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 multiple recruitment restrictions amid the fallout from the FBI investigation into college basketball corruption since 2017.
Self and Townsend were named in the NCAA allegation notice, which accused the school of five Level I violations related to its relationship with Adidas.
You’ll miss the Jayhawks’ matchup against Duke at the Champions Classic on November 15. Assistant coach Norm Roberts will act as the defending champions’ interim head coach during Self’s suspension for the first four games.
They will also miss games against Omaha, North Dakota State and Southern Utah before the showdown against Duke. Self and Townsend will return to the team in time to face NC State at Battle 4 Atlantis on November 23 in the Bahamas.
“Coach Townsend and I accept and support KU’s decision to self-impose these sanctions,” Self said in a statement. “We are in good hands with Coach Roberts and I am confident he will do a great job on the bench leading our team. I’m proud of how our boys handled this situation and I look forward to getting back on the bench for our game against NC State.”
Kansas elected to refer its case of violations to the Independent Accountability Resolution Process. According to the press release, the school informed the IARP panel of its self-imposed penalties, which include several recruitment sanctions, some of which have already been imposed.
Self and Townsend had already been banned from off-campus recruiting visits from April through July of this year, and the school also did not host recruits at Late Night in the Phog, their annual midnight madness event. The school will also lose three scholarships over the next three years, reduce its official recruitment visits by four this year, and reduce the number of permitted recruitment days by 13 days in the coming year.
“We hope these difficult self-imposed sanctions will help bring the case to a conclusion,” said Kansas athletic director Travis Goff. “Until then, we will remain focused on supporting our outstanding male basketball students and coaches. … In accordance with the confidentiality policy in relation to instances of breaches, we cannot comment at length until this matter is fully resolved.”
The IARP was created in 2019 as an alternative to the NCAA’s traditional rule violation process. Several schools affected by the FBI’s corruption investigations chose to use the independent panel to handle their ongoing cases of violations, but the process was plagued by delays and other challenges.
The only major decision in men’s college basketball has been the Memphis case. In September, the IARP panel found that Penny Hardaway had not broken any rules by providing benefits to former star recruit James Wiseman and other prospects before he became the program’s head coach.
Following the verdict in the Kansas men’s basketball case, the IARP is discontinued by the NCAA. Schools cannot appeal the IARP’s decision.
The NCAA, in its statement of allegations, accused Kansas of using Adidas to gain an illegal recruiting advantage. The statement of allegations said that Self and Townsend encouraged Adidas employees, including those charged in the FBI case, to direct top recruits to Kansas.
“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 bring us closer to resolving this matter. We look forward to providing further comments once this process is fully resolved. Until then, I want to reiterate our unwavering support of Coach Self and our men’s basketball program.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.