This is written in follow-up to Monday’s article when KU’s NCAA allegations were made public. If you haven’t seen that article yet, you can do so here.
KU was officially served its Notice of Allegations for the men’s basketball and (surprisingly) football programs on Monday, and that evening the NOA was made public following Kansas’ fiery response. At the time, I made the case that a lot of the allegations would have to do with the “booster” label of certain Adidas representatives. That ultimately came true. Now that the actual accusations are public knowledge (something I did not expect to happen so quickly), let’s quickly summarize each of the five allegations against the basketball program and the two violations against the football program.
Allegation #1 – Level I
Allegation #1 starts off by discussing the improper recruiting involving Adidas representatives and KU recruits. I’m not totally sure which specific recruits are mentioned for each different improper activity because many names are not shown. Regardless, large sums of money were paid to (presumably) the parents or guardians of Billy Preston and Silvio de Sousa at the very least. What’s important here is how the NCAA is already establishing the Adidas representatives as “representatives of the institution’s athletics interests.” In other words, boosters.
Allegation #2—Level I
Allegation #2 appears to primarily involve Silvio De Sousa’s guardian Fenny Falmagne and the improper communications that transpired between Adidas representatives, coaches, and Falmagne. There are five components to this allegation, all of which revolve around Adidas representatives giving Falmagne large sums of money or equipment at the supposed request of Self and assistant coach Kurtis Townsend. Interestingly, former Kansas head coach Larry Brown was also mentioned as having improperly communicated with Falmagne. The allegation lists Brown as “a representative of the institution’s athletics interests.”
Allegation #3—Level I
Allegation #3 has four components revolving the recruitment of former Arizona star DeAndre Ayton, whom Kansas recruited and finished as a final-three option for. This is based on the fact that the allegation states Gassnola texted Self that “he had let Self down.” Text messages shown during the FBI trial showed that Gassnola was referring to Ayton in this text. This allegation claims that recruiting violations were occurring involving communications between Adidas representatives and Ayton’s family. It also alleges that Self and Townsend knew this was occurring and were made aware of the benefits required for Ayton to commit.
Allegation #4—Head Coach Responsibility Charge, Level I
Allegation #4 primarily attacks Self and, to an extent, Townsend, as “not promoting an atmosphere for compliance.” This allegation revolves around Gassnola being at a Late Night in the Phog event and suggests that since Self knew there were recruiting violations occurring with Gassnola (Allegations 1-3), he should have known Gassnola was in attendance and possibly influencing recruits. This is just one part of the allegation though, as it also generally states that Self should have reported the previous violations and ultimately did not.
Allegation #5—Lack of Institutional Control, Level I
Allegation #5 sets the picture for lack of institutional control. It describes several instances where KU allegedly did not take responsible actions. In one such instance, the allegation elaborates on the Late Night and Gassnola situation, stating that potential recruits and Adidas representatives were staying at the same hotel, and KU did nothing to ensure no violations took place. Another instance involves Billy Preston. The allegation claims no compliance staff was made aware that Preston had a vehicle, which is a requirement under NCAA guidelines. There are a few other smaller issues related to Preston regarding his eligibility status as well. Other allegations discuss how KU knew something inappropriate was happening with Gassnola but failed to report anything.
Allegation #6—Level II
Allegation #6 involves the KU football program. This allegation states that David Beaty had a video coordinator act as a coach, thus exceeding the number of coaches a team can have. It details why exactly the coordinator was defined as a coach, and that’s about it. This incident was self-reported by KU. The popular rumor is that this was self-reported in order to get out of paying Beaty money he is owed, but this is still an ongoing situation.
Allegation #7-Head Coach Responsibility Charge, Level II
Much like Allegation #4 did to Self, this allegation simply states that Beaty should have known about the coordinator and did nothing about it.
So those are the allegations KU is facing. Ignoring the football stuff, a lot of the basketball allegations boil down to the fact that the NCAA is considering the Adidas representatives as boosters. KU and Bill Self’s responses to the NOA were quite strong, and it seems that their main challenge is going to be proving that the Adidas representatives were not boosters as well as showing how Self was not demonstrating lack of institutional control. I think both will be quite difficult. This whole situation with shoe company representatives being labeled as boosters does beg a question worth examining. Surely the NCAA must know that there are other “boosters” of shoe companies that are working with other top schools, right? This isn’t a defense of KU by any means, but time and time again the NOA says something along the lines of “Self should have known…” Well, shouldn’t the NCAA know that this is happening everywhere? Again, this isn’t trying to defend KU at all, because it just so happens that the Adidas schools got caught, but it does raise questions about whether the NCAA is turning a blind eye to other shoe companies and preparing to make an example out of KU.
Finally, let’s talk about every KU fan’s favorite topic: NCAA punishment. Did you know that a Level I violation carries the most severe punishments? I do. It has only been in about every headline regarding KU. But seriously, this stuff is bad news for KU, especially with what happened on Thursday with Georgia Tech. On Thursday, the NCAA issued a punishment towards Georgia Tech for violations that occurred in 2016-17. There were two primary violations, both involving boosters. The first situation involved a booster meeting up with a recruit and taking him to a strip club. An assistant coach was aware of the situation and apparently lied about it to the enforcement staff. The other violation was a self-reported violation involving a booster giving benefits to a student-athletes despite being warned not to by the coach. The coach did not know benefits were given until the booster admitted it to him after the fact.
The punishment for these two violations, one of which was self-reported? Four years probation, a post season ban for this season, scholarship reductions, fines, recruiting limitations, a three-year show cause order against the assistant coach, and a vacation of wins. Yeah. Yikes. And this is for violations that are minuscule compared to what KU is facing. It’s possible that the severity of the punishment was primarily regarding the strip club stuff, but this is still a harsh punishment regardless. Now, the NCAA says that every case is different and that we can’t look at one case to see what might happen to another, but you have to think that the punishment is more geared towards the recruiting violations since that seems to be the focus of the NCAA since the Adidas trial. Based on this, if KU cannot successfully defend itself, it might be in a world of trouble. The allegations against KU are much more severe. Some fans like to remain optimistic about things, but the Georgia Tech punishment absolutely worries me. It’s going to be awhile before KU sees what kind of punishment it’s facing, so all we can do right now is trust Self and his lawyers to take care of the situation. It worked for Silvio. We’ll see if it works for KU.