Kansas officials have asked the NCAA to separate infractions cases involving alleged rules violations in its men's basketball and football programs.
In its response to the NCAA Committee on Infractions' referral to the Independent Accountability Resolution Process (IARP), the school agreed that a referral to the IARP is appropriate for the men's basketball allegations, but argued that the football portion should be remanded to the Committee on Infractions (COI) for adjudication.
"[T]he type of violations that KU self-reported in football are regularly processed through the peer review model, and therefore, the COI is best positioned to resolve any remaining issues and to do so in a prompt manner," the school said in its response. "Here, it is clear that there is a significant difference between allegations involving men's basketball and those involving football. Specifically, the football allegations were self-reported, the institution and enforcement staff substantially agree on all aspects of the football allegations, the allegations involve only Level II and Level III violations, and the football allegations are not contemporaneous with the men's basketball allegations."
Kansas is charged with five Level I rules violations -- the most serious -- related to its men's basketball program, including lack of institutional control. Jayhawks coach Bill Self is charged with head-coach responsibility violations. Under NCAA rules, a head coach could be hit with a show-cause order and be suspended up to an entire season for Level I violations.
Kansas is also charged with two Level II violations and one Level III violation related to the football program under former coach David Beaty.
Kansas officials, along with Self and basketball assistant Kurtis Townsend, are disputing each of the five Level I violations regarding the men's basketball program, as well as each of the nine aggravating factors cited by the NCAA.
Kansas and Self continue to dispute that the school or Self should have known that Adidas employees and consultants were funneling money from the apparel company to the families and handlers of high-profile prospects to steer them to sign with Adidas-sponsored programs, including Kansas.
The Jayhawks are the company's flagship program and signed a 14-year, $196 million apparel and sponsorship extension in April 2019. The NCAA enforcement staff contends the Adidas employees and consultants were acting as boosters when they influenced players to sign with Kansas. In Self's response to the referral, his attorneys, Scott Tompsett and William Sullivan Jr., wrote that "because the Office of the Committee of Infractions (OCOI) assisted in the preparation of the Petition and would continue to participate in the processing of this case if it were to remain in the COI adjudicative process, the COI is unable to objectively and impartially adjudicate this case."
"The Petition also does not fairly and accurately recount the case history and background, as noted in KU's Response," Self's attorneys wrote. "The COI repetitively but erroneously claims an 'illicit recruiting scheme' existed while ignoring a jury verdict which established beyond a reasonable doubt that KU was defrauded, that neither Mr. Self nor any of his coaching staff had knowledge of any illicit benefits or payments, and that Adidas representatives hid such activities from KU and its coaching staff.
"Moreover, the Court itself also found that the Adidas representatives employed sophisticated conduct to conceal their illicit activities from KU, and that they were motivated by personal benefit in pursuing prospective student-athletes who might sign future endorsement contracts as professional athletes."
In a referral to the IARP, COI chair designee Carol Cartwright, a former president at Bowling Green and Kent State, wrote that the case should be handled by the IARP because of the high stakes for the parties, including the NCAA.
"The case involves one of the premier men's basketball programs in the country, one of the winningest head coaches in Division I men's basketball history who is in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and alleged violations that are central to a federal lawsuit," Cartwright wrote on May 18. "Few cases have so much at stake. The stakes are particularly high for the Kansas men's basketball program. The Level I allegations include an illicit recruiting scheme, other recruiting violations, a head coach responsibility violation and lack of institutional control.
"The enforcement staff also identified a prevalence of aggravating factors for Kansas, Self and Townsend. If a hearing panel concludes that violations occurred, the penalties may be significant."
Beaty sued the university's athletic department in federal court in March 2019, claiming Jayhawks officials launched an NCAA inquiry to avoid paying him a $3 million buyout he was owed for the final three years of his contract. The sides agreed to a $2.55 million settlement on Friday.