When Jayhawks basketball coach Bill Self euphemistically described a two-week stretch that has been marred by police investigations and troubling revelations about Kansas players as a “unique last short period of time,” KU fans hoped this period truly would be unique and short. And the last time, for that matter.
But unfortunately, it doesn’t look like any of those words really apply to recent disclosures involving the school’s basketball program.
Until we know more, it’s hard to understand why being caught with a bong or some other drug paraphernalia gets you suspended, but an investigation that concludes you likely hit and kicked a woman in an instance of domestic violence yields no public suspension.
Nor did a police investigation into almost $3,000 in damage to the same female student’s car appear to have occasioned any action by Self or KU other than hushing up the fact that two players are people of interest in that probe.
To recap recent disturbing events: On Monday, The Star reported that a KU investigation had found that sophomore Lagerald Vick likely hit a female student on the arm repeatedly and kicked her in the face in 2015. Investigators recommended two years of school probation.
But did that ever happen?
Schools love to hide their problems behind privacy laws, and KU isn’t saying.
Self offered only this prepared statement: “I have been told that I cannot comment on a university investigation, or whether one is or is not taking place or has ever taken place, OK? And due to previous practices by the university and by the athletic department, I would not be giving any details of such investigation. So what was reported was reported. I haven’t been made aware of anything. So that’s where that is, and that’s the last time and the only thing that I will say concerning that, because I (have) basically been told that’s all that can be said.”
It’s hard to believe that Self really had not “been made aware of anything.” But if that’s the case, maybe he should check in with Jim Marchiony, the KU spokesman who as The Star reported on Thursday, said school officials did know that Vick and star freshman Josh Jackson were involved in the investigation into the December report of vandalism, which occurred outside a Lawrence bar.
We do know that sophomore Carlton Bragg has been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and that there’s an ongoing investigation of an alleged rape in McCarthy Hall, where the team lives, along with other students.
But what we most need to know is whether violence against women is taken seriously, no matter how the team is doing or how much the Jayhawks need every player.