, and it eventually went away because the NCAA doesn't have a legal right to see private documents.

In our case, Coach is choosing not to play Cliff. He'll declare for the draft, lose millions in the process (vs. staying another year and growing into his potential and high first round status), but get paid to learn all the lessons Coach has been trying to teach him, and hopefully not follow Sherron's path back to Chicago. And KU will have another lesson to speak of in generalities for teaching future players about the long and short arms of the NCAA.

Joe Ross 7 years, 9 months ago

Excellent response, Dirk. Gotta hand it to you.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 9 months ago

The NCAA most definitely does not have the LEGAL right to see the documents. They have every right in the world to request those documents as indicated in the UCC filing to determine if any of their eligibility rules have been violated.

By now, it should be clear the Alexander family probably crossed the line. As previously posted, they got caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 9 months ago

Here's another Tom Cruise movie reference. Those loan docs are like a ship that will (hopefully) never reach a port.

Tom Jones 7 years, 9 months ago

"That statement from Alexander's attorney is meant solely for Bill Self. The attorney is trying to buy time with Self."

Swinnnnng and a miss.

Joe Ross 7 years, 9 months ago

Secretly, I think Cliff Anderson's mother is guilty. But as no one will ever be able to provide proof that Cliff benefited inasmuch as the mother is not required to turn over documents and even doing so may not prove that Cliff received any money, I think The University of Kansas should sue the NCAA for $10,000,000.00. Even though I think what the family did was wrong according to NCAA regulations, I dont think they engaged in any morally reprehensible behavior and Im against the bullying tactics of the NCAA in general. On second thought, $15M. In a case where the NCAA has no proof, it should be improper to rescind a player's eligibility. Cliff could argue that his mother refused to hand over the documents to him. If he does that, then the NCAA will have created a requirement (i.e., forcing Cliff to produce documents) that he "has no power to provide" (wink). Rescinding his eligibility might therefore be grounds for Cliff to sue and recover financial compensation. The University, with the resources to pay attorneys (hell, we got our own law school), should certainly look into doing the same to protect its interests.

Can you tell I abhor the strong arming by the NCAA?

In any event, to avoid all of this pomp and circumstance in the future and to ensure that all parents are aware of the rules, they should be directed to read the NCAA rules on extra benefits that the University should provide to them. Consider how Brown University does it:

Brandon Dey 7 years, 9 months ago

Seems like an emotional response from you, and misplaced. Hope you are kidding.

Although the NCAA struggles with who's best interest they have in mind, this seems extreme. The NCAA rules, which Kansas chooses to play within mind you, are an attempt to try to protect amateur status. A frivolous lawsuit is not in the school's best interest nor necessary. What is our or Cliff's basis for harm that can be addressed with a compensatory claim? Is it not the basketballs program choice that Cliff is not playing? The NCAA alerted us, we took the precautionary step to hold him out.

Changing the rule, all for it. Suing them for money cause you are unhappy about a questionable rule, sorry not a fan.

Lets spend our resources on changing it.

Joe Ross 7 years, 9 months ago

I openly admit it's an emotional response, but if (and that is the key word) grounds exist to find relief through jurisprudence then I assure you Im not kidding. I can respect your position, as many people who are more reasonable than I on this issue could conclude similarly; but I have long detested how the NCAA bullies teams and thats the thrust of my vim and vigor.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 9 months ago

The NCAA does bully programs but not in this case. There is a public UCC filing. It raises questions that are reasonable and could be a violation. The player hired a lawyer and since 2.26 has not been able to move towards a resolution. The NCAA has not prematurely declared him ineligible either. There has been no harm. If they can prove that his mother did indeed get the loan and he is declared ineligible his suit would be against his mother not the NCAA. There is no reckless behavior nor cause.

I share your dislike for them, on many levels, just not in this specific case.

Joe Ross 7 years, 9 months ago

Yes, after reading through the comments Im becoming increasingly persuaded on the strength of many intelligent arguments that suing is not the answer. But Ive got something stuck in my craw.

Len Shaffer 7 years, 9 months ago

You make good points, Brandon, but I would argue that an even better reason not to sue is that you don't want to have the NCAA as your enemy. Imagine how picky they could become about every little thing if KU sued them. It would be like suing the IRS.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 9 months ago

I agree Len. This is not the battle, nor hill you want to die on with them.

Dirk Medema 7 years, 9 months ago

Cliff is still eligible. KU just chooses not to play him.

KU and Coach Self won't make waves about it, because they realize the nature of dealing with a bureaucracy such as the NCAA. It's no different than getting a permit from the City/County/State. Be nice and polite even if the current situation isn't exactly reasonable, because there are more interactions down the road and it can get worse.

JD Roth 7 years, 9 months ago

Yep the American Way! Get permission (Permit) from your servants. Never have figured that one out in a (Free) country..... But back to basketball...

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 9 months ago

Dick is correct. Kansas can play Alexander, at their peril.

The NCAA as advised Kansas that Alexander's eligibility may be compromised based upon what the UCC filing may imply. The NCAA has asked the Alexander family for documents, probably the loan papers, to clarify. Since it is apparent the Alexander family will not turn them over, it seems highly probably the NCAA may be correct, per Aaron's above explanation.

JD Roth 7 years, 9 months ago

Yep this should have been resolved in a few days. Not that complicated.

