The following message is straight from the IARP’s release: “The hearing panel concluded that apparel company outside consultant was a representative of Kansas’ athletics interests beginning August 9, 2017. His [Kansas head coach Bill Self] actions after he became a representative of athletics interests resulted in two violations in the men’s basketball program for the institution. Additionally, the hearing panel also found a violation for the institution related to representative of athletics interests No. 1. The hearing panel found no credible and persuasive information in the case record to support the allegations that the institution failed to cooperate, lacked institutional control and failed to monitor its men’s basketball program.”
Photo Cred: USA Today (Self)
The Independent Resolution Panel’s (IRP) decision regarding the Kansas men’s basketball team’s 2017-18 season and Final Four appearance has sent shockwaves throughout the sport. Bill Self expressed his feelings about the announcement. “I’m certainly happy with the end results, and at the same time, don’t feel like a celebration mode, because this is exactly what we thought the end result would be years ago,” he said.
Photo Cred: CBS Sports
Here’s a summary of the key points:
- Vacation/Forfeiture of Wins: The IRP ruled that Kansas must have 15 wins from the 2017-18 season forfeited. This action is due to illicit payments made to a former Kansas player by a former Adidas associate. These payments rendered center/power forward Silvio De Sousa ineligible retroactively, leading to the wins from that season being vacated.
- Nullification of Final Four Appearance: The decision to vacate these victories nullifies the formal recognition of the Kansas men’s basketball team’s remarkable 2018 Final Four appearance. Any banners and other honors will be taken down or revoked from 2018.
- Coach Bill Self’s Perspective: Coach Self expressed his view that the decision was fair, given that the team had an ineligible player due to illicit payments they were unaware of. This means that the school will accept the punishment based on the rules.
- Six-Year Investigation: The entire episode was under the larger FBI investigation into college basketball, which began in September 2017. Arizona, Louisville, Memphis, NC State, and LSU were the other schools investigated. It took more than six years to reach a conclusion. This official announcement finally ends a long and complicated affair and provides closure.
- Self-Imposed Penalties: Kansas had previously imposed some penalties on themselves as a proactive measure. These included suspensions for Coach Self and assistant Kurtis Townsend, reductions in official visits, scholarship reductions, and restrictions on recruiting.