Kansas released its formal response to the NCAA's allegations that its men's basketball program committed multiple major violations, saying on Thursday in a public response that it "formally challenges each of the men's basketball related allegations" as "neither NCAA legislation nor the facts support the enforcement staff's allegations." The basketball program is accused of committing five violations in the case -- all of which have been classified as Level I violations, the most severe. The football program is accused of committing two violations.
As part of the NCAA's investigation, KU coach Bill Self was hit with a head coach responsibility charge, and KU itself is cited with a lack of institutional control. In the university's statement it asserted there is no reasonable conclusion it could draw to suggest Self or any of his staff -- including Self's lead assistant Kurtis Townsend, who is also ensnared in the case -- should have known about any NCAA rules violations. Townsend is accused of committing two Level I violations.
"The allegations directed at Self are based on a misguided, unprecedented, and meritless interpretation and application of NCAA booster and recruiting legislation," Kansas said in its response. "All of the alleged improper recruiting contacts and communications by Self and his staff; individuals alleged to be University of Kansas boosters; and prospective student-athletes and their family members, are not NCAA violations, but are, in fact, examples of everyday communications and information-sharing, which are routine and permissible under NCAA rules. Such contacts are essential to the collegiate recruiting process and do not represent violation."
Kansas goes on to argue that each allegation the NCAA makes in the case is based off the assertion that Adidas and its employees and consultants represented KU's athletic interests, which would qualify them as boosters. Through testimony at federal trials, one ex-Adidas consultant, TJ Gassnola, testified he worked on behalf of KU to get high profile players to play for Self at Kansas.
In the NCAA's findings, it also alleges that ex-Kansas coach Larry Brown made impermissible contact with the guardian of one Kansas player when that player was a prospective student-athlete. In KU's own findings, it determined Brown was not recruiting that player to Kansas but merely providing consultation on potential college fits, including at Oregon and UCLA.
"The University also strongly disagrees with the assertion that it failed to monitor the men's basketball program," the response said. "The enforcement staff's allegations and conclusions regarding the University's compliance program are misguided."