University of Kansas

KU prepares to play without Cliff Alexander, who still awaits eligibility ruling

Kansas forward Cliff Alexander is still awaiting word on whether he is eligible to play for the Jayhawks in the NCAA Tournament.
Kansas forward Cliff Alexander is still awaiting word on whether he is eligible to play for the Jayhawks in the NCAA Tournament. The Kansas City Star

For the last week, Kansas coach Bill Self has prepared to be without freshman forward Cliff Alexander in the NCAA Tournament.

That hasn’t changed.

Self told The Star on Monday that the NCAA’s investigation into Alexander’s eligibility was still “status quo.” For now, Kansas still expects to play without Alexander, but he hasn’t been officially ruled out.

The NCAA is investigating potential improper benefits received by Alexander’s family from a third party. Self also addressed the situation Monday in a TV interview on ESPNU.

“I’d say the same as it was last week and the week before that and the week before that — not very good,” Self told Andy Katz. “We’re certainly moving on with the likelihood that he will not be available to us. And if he is, of course, that would be a big bonus. But at this time, I don’t think so.”

Moments later, multiple reports, citing Self’s interview with Katz, surfaced saying that Self had ruled out Alexander for the tournament. In a text message to The Star, Self said nothing had changed in the case and he had not officially ruled out Alexander.

The chances of Alexander playing, though, remain remote. On Sunday, Self told reporters in Lawrence that he was done addressing the situation unless there was a change.

Last week, a lawyer representing Alexander issued a news release that said Alexander was ready to speak to NCAA investigators, but the situation was held up while the NCAA asked for more documentation. On Monday, Katz asked Self whether there was a chance that Alexander would sit down with the NCAA.

“I don’t think it has anything to do with what he wants to do or with what the NCAA wants to do,” Self said. “They just have to have all the parties on the same page. I’m not privy to that information, so I don’t know where all that is. I’m hopeful that’s the case. I know that’s what he wants. Certainly, I don’t think we are at the point where that is going to transpire yet.”

To reach Rustin Dodd, call 816-234-4937 or send email to rdodd@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rustindodd.

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