NCAA fires back after KU denies wrongdoing in response to notice of violations

Published: May. 7, 2020 at 4:21 PM CDT
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A continuation of the back-and-forth between the NCAA and the University of Kansas Athletics Department comes with a

The document essentially is the NCAA's response to KU's defense against the original NCAA notice of violations that came down last fall.

What's ultimately decided in the

could have big implications across college basketball.

At the heart of the public disagreement between the NCAA and KU is the NCAA claiming that KU is responsible for Adidas representatives paying players and that the athletics department should not have allowed this to happen.

KU doesn't deny that players were paid, but says no one with the University, including KU's basketball coaching staff, knew about it.

As both sides dig in, a key in all of this is what happens with the determination into whether a shoe and apparel company is labeled as a booster.

In the FBI's investigation into the allegations against KU, it calls the University a victim of fraud, but the NCAA says KU committed major violations by allowing the former shoe executive reps to pay players.

"It is the overwhelming assessment of the Commission that the state of men's college basketball is deeply troubled," the NCAA's rebuttal claims. "The levels of corruption and deception are now at a point that they threaten the very survival of the college game as we know it...We the commissioners believe that this is a final opportunity to turn the course of college basketball in the right direction. Every stakeholder will have to accept responsibility for what has happened in the past and commit to a new future if we are to succeed."

“The NCAA enforcement staff’s reply does not in any way change the University of Kansas’ position that the allegations brought against our men’s basketball program are simply baseless and littered with false representations. As the federal trial proved, Adidas employees intentionally concealed impermissible payments from the University and its coaching staff. The University has never denied these impermissible payments were made. For the NCAA enforcement staff to allege that the University should be held responsible for these payments is a distortion of the facts and a gross misapplication of NCAA Bylaws and case precedent. In addition, the enforcement staff’s assertion that KU refuses to accept responsibility is wrong. The University absolutely would accept responsibility if it believed that violations had occurred, as we have demonstrated with other self-reported infractions. Chancellor Girod, Jeff Long and KU stand firmly behind Coach Self, his staff and our men’s basketball program, as well as our robust compliance program.”

There is likely still a long way to go before this is settled. And, it's too early to tell what, if any punishment KU's basketball program could face.

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