Kansas suspends Bill Self for 4 games for misconduct
Kansas basketball coach Bill Self and assistant Kurtis Townsend were suspended for the first four games of the season on Wednesday, and the Jayhawks imposed several recruiting restrictions as part of the consequences FBI investigation into college corruption starting in 2017
Self and Townsend were named in an NCAA notice of allegations charging the school with five Level I violations related to its relationship with Adidas.
They will miss the game against the Jayhawks Duke in the Champions Classic on Nov. 15. Assistant coach Norm Roberts will serve as the defending national champion’s interim head coach during Self’s first four-game suspension.
He will also miss games against Omaha, North Dakota State and Southern Utah before the showdown against Duke. Self and Townsend will rejoin the team in time to face off NC State at Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas on November 23.
“Coach Townsend and I accept and support KU’s decision to self-impose these sanctions,” Self said in a statement. “We’re in good hands with Coach Roberts, and I’m confident he’ll do a great job off the bench leading our team. I’m proud of the way our guys handled this situation and look forward to getting back on the bench for our game against NC State.”
Kansas decided to submit its malpractice case to the Independent Accountability Process. According to the statement, the school notified the IARP committee of its self-imposed penalties, which also include multiple employment sanctions, some of which have already been imposed.
Self and Townsend were already banned from off-campus recruiting visits from April to July of this year, and the school also did not host any recruits at Late Night in the Phog, its annual Midnight Madness event. The school will also lose three scholarships over the next three years, reduce its official recruiting visits this year by four and reduce the number of recruiting days allowed next year by 13 days.
“We hope these tough self-imposed sanctions will help bring this case to a close,” Kansas athletic director Travis Goff said. “Until then, we will continue to focus on supporting our outstanding men’s basketball student-athletes and coaches. … Per confidentiality guidelines regarding breach cases, we are unable to comment further until this matter is fully resolved.”
The IARP was created in 2019 as an alternative to the traditional NCAA violation process. Several schools affected by the FBI’s corruption probe have decided to use an independent commission to address their ongoing violations, but the process has been plagued by delays and other challenges.
His only significant decision in men’s college basketball thus far has been Memphis the case. In September, this was determined by the IARP panel Penny Hardaway didn’t break any rules when he provided benefits to former star recruit James Wiseman and other prospects before he was the program’s head coach.
Following the decision in the Kansas men’s basketball case, the IARP will abolish the NCAA. Schools cannot appeal the IARP’s decision.
The NCAA accused Kansas, through its notice of charges, of using Adidas to gain an illegal recruiting advantage. The notice of charges alleges that Self and Townsend encouraged Adidas employees, including those charged in the FBI case, to steer top recruits to Kansas.
Some of the alleged offenses from the 2017 investigation would no longer fall foul of rules following the Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) legislation, which has allowed athletes across all sports to start making money from endorsements and other off-field jobs. arrangements.
“Throughout this process, we have had ongoing discussions with all parties involved,” Kansas Chancellor Douglas A. Girod said in a statement. “We believe the actions we are announcing today move us closer to resolving this issue. We look forward to further comments when this process is fully resolved. Until then, I want to reiterate our unwavering support for Coach Self and our men’s basketball program.”
Self signed a new five-year deal in April 2021. Under the terms of the deal, Self gets one more year after the end of each season — effectively making it a lifetime deal. It guaranteed him $5.41 million annually, with a base salary of $225,000, a professional services contract of $2.75 million and an annual retention bonus of $2.435 million.
The contract includes a clause that says the school cannot fire Self for “any current misconduct involving conduct that occurred on or before” the contract was signed. And while he would have to forfeit half his base salary and professional services pay while serving any Big 12 or NCAA suspension, it’s unclear if that includes any self-imposed suspensions like the one handed down Wednesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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