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Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIOctober 19, 2023

AUSTIN, TEXAS - MARCH 04: Head coach Bill Self of the Kansas Jayhawks stands on the court after Texas defeated the Kansas Jayhawks 75-59 at Moody Center on March 04, 2023 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Chris Covatta/Getty Images)

Chris Covatta/Getty Images

The NCAA charged the Kansas men’s basketball team with five Level 1 violations (the most serious NCAA infraction) amid the FBI’s investigation into bribery in college basketball, but the organization’s Independent Accountability Review Process (IARP) downgraded the severity of those allegations, meaning the program avoids serious penalties such as a postseason ban.

Despite that downgrade, longtime KU head coach and two-time national champion Bill Self believes his “reputation has been tarnished immensely,” as told to ESPN’s Myron Medcalf at Big 12 media day on Wednesday

“But the whole thing is we knew right from the jump what we had done and what we had not done,” Self said. “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.”

Per Carlos Silva Jr. of the Topeka Capital-Journal, the downgrades made this situation a “Level II case.” As such, a postseason ban was off the table, and Kansas instead received a three-year probation.

Tod Palmer of KSHB 41 Kansas City summarized the allegations against KU, leading to the NCAA’s initial Level I violation decision.

“KU received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA in September 2019 based on evidence that several former Adidas representatives “provided impermissible benefits to and had impermissible recruiting contacts” with prospective student-athletes on behalf of the men’s basketball program and Self.

“The allegations against Self and the basketball program center around phone calls placed to and money paid to former Jayhawks basketball players, including Billy Preston and Silvio De Sousa, during the recruiting process.”

KU self-imposed some penalties, including a four-game suspension for Self and assistant Kurtis Townsend to start the 2022-23 season.

The IARP panel also ruled that KU had to vacate 15 wins (every victory De Sousa played in) and its Final Four appearance from the 2017-18 season. KU lost to eventual champion Villanova in the national semifinal.

With the decision levied, Kansas can now look ahead to this season, which sees the Jayhawks sitting first in the preseason poll. KU opens up the campaign on Nov. 6 versus NC Central.

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