"Enjoy this year, it could be special" -- a guy on a message board
The rough outline of what KU is dealing with was revealed earlier today.
KU has known the NCAA would pass down its allegations about recruiting violations for some time, and yesterdays’s report indicates that Kansas is looking at major charges like “lack of institutional control, three Level I violations in men’s basketball and there is a head coach responsibility charge against coach Bill Self.” In a bizarre twist, some of these items involve the recruitment of Silvio de Sousa, who is currently eligible and on the team. Also, the defendants in this case were recently owed restitution by Adidas for fraud, a ruling that adds another layer of 🙃🙃🙃to the proceedings. (Athletic reporter CJ Moore notes that that ruling will have no bearing on whatever punishment the NCAA hands down). Bill Self and KU have both fired back at the allegations, arming themselves with high-powered lawyers and powerful language.
This is going to take a while to resolve, especially now that we know that KU will take the time and resources to fight this to the very end (and after that, through appeals). It seems more than likely that a decision won’t be handed down until 2020, earliest, meaning that this year’s season just took on a heightened importance—it could be the last stacked team for years before possible sanctions come into play.
It’s hard to figure out what the worst case scenario is. The NCAA is coming hard at Self in a way that seems to have little modern precedent. At the ground level, it’s going to be a contentious legal battle between powerful enterprises with major incentive to crush the opponent, and at the cosmic level it’s going to be a fascinating story about whether the NCAA is relevant anymore at a time where public resentment towards the association is at an all-time high.
My gut feeling is that the best case scenario is “no major penalties, but recruiting is gutted for two years and we vacate the 2016 Final Four” and the worst involves the phrase “show cause” and involves postseason bans and drastic scholarship reductions.
Right now the story is in the top right nav bar on ESPN.com, which means that it’s something that’s driving a ton of traffic. It’s safe to say that this is by far the biggest college basketball story of the summer. We’re just getting started.