LAWNRENCE, Kan. — One day after reclaiming at least a share of the Big 12 men’s basketball title, Kansas has responded to the NCAA’s allegations of wrongdoing.
After being given months to respond, in a nutshell, the university says the NCAA is wrong and is denying any malpractice.
“There is no reasonable conclusion that members of the university, including the men’s basketball staff, knew or should have known about any violations of NCAA rules,” the response said.
“(Head Coach Bill) Self had no knowledge of any NCAA rules violations or illicit conduct exhibited by Adidas, its employees or its consultants. … Voluminous evidence demonstrates uncontestably that Coach Self did, in fact, promote an atmosphere of compliance.”
While the NCAA’s notice didn’t detail what Kansas is accused of doing, the program was among the most prominent in an NCAA probe into a pay-for-play scheme that began with an FBI investigation into apparel company Adidas.
An Adidas executive testified at the trial that Self was aware of efforts by the brand to lure star players to KU with money provided to parents or player representatives.
Several other Division 1 programs were named as well.
That Adidas executive got probation for his testimony that led to three convictions.
KU got five level one violations for its basketball program and was also cited for “lack of institutional control.”
Thursday, on it’s deadline to respond, KU signaled it will continue to fight the allegations.
Among the highlights, KU rejects the NCAA’s claim that it’s apparel provider and sponsor Adidas is not “representative of KU’s interests” and acting on the school’s behalf.
“While there is no denying that the conduct of those associated with Adidas may have broken criminal law,” the school’s response said, “the University of Kansas and its employees should not be held responsible for that conduct.”
The university says Self had no knowledge of NCAA rule violations by Adidas and that Adidas associates testified they concealed the wrongdoing from KU.
KU also argues it has one of the strongest compliance programs in the nation and didn’t fail to monitor the men’s basketball program.
The university also responded to three football allegations it notes were self-reported, including a new, less serious one involving Coach Les Miles’ use of two non-coaching special teams staff members.
Ultimately, a hearing will be scheduled and Kansas will present its case. The NCAA will then issue its ruling, often within several months, and the school retains the right to appeal.