The NCAA basically put Kansas basketball squarely in the crosshairs and loaded the gun directly at coach Bill Self.
But he’s got athletics director Jeff Long behind him. You almost feel sorry for Self.
Exactly how much comfort that is remains to be seen. It is kinda surprising that Long hasn’t run like a scalded dog from this considering it all went down before he got the job in Lawrence
Late Thursday afternoon the news broke about the official allegations against the Jayhawks by the kangaroo court that is desperately trying to keep the programs it can still control under it’s thumb.
In case you weren’t aware, the NCAA lost most control of football in 1998 with the BCS and it sailed completely out the window with the College Football Playoff. That’s why coming out of this health pandemic you hear what’s going to happen from the conferences first, then basically a memo of concurrence from the NCAA.
Kansas’ basketball program committed “egregious” and “severe” rules violations that “significantly undermine and threaten the NCAA Collegiate Model,” according to a story at ESPN.com by Mark Schlabach.
The NCAA alleged Self and assistant Kurtis Townsend “embraced, welcomed and encouraged” Adidas employees and consultants to influence high-profile recruits to sign with Kansas.
Uh-oh. Never fear, Bill, you’ve got Long behind you. In case you haven’t figured it out yet that’s probably not where you want him. The guess here is he’s distancing himself as much as possible from the whole mess and he probably would have already moved Self out of town if it was up to him.
Basketball in Kansas is so big you can pretty much bet Long has about as much control over Self as the NCAA does over college football these days.
Long sailed through a decade at Arkansas as athletics director with no problems I’m aware of with the NCAA. Of course he didn’t have any coaches in basketball or football with much interest in doing a whole lot of recruiting.
Bobby Petrino had other issues, but breaking NCAA rules has never been charged, basketball didn’t have anybody capable and Mike Anderson wouldn’t even do certain things that are NOT against the rules.
The Jayhawks are charged with five Level I rules violations (the most serious) including lack of institutional control. Self is charged with head-coach responsibility violations.
Just to look like they had a sense of fairness they threw a couple of smaller violations at the football program. Even the NCAA came close to waving those off in the notice.
“The institution, in taking its defiant posture in the case, is indifferent to how its alleged violations may have adversely impacted other NCAA institutions who acted in compliance with NCAA legislation,” the NCAA wrote.
Of course, Kansas is denying everything.
“The enforcement staff’s assertion that KU refuses to accept responsibility is wrong,” Kansas responded in a release. “The university absolutely would accept responsibility if it believed that violations had occurred, as we have demonstrated with other self-reported infractions. Chancellor (Doug) Girod, Jeff Long and KU stand firmly behind coach Self, his staff and our men’s basketball program.”
To be a little fair, Long had nothing to do with the allegations, but this sets up perfectly for one of his typical self-serving moves.
That usually ends up with somebody getting fired or looking bad while Long finds a microphone, works up a tear or two and laments the decision he had to make.
In this case, though, the guess is Long will figure out a way to put as much distance between himself and the whole thing as humanly possible.
Which could leave Self dangling in the wind.
And some folks in Arkansas incredibly glad Long is there to have his back.