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The Kansas Jayhawks just pulled the World Cup over their heads, but that tension could be short-lived as the NCAA’s investigation into college basketball corruption could be nearing completion.
The University of Kansas was listed as part of an FBI case in 2017 alleging bribes were paid to lure leading recruits to top projects. And payments were made to coaches so they would steer young players toward financial and business advice, according to then-American lawyer Joon Kim from southern New York.
“Coaches at some of the nation’s leading programs that ask for and accept bribes in cash; executives and financial advisors revolve around a flat future like a flat wolf; and employees of one of the largest sportswear companies in the world who hide money from the families of newcomers to high school, “said Kim. said in 2017.
The FBI initially arrested 10 people, including former NBA star Chuck Person.
The FBI’s investigation led to the NCAA’s alleged five level I offenses – which include serious misconduct – against the Kansas men’s basketball program in September 2019, including head coach Bill Self and assistant Kurtis Townsend. The allegations were about payments made by representatives of Adidas, the school’s clothing sponsor, to prospective newcomers to KU.
The NCAA announced in July 2020 that the case would be resolved through the IARP. According to that process, an independent resolution committee, consisting of five independent members with legal, higher education and / or sports backgrounds, would consider the case and decide on sanctions. IARP has no complaint process.
The University of Kansas has spent more than $ 3 million on defense
Kansas has vigorously defended the program and both coaches, spending more than $ 3 million to defend itself against NCAA violations, KCUR said.
KU officials claim that Adidas’ representatives “intentionally withheld unauthorized payments from the university and its coaching staff. The university has never denied that these unauthorized payments were made,” the university said in a statement issued in 2020 in response to the NCAA’s announcement of allegations. .
“The university would take full responsibility if it believed that violations had taken place, as we have shown with other self-explanatory violations,” the university said. It said that KU and its leaders “stand firmly behind Coach Self, its staff and the men’s basketball program, as well as our strong regulatory program.
The school also showed its support for its head coach by giving Self a five-year $ 5.41 million rolling contract that automatically adds one year to the end of each term, effectively turning it into a life contract.
“For nearly 20 years, Coach Self has been involved in the spirit and tradition of the University of Kansas, leading our men’s basketball program to a national championship, 15 Big 12 titles and 17 NCAA tournaments. We believe in Coach Self and we believe in the future of our program under his leadership. “And we are thrilled that he will continue to be Jayhawk for the rest of his coaching career,” said Chancellor of the University of Kansas Doug Girod in a statement issued at the time of the signing.
Included in Self’s new contract was a clause stating that KU “will not dismiss the head coach for any reason for any ongoing criminal proceedings involving conduct that occurred on or before the date on which this contract is performed.” It also states that if the coach will be fired from the NCAA or Big 12 “as a result of an imminent NCAA violation matters,” he would lose half of his salary during the ban.
Kansas faces possible penalties including exclusion from next year’s NCAA tournament
What penalty IARP can impose is everyone’s guess. It could be anything from being hit on the wrist to preventing the current national champions from competing in next year’s NCAA tournament.
What is certain is that the process has been painfully slow, with NCAA President Mark Emmert telling reporters at the Final Four press conference that it had taken “far too long”.
The question is whether the offenses uncovered in the FBI investigation would still be illegal if they had occurred in 2022. Last year, the US Supreme Court ruled that college athletes could benefit from their name, image and likeness in what is now known. . as NIL takes care of.
The Supreme Court ruling opened the door to agreements on player recommendations
The Mars Madness Tournament 2022 was the first in which these NIL agreements allowed athletes to leverage their popularity on offer, from local restaurants in their university cities to major domestic brands such as Gatorade and Adidas – the company at the center of the 2017 study.
The brand is expected to spend nearly $ 600 million on NIL contracts before the first anniversary of the NCAA policy change in July, according to a recent white paper from Front Office Sports and Opendorse, a consulting firm that runs the potential brand value of athletes. over the NIL universe.
These expenditures are expected to grow into billions and usher in a new era of financial opportunity for nearly half a million athletes competing in NCAA sports – the majority of whom are not on sports grants.
In the past, athletes may have lost scholarships or forged their college playing career by profiting from their name, image, and likeness. Now they have a new way to help fund their education – athletes like those who received money, according to an FBI investigation.
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.