LAWRENCE, KANSAS -- "Egregious" was the word NCAA officials used Thursday when addressing five Level I allegations against the University of Kansas basketball program. READ MORE
rules violations that "significantly undermine and threaten the NCAA Collegiate Model," and alleged that Jayhawks coach Bill Self and assistant Kurtis Townsend "embraced, welcomed and encouraged" Adidas employees and consultants to influence high-profile basketball recruits to sign with Kansas.
struck back at the University of Kansas and its men's basketball program Thursday, calling five Level I violations that are alleged to have occurred egregious and arguing that they undermine and threaten" college athletics.
In the latest in a series of back-and-forth filings, the NCAA reiterated in a 92-page response its claim that Adidas representatives were acting as boosters when two of them -- T.J. Gassnolo and Jim Gatto -- helped to arrange payments to prospective recruits. Those transactions became a central point in a wide-ranging FBI probe into college basketball that has ensnared Kansas, Louisville and several other high-profile programs.
The institution secured significant recruiting and competitive advantages by committing alleged Level I men's basketball violations, the NCAA said. The institution, in taking its defiant posture in this case, is indifferent to how alleged violations may have adversely impacted other NCAA institutions who acted in compliance with NCAA legislation.
Officials from Kansas have said they agree with the NCAA that Gassnola made payments to family members and handlers of two players, Billy Preston and Silvio De Sousa. But coach Bill Self and assistant Kurtis Townsend said they were unaware of the transactions, backing up a statement Gassnola made during sworn testimony.
But the NCAA countered with video and text documents that tie Self, Townsend and another assistant coach, Jerrance Howard, to Gassnola within the past five years. The governing body also pointed out that Adidas paid about $250,000 for an induction party for Self when he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
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