LAWRENCE, Kan. (KSNW/AP) – There is tension in Jayhawk Nation over a pending decision from the NCAA.
The Kansas City Star is reporting that the NCAA is preparing to issue a notice of allegations against the Kansas Jayhawks basketball program.
The report claims the allegations detail “multiple major violations.”
KU’s associate athletic director for public relations told the Kansas City Star that KU Athletics had not received any notification from the NCAA.
Kansas was among the schools that were named in a federal investigation into college basketball corruption. Silvio De Sousa was held out all last season while the investigation took place but was reinstated in June.
On Sept. 10, a former Adidas consultant was sentenced to one year of probation after prosecutors credited him with helping secure convictions against an executive for the shoe company and two others in a college basketball corruption scandal.
Thomas “T.J.” Gassnola had pleaded guilty to being a fixer in a scheme to lure prized prospects to Adidas-sponsored hoops programs by funneling tens of thousands of dollars in secret payments to their families.
Gassnola, 47, became a key government witness at a trial last year in Manhattan where the self-described “recruitment facilitator” caused a stir by dropping the names of several top players at the center of the scandal and referring to the deal-making as “black ops.”
Asked what he meant by that, he responded, “It’s dark. Underground. You don’t want anyone to know about it.”
While working under the direction of Adidas executive James Gatto, he said he paid out $15,000 in cash in 2015 to try to lure DeAndre Ayton to an Adidas school only to see him sign with Nike-sponsored Arizona. Ayton attended Arizona for his freshman season before being drafted No. 1 in the NBA by the Phoenix Suns.
He also testified about meeting with the mother of McDonald’s All-American Billy Preston in a hotel room in 2016 to bring him to Kansas for $90,000, warning her away from other recruiters who were less discreet about the money.
KU Head Coach Bill Self has said he and his staff have never used improper benefits to sway a recruit’s decision.
Gatto, business manager Christian Dawkins and Merl Code, a former Adidas consultant, were convicted last year of conspiracy to commit wire fraud for funneling the illegal payments. Gatto was sentenced earlier this year to nine months in prison; Dawkins and Code got six months each.
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