Some schools involved in the FBI’s college basketball investigation were put on alert by an NCAA official Wednesday. Could Kansas be among them?
The official, Stan Wilcox, vice president of regulatory affairs, told CBSSports.com that six schools will receive a Notice of Allegations for Level 1 violations. Two would receive notices in July, the other four later this summer.
The violations were revealed during the FBI investigation that produced 10 arrests, including four assistant coaches, from Auburn, Arizona, USC and Oklahoma State. Some 20 schools were mentioned during the course of the investigation, which in part found that Adidas officials funneled money to the guardians of top basketball recruits to steer them toward college basketball programs sponsored by the apparel company.
Wilcox did not name the schools that will receive a Notice of Allegations, which are delivered after a NCAA investigation is closed.
The NCAA issued a statement on Thursday.
“The NCAA continues to investigate potential rules violations stemming from the Southern District of New York allegations and subsequent court proceedings. We are aggressively and thoroughly pursuing information and using all tools available to us through the NCAA infractions process. As a result, we expect that at least six Division I men’s basketball programs will receive NCAA Notice of Allegations within the coming months, and likely additional schools thereafter. Colleges and universities have a responsibility to run their athletics programs within NCAA rules. Our membership expects us to hold accountable those who fail to do so.”
A Kansas Athletics official said KU would have no comment.
Level 1 violations carry some of the most severe punishment, including postseason bans and scholarship loss.
“So now that’s it over, we’re going to be moving forward with a number of Level I cases that will help people realize that, ‘Yeah, the enforcement staff was in a position to move forward,’” Wilcox told CBSSports.com.
Kansas is among the schools associated with Adidas that were named in the FBI investigation.
Former Adidas employee T.J. Gassnola testified in federal court last October that he made concealed payments on behalf of the company to the families of KU basketball players Billy Preston and Silvio De Sousa. Gassnola also testified that KU coach Bill Self was not aware of the payments.
As a result of that trial, De Sousa was given a two-year NCAA suspension. Kansas appealed the second year of the punishment, and the NCAA reinstated De Sousa last month.
The NCAA was allowed to take information from the trial and apply it to its investigations, but one piece of possible evidence involving Kansas cannot be used by the NCAA.
But the call wasn’t entered into evidence in the trial, and according to Wilcox, the NCAA doesn’t have access to it.
Text messages from Self, Townsend and Gassnola were entered into evidence, however. Those text conversations are from the days leading to De Sousa’s commitment to KU and the announcement of a KU-Adidas contract extension, which was not finalized until this April.