Bill Self says he’s still been affected by an NCAA investigation completed last week that resulted in no further penalties for the Kansas men’s basketball coach or program.
“I think my reputation has been tarnished immensely,” Self said at the Big 12 media day in Kansas City, according to ESPN’s Myron Medcalf.
“But the whole thing is we knew right from the jump what we had done and what we had not done. The bottom line is I’m proud of how we conducted our business. At the end of the day, it was a long blip, but it was still a blip in the big scheme of things.”
Self and Kansas were the subjects of an investigation launched in 2017 over allegations that the long-serving Jayhawks coach used the school’s relationship with Adidas, its apparel sponsor, to recruit players.
The NCAA initially imposed five Level I violations on Kansas in 2019 as part of the FBI’s bribery investigation into collegiate hoops. Those penalties were subsequently downgraded by the Independent Accountability Review Process (IARP) last week. Kansas ultimately received three years probation and no postseason ban.
The school did self-impose multiple recruiting restrictions and four-game bans for Self and assistant Kurtis Townsend last campaign, among other penalties.
The Jayhawks were also forced to vacate their Final Four appearance in 2018, as well as victories from that campaign, due to Silvio De Sousa’s inclusion in the team, per the IARP ruling. De Sousa’s legal guardian was accused of accepting money from a person working in cooperation with Adidas.
“I think it’s been so frustrating because we haven’t been able to speak out or speak up or to have comment or even defend ourselves in many ways,” Self added.
“But looking back now? Frustrating, taxing, a lot of different things. But (I’m) so glad that it’s behind us. That’s a lot of stress to put on a lot of people for that many years. Of course, the narrative wasn’t exactly what the end result ended up being. And, certainly, the end result is exactly what we expected all along.”
Kansas enters this season ranked No. 1 in the Associated Top 25 Poll after earning 46 of 63 first-place votes. The Jayhawks have been ranked first overall to start a campaign on three occasions since Self’s arrival in Lawrence in 2003.
Self is expected to miss the start of the season after breaking two ribs while playing with his grandchildren earlier this month. He was also absent from last season’s NCAA Tournament because of medical issues.
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