University of Kansas

Major violations, including by Bill Self, cited in NCAA allegations against KU

The University of Kansas has received a NCAA notice of allegations that outlines major violations against the Jayhawks men’s basketball team and coach Bill Self, as well as secondary football violations.

The notice alleges lack of institutional control against KU, three Level 1 violations in men’s basketball and a head coach responsibility violation against Jayhawks coach Bill Self.

Head coaches who commit a Level 1 violation can be suspended for a season or more, according to the NCAA manual. Level 1 violations also carry punishments of one-to-five year postseason bans and restrictions on scholarships and recruiting.

A determination on punishment for KU will take several months to complete, likely past the end of the 2019-20 men’s basketball season.

In a statement, the school plans to “fully and comprehensively present its positions regarding the notice. In the meantime, though, it is already clear from an initial review that the university will fiercely dispute in detail much of what has been presented.”

Self said in a release that he will “vigorously dispute what has been alleged.”

“In its haste and attempt to regain control, the enforcement staff has created a false narrative regarding me and our basketball program,” he said. “The narrative is based on innuendo, half-truths, misimpressions and mischaracterizations. In reality, we all know there is only one version of the truth. The truth is based on verifiable facts, and I am confident the facts we will demonstrate in our case will expose the inaccuracies of the enforcement staff’s narrative.”

The lack of institutional control charge for KU’s athletic department, according to the manual, is also a Level 1 violation.

Josephine Potuto, University of Nebraska law professor and past chair of the NCAA Division I infractions committee, told The Star that, in general, a lack of institutional control charge comes when an athletic department does not have a system in place to educate about NCAA bylaws.

The notice also includes secondary violations made by the KU football program under former head coach David Beaty.

Beaty filed suit against the athletic department in March, alleging that it sought to concoct a reason to fire him for cause to avoid a $3 million payout.

Beaty’s lawsuit said that after he refused the athletics department’s request for an extension to pay the former coach’s payout, KU Athletics initiated an NCAA investigation into the conduct of one of Beaty’s subordinates. The investigation was a pretext to reclassify Beaty’s departure from KU as termination for cause, which would void the $3 million, according to the lawsuit.

Michael Lyons, an attorney for Beaty, issued a written statement that said, in part:

“We were pleased that the two football allegations do not allege Coach Beaty had any direct participation or involvement in them. .. We continue to believe KU’s internal football ‘investigation’ was engineered to attempt to avoid paying David under his contract as promised. We will have not comment on the basketball allegations included in the notice nor on the clear discrepancy in the administration’s treatment of the head coaches in the two involved programs. KU is going to be forced to address those issues on its own.”

The Star reported Friday that KU would soon receive a notice of allegations from the NCAA, which would include multiple major violations with the men’s basketball program.

Universities have 90 days to respond to a notice. The NCAA has granted extensions to schools in the past.

The school response then is sent to an NCAA enforcement committee. That committee has 60 days to file a reply and a “statement of the case.”

Next, a hearing date is scheduled with the NCAA Committee on Infractions. At that hearing, the university is allowed to present its case with an NCAA ruling to follow. The ruling could take several months to reach.

If a school is assessed penalties, it has the opportunity to appeal.

The violations are tied in part to the recruitments of Billy Preston and Silvio De Sousa, as revealed in the FBI investigation into college basketball corruption.

Former Adidas employee T.J. Gassnola testified in federal court last October that he made payments of $90,000 on behalf of Adidas to the mother of Preston and $2,500 to the guardian of De Sousa. Gassnola also said he agreed to pay $20,000 to Fenny Falmagne, the guardian of De Sousa, to help Falmagne exit an agreement to send De Sousa to Maryland, an Under Armour school.

Gassnola testified that 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, who is allowed to play this upcoming season. Preston never played in a regular season game for KU.

Gassnola avoided prison time and was sentenced to probation.

One of KU’s NCAA issues is Gassnola’s relationship to Self and assistant Kurtis Townsend as revealed in court.

Text messages showed that during the time KU was recruiting De Sousa, KU coaches were aware that Gassnola was in contact with De Sousa’s guardian, Fenny Falmagne.

Gassnola testified that Townsend asked him to contact De Sousa’s guardian. Falmagne told The Star he wanted to see if Adidas would send gear it didn’t need to Angola’s national team.

Third parties and/or boosters are not allowed to provide anything with monetary value to a recruit or the recruit’s family or guardian. It is possible the NCAA deems it inappropriate for Townsend to ask Gassnola to send gear to Angola.

ESPN recently reported that NCAA investigators were also working on cases at Arizona, Auburn, Creighton, Louisville, LSU and USC.

The Star’s Gary Bedore contributed to this report.

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