Vernon Riggs 7 years, 9 months ago

Kansas is not in jeopardy. If there is a loan paper, that document will never see the light of they day. Why would it? Nothing good will come of producing the document for Cliff. The NCAA has no legal standing to require documents or to require Cliff or Cliff's parents to speak to them. If there was nothing to this, it would have been solved quickly. The fact that is has lasted two weeks, means that behind the smoke is fire.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 9 months ago

You're right about fire.

Kansas is not in jeopardy so long as the Alexander family keeps those documents secret. What is Cliff is not drafter in the first round without guarantee money and ends up buried in the D-League and the Alexander family becomes bitter with Self, under the belief that Self denied him the NCAA platform to prove himself, which would earn a higher guaranteed money draft position?

The family could twist themselves into believing signing a loan, regardless of NCAA rules, was there own private business of no concern to the NCAA or Kansas.

Fletcher Anderson 7 years, 9 months ago

The true issue is the rule. Why can a parent not take a loan out to help their kid or family? It is not like KU is funding this loan.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 9 months ago

Because an agent is the one who likely told Cliff's mom about the loan agency and probably cosigned the loan. That is a slippery slope to go down with allowing agents to dictate who goes where.

Armen Kurdian 7 years, 9 months ago

KU has no choice but to not play Cliff because the NCAA says something "may" have happened. Turning over documents to them is akin to many of the processes we go through life, such as if you want to adopt a child, you have to turn over a lot of documents to the agency. Or if you want a security clearance, you have a lot of things you have to prove in your history.

Let's say for instance that something happened that contravenes NCAA rules. Did the Alexanders even know it wasn't legal? It doesn't seem like Cliff got any benefit at all for goodness sake. They put KU into a position where one of our critical players is forced to sit during the postseason, and not only that, potentially jeopardize his entire damn career because of a loan to his mom? Give me a break.

Andrew Foster 7 years, 9 months ago

Simply stated.... Time for the players who can play lace em up...

Use Cliff's departure, as unfortunate as it is as a recruiting tool to backfill

Mike Riches 7 years, 9 months ago

I realize there is a pretty good chance the documents in question (financial records or otherwise) do exist, but what if they don't? Isn't it fair for the NCAA to at least meet with Alexander? There is still a small glimmer of hope that this gets resolved and we have Cliff back next year. Yes, I'm an eternal optimist...

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 9 months ago

If those documents legitimately did not exist, this matter would never have happened in the first place. They exist, the NCAA will never see them, Cliff's mom will never speak with the NCAA, and Cliff Alexander will never suit up for KU again.

Cameron Cederlind 7 years, 9 months ago

I'm surprised the NCAA hasn't teamed up with the NSA by now

Harlan Hobbs 7 years, 9 months ago

Joe, you are so enlightening, and I truly enjoy reading your posts. That's not intended to take anything away from many of the other posters, who make great points as well.

The only thing I might add it that KU will definitely not play Cliff Alexander until this matter is resolved. They don't want to do anything to antagonize the NCAA and possibly give them fodder for taking away KU's 11th straight conference title.

My biggest concern is the distraction that it is clearly making for the team. With the possible exception of the OU game at Norman when several people stepped up to make it a contest, KU hasn't played a decent game since Alexander was relegated to the bench. Maybe it was just coincidence, but Alexander did not make the trip to Norman which may somewhat have created a situation of "out of sight, out of mind."

Even though Cliff has not performed up to expectations this year, his presence on the floor would at the least give KU added depth. Meanwhile, his absence gives the players one more unnecessary thing to think about as they try to focus on the rest of the season.

In short, if Cliff is not going to play, what does KU gain by having him sit on the bench during games? I'm not advocating that Coach Self remove him from the bench because by all accounts up to now, Cliff does not appear to be guilty of any wrongdoing. I'm just asking the question rhetorically.

RJ King 7 years, 9 months ago

Sure, I'd rather have Cliff than not have him. But he was only averaging 17 minutes, 7 pts and 5 rebounds. Against long teams, he performed well against Texas, OK vs Kentucky, and not so well vs Baylor.

I think the five additional fouls are the most significant loss. We trade Cliff's physicality for the experience of Lucas and the semi-Witheyness of Mickelson. We have been clamoring for more minutes from them. Apples to oranges, but so far they have performed admirably.

It's on our guards to step up, play smart & energized, penetrate, and make a few 3-pt's to keep defenses honest.

I don't know about the distraction. Only the players know whether it affects or not. Cliff sits way down at the end of the bench. The distraction of the interview questions will continue with or without his presence.

IF Cliff had no idea what his Mom was up to, then he shouldn't be punished by being excluded from the team. He could probably use a few friends. Maybe Self is erring on the side of kindness, and innocence until proven . . .

Joe Ross 7 years, 9 months ago

Thanks, Harlan. Today I got owned by more enlightened opinions though. But that's the great thing about this site and these fans. The comments aren't just a place to share opinions; we often find good information here among the fraternity of fans. In any case, its good to be among fellow Hawk fans and Im glad youre one of them! Rock Chalk!

John Fitzgerald 7 years, 9 months ago

What Aaron and Joe are saying make 100% since and I tend to agree, but my only question is why would his attorney call out the NCAA? I guess I don't see the benefit other than deflecting the blame. But you're calling out the NCAA, who is known for going on a power trip. I feel like all you're doing and is making them approach the matter in a more aggressive manner. Unless Cliff is innocent or there can't be any consquences, then I wouldn't say a thing and just let the matter fizzle off. His attorney is either trying to add fuel to the fire or he knows something we don't about their innocence. And to be honest, I don't care if Cliff plays for us ever again, I just don't want the program or University to suffer any consequences and I just hope that Cliff still has a bright future ahead of him.

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