Bill Self responds to trial concerning Adidas and NCAA recruiting violations

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NEW YORK (AP) - The Latest on the conviction of three college basketball recruiting insiders (all times local):

Wednesday night, Oct. 24

For the first time Wednesday night, Kansas Men's Basketball Coach Bill Self gave his thoughts on the trial concerning Adidas and NCAA recruiting violations.

The jury agreed KU and other schools were victims of fraud and did not know insiders were paying players.

"My staff and I have not, and do not offer improper inducements to them or their families to influence college decisions," Self said. "Nor are we aware of any third-party involvement to do so."

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3:45 p.m.

Adidas says it will continue to work with the NCAA and "other stakeholders" to improve "the environment around college basketball" following the conviction of three recruiting insiders.

The company said in a statement it cooperated fully with authorities during the investigation that led to Wednesday's verdict in Manhattan federal court.

The government had accused a former Adidas executive, a business manager and the director of an amateur league in a scheme to funnel tens of thousands of dollars in secret payments to families of prospects so they would commit to Adidas-sponsored schools.

Prosecutors said the defendants committed fraud by concealing the payments that violated NCAA rules. Defense lawyers argued there was no evidence colleges suffered any harm.

The case caused a scandal that forced the exit of legendary Louisville coach Rick Pitino last year.

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Three insiders from the world of college basketball recruiting have been convicted in a corruption case that prosecutors said exposed the sport's underbelly.

A jury reached the verdict Wednesday in Manhattan federal court.

The government had accused a former Adidas executive, a business manager and the director of an amateur league in a scheme to funnel tens of thousands of dollars in secret payments to the families so the prospects would commit to Adidas-sponsored schools.

Prosecutors said the defendants committed fraud by concealing the payments that violated NCAA rules. Defense lawyers argued there was no evidence colleges suffered any harm.

The case caused a scandal that forced the exit of legendary Louisville coach Rick Pitino last year.

Read a statement from KU Chancellor Doug Girod and Athletics Director Jeffrey Long below:

Dear Jayhawk Community,

During the past three weeks in a federal courtroom in New York City, the University of Kansas and our men's basketball program have been the subjects of testimony and speculation during the trial of three defendants accused of defrauding three universities, including KU. The trial concluded today with jury verdicts of guilty on all counts of conspiracy and wire fraud.

First, we want to remind you of developments that predate this trial. In fall 2017, amid concerns about student-athlete recruitment, the NCAA instructed each Division I institution to conduct a review of its men's basketball program to ensure compliance with NCAA rules. KU took the issue seriously and engaged outside counsel to assist our review. At the same time, KU has been working with prosecutors, including fulfilling all obligations of subpoenas issued to us.

During the trial, information was presented regarding a former KU student-athlete, a current KU student-athlete, and KU men's basketball coaches. Some of the information we were aware of, and some is new to us. The new information needs to be evaluated and understood. We have already been in contact with the NCAA regarding trial developments and will continue to work with NCAA staff moving forward.

Two additional federal trials are set for February and April 2019. Thus, we remain unable to fully comment on the issues before us. By limiting our comments, we are able to protect the integrity of the federal matters and the work of the NCAA.
While that work continues, we remain fully supportive of our student-athletes, our coaches and our men's basketball program. Coach Self and Kansas Athletics are committed to maintaining a culture of compliance, and we will continue these efforts. Kansas Athletics has been, and will continue to be, committed to excellence and integrity.

So, what now? First, we will await guidance from prosecutors as to next steps regarding the criminal matter. Second, once the Justice Department clears us to move forward, we will work with the NCAA to vigorously review new information presented during the trial. Third, we will continue to review the eligibility of all our student-athletes to ensure that they meet the eligibility standards of the NCAA and KU.

Finally, while we have made no decision regarding a long-term contract extension with our apparel partner, adidas, we continue to evaluate our options. There is no timetable for a decision. A strong apparel partnership is important and beneficial to all our student-athletes and our institution, and we will take great care in making the right decision for KU.

We look forward to updating you on these matters when it is appropriate to do so. In the meantime, as our men's and women's basketball seasons approach, we encourage you to continue to support the incredible young men and women in our programs.

Respectfully,

Douglas A. Girod
Chancellor

Jeffrey P. Long
Director of Athletics

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