Saturday, December 2, 2017

Freshman forward Billy Preston not in Miami with second-ranked Jayhawks

Kansas forward Billy Preston (23) sits on the bench during the second half on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Billy Preston (23) sits on the bench during the second half on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Miami — The news had no bearing on today's clash with Syracuse — 4:30 p.m. at American Airlines Arena on ESPN — but we now know for sure that KU freshman Billy Preston will not play against the Orange.

KU coach Bill Self released a statement Saturday revealing that Preston did not even make the trip to Miami with the second-ranked Jayhawks.

“Billy practiced with us Friday morning,” the statement from Self began. “And after practice I learned that his mother was coming to (Lawrence) and would have little opportunity to spend time with Billy due to the Miami trip. I recommended Billy stay back so he and his mom could have some time together considering they have not seen each other in person in a while. Billy will be at our next practice and will be with the team when we go to Kansas City next week. Billy not making the trip has nothing to do with anything other than being able to spend some time with his mother.”

The 6-10, 240-pound former McDonald's All-American, has yet to play this season and has been held out of the last five games while KU officials attempt to sort out a compliance issue involving a vehicle he was driving during a single-car, no-injury accident on Nov. 11.

Self has said that Preston, though frustrated, has maintained a positive attitude throughout the ordeal and continued to be a good teammate, working hard in practice and supporting the program from the bench during games.

At his regularly scheduled news conference on Thursday afternoon, Self said he remained “hopeful” that the situation would get resolved and Preston would return to the team at some point.

No official timeline of any kind has been given for a decision on Preston's status, but Self said on Thursday that even though no “movement” had been made toward a resolution, there had been action taken toward trying to achieve a favorable outcome for Preston and the Jayhawks.

Self has said repeatedly throughout the process that Preston has not been ruled ineligible and that the decision to hold him out of competition has been made by KU.

Preston missed KU's season opener on Nov. 10 after missing curfew and class leading up to the game.


Doug Weston 4 years, 9 months ago

"Billy not making the trip has nothing to do with anything other than being able to spend some time with his mother.”

And if you believe that, I have a large bell tower on campus for sale. How long has the Miami game been on the schedule? So, why would Billy's mom plan a trip to Lawrence if her son was presumably going to be in Miami with the team?

Marcia Parsons 4 years, 9 months ago

Maybe she thought he needed a shoulder to cry on and a little TLC. He's just a kid far from home. She knew he wasn't playing so why not come to see him even if a game was scheduled. I have no idea what her life is like. Maybe this was the only time she could come.

Barry Weiss 4 years, 9 months ago

or maybe she came up to be interviewed by KU's compliance team?

Barry Weiss 4 years, 9 months ago

This whole thing is strange. What the heck is there to "sort out"? Get the purchase agreement, get some bank records to show the down payment or other payments, clear him and end this. This is starting to sound fishy, very fishy.

David Kemp 4 years, 9 months ago

Agree this is the computer era. Should take 5minutes to figure this out.

Randy Glenn 4 years, 9 months ago

Good point Doug!! Hope De Sousa is able to join us so we can move on from this mess.

Brett McCabe 4 years, 9 months ago

We may be lucky that Billy can't drive. If there is a problem with ownership of that vehicle, what if he had played a majority of the season and then something came up?

Still hoping this gets worked out, but we may have dodged a bullet.

Brian Skelly 4 years, 9 months ago

Agreed. Of course maybe that story was a ruse too. Who knows at this point. It's harder to envision this working out for any of the parties at this point.

Dirk Medema 4 years, 9 months ago

"had played a majority of the season" = Alexander?

The fact that Billy's mom came to town is encouraging to me, regardless of how tech savvy some people are or aren't, or how simple some people think everything should be.

Ken Schmidt 4 years, 9 months ago

Or the possibility that the car was owned by someone with ties to the university and they called his mother up to spend the weekend with him to help make some decisions about the future. The statement is still valid but not in the way the general public would interpret. All the same, all young kids make mistakes. Hopefully the NCAA views him sitting out for the first 1/4 or 1/2 of the season as punishment enough and allow him to join the team after a verbal reprimand if this were the case. Likewise, hopefully this does not fester into an unfavorable outcome for the program and/or current team since they seem to have a good and unique chemistry this well as a banner recruitment class for next.

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 9 months ago

We saw this with Shelby...1/3 of the games...9 or 12 games. There is no rush by the NCAA because we are only at game 7.

Dirk Medema 4 years, 9 months ago

There has been no comment about this being with the NCAA for review. This is our internal investigation getting all the facts they expect the NCAA to ask for so that we can reasonably go on with the season - with or without Billy.

Steve Johnson 4 years, 9 months ago

The guy won't ever get on the court. The Hawks uncovered some dirty stuff and he is out. This will make the Big 12 season very difficult and an early exit for the tournament.

