NCAA president asked about KU basketball infraction case
The first question NCAA President Mark Emmert faced Thursday during his annual Final Four press conference concerned the long-running University of Kansas infraction case.
A reporter framed the question, “One of four schools here (Kansas), 2 and a half years ago, received a Notice of Allegations with five Level I violations. In the meantime, they basically gave their coach a lifetime contract while this case is still pending. What does this suggest to you about how your member schools view the application process as it is currently constructed? »
KU men’s basketball coach Bill Self received a new five-year rolling contract with a guaranteed value of $5.41 million per year on April 2, 2021 after his contract was due to expire at the end of the 2021-22 season. USA Today reported Self’s total compensation for this season was $10.2 million. due to the deferred payment of indemnities.
“First of all, I will leave it to the school to decide on the contracts of its coaches. It’s their business, of course. They can do it however they want,” Emmert said Thursday at Caesars Superdome, site of the Final Four.
“The application process that you’re referring to, of course, is for cases that have come out of the Southern District of New York. Those cases have gone through a whole new independent process. I think by anybody’s estimation, they’ve took way too long. It took two years before anything could be done with these cases because of the Department of Justice’s commitment. And so you automatically start two years behind the curve, that which is crazy, of course.
He continued: “And then he was just very slow to go through this new independent process (IARP) which ended up re-examining the whole case. So I think the work that’s going on right now, particularly with the transformation committee and a group that’s working with the membership to try to accelerate the enforcement model, is going to be really important.
“For me, there are a few things that need to be included in the app. And first of all, it has to be fair. It must be quick. And he shouldn’t punish the innocent, if you will, those who weren’t involved in these activities. And that’s where members need to be in all of this, as they shape a new process or rebuild the one that’s in place.
The NCAA leader said that “it’s fascinating to watch and be part of a system where the schools themselves are – and they’ve been doing it for, my goodness, since the 1950s, so over 60 years now – where they hold themselves accountable for following the rules. And how do you create a model that does those three things? It’s fair and quick and at the same time goes after the misconduct and not those who weren’t involved.
“And we’ve seen over that 40, 50 year period a swing of that pendulum back and forth and back and forth. We have to get it in a place that’s right. And I don’t think there’s anyone right now who thinks that’s the case,” Emmert said.
The NCAA in 2019 alleged five Level I offenses against the Kansas men’s basketball program and Self which focus on payments made by representatives of Adidas, KU’s apparel sponsor, to potential recruits.
The NCAA was forceful in its allegations against Self and his assistant Kurtis Townsend in September 2019, as evidenced by a line that stated that the two KU basketball staff members, along with Adidas representatives, “did intentionally and willfully indulged in violations of the NCAA and blatantly disregarded the NCAA constitution and bylaws”.
Self and his lawyers then fought with their own powerful statements. Scott Tompsett, one of Self’s attorneys, said: ‘The NCAA alleged that Coach Self failed to exercise proper due diligence in running its program. We will vigorously contest this allegation.
the The NCAA announced in July 2020 that KU’s case would go through the independent liability resolution process.. NC State is the only school to have a case decided this wayas he was handed a year’s probation among other punishments while avoiding a post-season ban after his case was completed last month.
last fall, Kansas Athletics asked for an “alternative resolution” for the basketball casewith Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby offering his support for that outcome, according to schedule updates on the IARP website. The last update on the IARP timeline on the case was in December.
The Star’s Jesse Newell contributed to this report