By Gerald Hopkins
On September 23 the NCAA gave Kansas a notice of allegations that detailed the misconduct of Bill Self and former football coach David Beaty.
These allegations, including the infamous “lack of institutional conduct,” were given to head coach Bill Self, and a level 2 violation was given to David Beaty. While KU has ninety days to respond and will “fiercely dispute” them, this is not the end for KU or the NCAA at all. This is just the beginning.
Cheating in college athletes is not new at all. Long before this notice, Kansas had received a major violation in 1957, however this most recent case is important for two major reasons. First, it has a lot of evidence against Kansas that includes text messages, wiretapped calls and a lot of exact moments involving TJ Gassnola and Dan Cutler. The other important factor is a text message that Bill Self sent to Gassnola after KU had renewed their deal with Adidas. When Gassnola sent him a long text affirming his happiness in the renewal, Self replied “That’s how ur (sic) works. At unc and Duke.”
While this text may not lead to anything, it could lead to a lot as well. This little text message may be the one major tie that brings investigations into other major schools, such as the University of North Carolina and Duke University. Bill Self has been coaching for 32 years at the college level and has led a Kansas basketball dynasty to many accomplishments, but has also fought to get recruits that have offers from Duke and UNC. This is a powerful text, because it brings two other major schools into the picture as well.
As for Kansas basketball, they will struggle in the immediate, but this is a legendary program we are talking about. Kansas has history on its side and, even if these allegations lead to serious punishment or potentially the firing of Bill Self, the title of head basketball coach at Kansas will still bring plenty of suitors.
One of the biggest connectors to me when I was researching this story was Zion Williamson. Last year, when the NCAA and FBI had its first look into cheating within college basketball, Zion was one of the names that had been brought up. While we know Zion went to Duke, there is evidence where Merl Code had contact with Kansas assistant coach Kurtis Townsend. For more information about this click here. In this, there were talks of Zion and his family getting a job, apartment and straight money from Code. If this was all offered to Zion and his family, it makes a strong case to look why Zion chose Duke over Kansas. Like I said, this is just the beginning, not the end.
The biggest thing to me about all of this, though, is where will the issue go from here? Kansas will get hit with some major fines and loss of scholarships, but this case will be a major defining point for future references because I do not believe this will be the last case we see with a high-profile basketball team. I obviously have no proof, or am saying that I know which school will be hit with anything in the near future, but if Kansas, a school that has dominated its conference for years and always has a high seed in March Madness felt the need to cheat, what stops us from believing that other schools aren’t as well?
For a redacted version of the notice of allegations given to Kansas by the NCAA, click here.
Edited by Emma Moloney | firstname.lastname@example.org