Kansas men’s basketball coach Bill Self said Thursday that he has not been presented any information about an investigation into the reported rape of a 16-year-old girl in McCarthy Hall that would lead to him to suspend any players from participation at this time.
“If there was an issue they wouldn’t be playing. There hasn’t been anything that has been brought to my attention that would keep anybody from playing,” Self said on the weekly Big 12 coaches teleconference.
Thursday night, Self announced a player suspension but said in a news release it was “not connected to the alleged incident in McCarthy Hall on December 17th.”
Sophomore forward Carlton Bragg was indefinitely suspended from competition by Self for a violation of team rules.
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Earlier in the day, Self was asked if he has heard none of his players would be named suspects in the alleged rape at the hall, which houses the KU’s men’s basketball team and other male students.
According to a police report, the rape and three other crimes, contributing to a child’s misconduct, furnishing alcohol to a minor and possession of drug paraphernalia, were alleged to have occurred between 10 p.m. Dec. 17 and 5 a.m. Dec. 18.
The police report lists five players as witnesses, none of which are Bragg.
An investigation by KU police remains open.
“All I know is what I said yesterday. There’s an alleged incident that took place there,” Self said. “The people that were listed that are potential witnesses in some way, and that could be a plethora of ways as I’m sure you well know, what witness potentially could be.
“That’s all we know at this point. (I’m) certainly not going to minimize it at all because it’s such a serious potential allegation that took place in McCarthy Hall, but I’m also not going to draw something from it that in no way, shape or form have we been told is there right now.”
Self acknowledged the investigation is a distraction entering Saturday’s game at Kentucky. The KU athletic department is cooperating with police, according to both parties.
“I think anytime … it certainly is a distraction without question,” Self said. “The Kentucky game is a big game. It is probably as big a game for fans as it is for players. Certainly for players it’s a game you circle and look forward to playing whenever the season begins, whenever you start practicing.
“Sure it’s a distraction, I mean how could it not be,” he added, noting it’s a distraction only because, “you have to hear about it and go through it.”
Self also addressed the investigation at his weekly news conference Thursday afternoon.
“It’s not a distraction, it’s a major distraction,” he said. “Certainly, most importantly, I think sometimes when in general when you talk about distraction, you look at it how it affects us.
“But more importantly there’s an obviously serious alleged allegation that has been made. So that trumps figuring out how to guard (Kentucky’s players).”
Self said he was notified of the allegations as soon as the athletic department was. He was asked by a reporter from KCTV Channel 5 during the news conference if there was discussion of “getting out in front of this around Dec. 18 so there wasn’t a perception of possibly holding information back?”
He answered: “I don’t know where you’re going, but I don’t like it. There is nobody withholding information at all.
“If you wanted to discuss how it’s being handled go to the Lawrence Police Department (Editor’s note: KU police are conducting the investigation). It’s not our responsibility to report everything that the Lawrence Police Department does, and it’s not their responsibility. I don’t think to report it because they have certain things they have to do to follow their protocol. Nobody’s hiding behind this at all.
“I kind of resent the fact that you would even hint at that.”