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Kansas basketball self-imposes 4-game suspension for Bill Self and Kurtis Townsend

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Kansas basketball team head coach Bill Self and his assistant Curtis Townsend were suspended for the first four games of the season. school announced Wednesday. This self-punishment of the university stems from 2017 NCAA investigation in Kansas following an FBI investigation it found that several basketball programs were paying top recruits to attend their schools.

Assistant Norm Roberts will take over as head coach during Self’s absence.

“Coach Townsend and I accept and support the decision of the KU to impose these sanctions on ourselves,” Self said in a statement. “We are in good hands with Coach Roberts and I am sure he will do a great job on the bench leading our team. I’m proud of how our guys handled this situation and I’m looking forward to getting back on the bench for our game against North Carolina State.”

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Self and Townsend will miss three home games — against Omaha, North Carolina State and Southern Utah — but will also miss a big game against Duke in Indianapolis on November 15.

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The sanctions also included hiring restrictions for Self, Townsend and the school:

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    None of the coaches attended off-campus recruiting events from April to July.

  • A total of three scholarships have been cut and will be distributed over the next three years.

  • Official recruiting visits for the following year were down by four.

  • A six-week ban on communications recruitment.

  • Six-week ban on unofficial visits.

  • 13-day reduction in recruiting days this year.

The decision came just seven months after the Jayhawks completed the biggest comeback in the men’s national basketball championship, beating North Carolina 72–69.

The suspension was a small response to one of the biggest scandals in college basketball history, in which 10 men were indicted, some of whom were active helpers in Arizona, Auburn, Oklahoma and USC. Charges were also filed against the head of Adidas.

The NCAA initially charged Kansas with three Level I violations in 2019, mostly related to the recruiting of Billy Preston and Silvio De Souza. Court documents stated that Adidas consultant T. J. Gassnola “conspired to illegally divert approximately $90,000” to Preston’s mother, and Gassnola later admitted to sending De Souza’s guardian $2,500.

Despite Kansas’ self-punishment, Goodman later remarked that Kansas would not receive any penalties from the NCAA until the end of the season.

“We hope these complex self-sanctions will help bring things to a close,” Kansas Athletic Director Travis Goff said in a statement. “Until then, we will continue to focus on supporting our outstanding student-athletes and men’s basketball coaches.”

Bill Self will miss the first four games of the Kansas' season.  (William Purnell, USA TODAY Sports)
Bill Self will miss the first four games of the Kansas season. (William Purnell, USA TODAY Sports)


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