College basketball enters the 2018-19 postseason still weighed down by the federal government’s active investigation into college basketball corruption.
The still-developing story that has dominated the college sports world the past year and a half recently involved LSU coach Will Wade, who was suspended by his school administration March 8 and is not coaching the No. 9-ranked Tigers as the postseason begins.
Wade was caught on a wiretap allegedly discussing an offer to a recruit through Adidas’ Christian Dawkins.
“I think the health of the game is far better than what the appearance is. I do,” Kansas coach Bill Self said Wednesday after the Jayhawks’ 40-minute pre-Big 12 Tournament quarterfinal shootaround at the Sprint Center. KU will meet Texas approximately 8:30 p.m. Thursday.
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“Speaking candidly, because it’s obvious we’ve been involved, even though I still believe it’s from a distance compared to maybe what some of the other programs (that) have been implicated … but still though we’re going to have to explain ourself out, too, and we look forward to doing that.”
Communication between members of KU’s coaching staff and Adidas reps was mentioned in the first corruption trial involving basketball recruiting. At this time there’s nothing scheduled regarding possible testimony to be given from KU coaches at the next two trials to be held in the spring in New York.
“I don’t think that what’s going on (in college basketball) is near as rampant as what the appearance is right now,” Self said. “I really don’t, but certainly it’s been a black eye for our sport. It crushes me because obviously we’re a part of that because me being president of the NABC (in 2017-18) and on the oversight committee and those sorts of things is something we take great pride in trying to help the sport grow and certainly not take from it. It’s been difficult for everybody involved and our sport has taken a hit. But we’ll survive it and we’ll get through it.”
Self said Wednesday there is no timetable for KU’s appeal regarding sophomore forward Silvio De Sousa’s eligibility case. The NCAA recently deemed De Sousa ineligible for this season and next season. The NCAA stated it was “because his guardian received payment from a university booster and agent and agreed to receive additional funds from the same person.”