Barry Weiss 4 years, 9 months ago

sheesh, lets hope its not this gloomy and doomy

Yonatan Negash 4 years, 9 months ago

Expect the worst, hope for the best.

Part of me wants to believe things will work out for the kid but the other part says the outcome can't be good.

Keep hope alive.

Allin Herring 4 years, 9 months ago

The Kid cheated and could have cost us the season. Kiss him good bye and show him the door. Breaking this kind of rule is not just a kid made a mistake. Let him go on to the NBA. If he can make it with no college experience. I am over Selfs recruits with issues. Seems it every year year now. Duke does not get this many recruits with issues.

Dirk Medema 4 years, 9 months ago

Kid (apparently) got a car for college from his mom. Probably not much different than going to boarding school. This isn't about Billy's character, and shame on you for making the accusations.

And Coach Self's recruits aren't repeatedly tripping opponents either.

Allin Herring 4 years, 9 months ago

Ya right he got the car from his Mom (wink wink). I can not believe you actually believe that! If this is still in the hands of only our internal investigators as you said above, then we need to find us a new group of investigators because if it is the MOM who bought the car then that would have been settled long ago! If we have not had recruits with issues then who is Selby, Alexander, Jackson, and Bragg to name a few.

Dee Shaw 4 years, 9 months ago

Seriously! You are still writing articles on this. What a waste of time and energy on a player IF he plays will average 3 pts, .9 rebounds and 5 min a game. If that. Won’t play any significant minutes. This is Chieck Diaollo part 2. Remember the signs and crowd chants “Free Diaollo”. How silly that looks now. Chieck had NO impact an at this point Billy will have no impact. Time to move on.

Thomas Green 4 years, 9 months ago

If you took an impermissible benefit in the form of a car, I don’t think you get a suspension and pay a fee to some charity. That is a blatant and inexcusable violation. Maybe she’s there to help him pack his things...

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 9 months ago

It depends on the amount... look at Shelby.

Jay Hawkinson 4 years, 9 months ago

This is 100% speculation, but here is my theory of the case:

  1. The car was paid for in part or in full by someone who isn't allowed to help Billy financially.

  2. Billy's mom is in town because the Preston family is in the process of paying that person back.

  3. Once that is completed, KU will go to the NCAA and self-report that Billy received a benefit equal to the cost of leasing the car for however many months he had it. If he's only had it since arriving at KU, that shouldn't be more than about $2000.

  4. Which if I recall, is around the value of benefits that Selby received. Hopefully the same 1/3 season suspension would apply. However, the NCAA would probably want to investigate for themselves, and with the holidays approaching it may in practice end up being longer than that.

  5. If the NCAA accepts the argument that the benefit should be calculated as the cost of leasing or renting, he would hopefully be cleared by some point in January. If they insist on treating the benefit as the full value of the car, he would probably be permanently ineligible.

  6. I think he would end up contributing a little more than Selby and Diallo a) due to necessity, and b) because he has been practicing against the Lawsons every day. In terms of value he would probably be something like a second Lightfoot, but with a different skillset.

We'll see.

Dirk Medema 4 years, 9 months ago

Or momma got the car for him in between coming home from boarding school and going to college. She has to provide the compliance office with the documents that she got the vehicle and is paying for the vehicle without any special benefit from being related to an NCAA athlete.

Allin Herring 4 years, 9 months ago

Ever heard of a Fax?? That could have been sent weeks ago if she had anything to do with it. She is probably in town as mentioned above or is here to discuss what plans he needs to make moving forward.

Thomas Green 4 years, 9 months ago

Interesting thoughts Jay. That might be a way to at least attempt to fix this mess, but I wonder how the NCAA would look at it after the fact.

It’s like, oops I got caught, but can I get a break. Seems a bit like rewarding bad behavior to me.

At this point, I believe KU’s compliance dropped the ball on this from the get go and everyone in that department should be fired! They could start with Zenger! Surely he oversees such things?

Tony Bandle 4 years, 9 months ago

BEST CASE SCENARIO: Billy is allowed to play the second semester starting with the Texas game, Silvio is allowed to join the team a semester early, Conliffe becomes eligible and provides value added on the court.

MEDIUM CASE SCENARIO: Billy is declared ineligible, but Silvio is allowed to join and Conliffe makes an impact.

WORST CASE SCENARIO: Billy is gone, Silvio has to wait till next year, Conliffe has little input and Zenger is still our AD.

Christopher Benham 4 years, 9 months ago

According to ESPN, he not only traveled to Miami, but committed a turnover early in the second half.

David Howell 4 years, 9 months ago

So ESPN can't be wrong can they (lol) ! KU wouldn't have turned in a game roster with him on it ...............

I am done with the speculation. At this point if he gets to play great. If not we can say we saw him sit on the end of the bench in a suit, etc.

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