As the fight against their accused violations continue, Kansas and head coach Bill Self continue to show that they will be not be bullied by the big, bad NCAA.
On Thursday, it was announced that Bill Self’s personal attorney had informed the NCAA that he is considering legal action against the NCAA for its handling of the accused violations that the men’s basketball program was handed down back in September.
The program was charged with five Level 1 violations back in September 2019 when the NCAA delivered its Notice of Allegations (NOA). This included a serious charge of a “lack of institutional control” and a head-coach responsibility charge directed specifically at Self. Those charges could result in a postseason ban, a loss of scholarships, and potentially a year-long suspension for Self.
Well now it seems Self is putting the NCAA on notice.
Self’s decision even to just inform the NCAA of the potential lawsuit is a brilliant public display of just how ludicrous he believes the allegations are. It also further enforces KU’s position that they will not just be accepting these violations and that if the NCAA wants to continue to play hard ball, then Kansas is going to charge the mound.
“To put it bluntly, the NCAA enforcement staff is attempting to end Mr. Self’s long and very successful coaching career for conduct which all coaches engage in and which the NCAA has known for many years is commonplace and permissible,” Self’s lawyer Scott Tompsett wrote.
The last thing the NCAA wants is a legal battle but Self and Kansas appear to ready to do just that. That could result in this being tied up in court for years before any punishment (if at all) is actually enforced to the program. And if Self does decide to go forward and sue the NCAA, that should tell you all that you need to know about his intentions to stay as the head coach of Kansas.
KU also made the right decision in electing to send their case through the Independent Accountability Resolution Process.
The IARP is a committee made up of five independent people with legal, higher education, and/or sports backgrounds but have no ties to the NCAA. The committee has to agree to hear the case and if they do, then their decision on what penalties KU would face would be final – no appeals.
If the committee rejects the case, then it will go through the NCAA Committee on Infractions. That committee just recently handed Oklahoma State men’s basketball program a postseason ban due to their single Level 1 violation.
Even though the IARP has yet to formally accept the case, Kansas still made the right move trying to refer the case to them instead of the COI, who has been known to issue harsh and often arbitrary penalties.
I love that Kansas and Self have been not just on the defense about these allegations but on the attack. They seemed poised to fight this for as long and as hard as they can, even if that means going after the NCAA itself.