Report: Kansas Basketball Expected to be Notified of Major NCAA Violations
The NCAA is reportedly preparing to issue a notice of allegations regarding multiple major violations in the Kansas men’s basketball program, according to the Kansas City Star.
The notice comes after a summer of speculation following a top NCAA official who said the organization would reveal findings against schools that were involved in a pay-for-play recruiting scheme and were investigated by the FBI. The probe led to Kansas center Silvio de Sousa suspended for two years. De Sousa's sentence was reduced to one year in May after an appeal. He was deemed eligible to play in the upcoming season after sitting the 2018-19 season due to the violations.
The University told The Star that they had not received any notification from the NCAA, who declined to comment on ongoing matters.
De Sousa had declared for the NBA draft in April while waiting for the result of his suspension appeal. The Jayhawks withheld De Sousa from competition starting in October 2018, although he did practice with the team, while his eligibility was reviewed following the testimony of Adidas consultant T.J. Gassnola during the FBI's investigation into college basketball corruption, which incriminated De Sousa's guardian. Gassnola noted payments to De Sousa's guardian during an appearance in federal court but testified that Kansas coach Bill Self was not aware of the payments.
Gassnola’s relationship to Self and assistant Kurtis Townsend, however, was revealed in court which could implicate the program. Text messages showed that during the time the Jayhawks were recruiting De Sousa, Kansas's coaching staff was aware that Gassnola was in contact with De Sousa’s guardian, Fenny Falmagne. Gassnola also testified that Townsend asked him to contact De Sousa’s guardian.
The university attempted to regain De Sousa's eligibility in January. However, the NCAA ruled in February to suspend De Sousa for the remainder of the 2018–19 season and the entire 2019–20 season because of his guardian’s involvement with Gassnola. Kansas then submitted an appeal of the two-year suspension and stated that the freshman forward was "unaware of and from which he did not benefit" regarding any alleged NCAA violations.
In June, the NCAA issued a statement saying six schools would be notified of major allegations. Kansas and NC State, which received a notice of allegations in July that included two Level 1 violations which carry the most severe punishment (including postseason bans and scholarship losses), are the first two schools to do so.
Both were among several schools to be involved with Adidas which was at the center of the FBI probe. ESPN recently reported that NCAA investigators were also looking into Arizona, Auburn, Creighton, Louisville, LSU and USC.