LAWRENCE — A Kansas athletics official says the university has not been contacted by the NCAA regarding a purportedly imminent notice of allegations.
The comment to The Topeka Capital-Journal from Dan Beckler, KU associate athletic director of public relations, came on the heels of a Friday afternoon story from The Kansas City Star, which reported the NCAA is preparing a notice that details "multiple major violations” in the Jayhawks’ men’s basketball program. The Star didn't reveal its sources or a timetable for the delivery of the notice of allegations, and The Capital-Journal was unable to verify the report.
“We have not received any notification from the NCAA,” Beckler said in an email to The Capital-Journal.
A request to obtain a statement from athletic director Jeff Long was unsuccessful, and head coach Bill Self hadn’t responded to a request for comment as of Friday evening.
Friday's report is the latest development in what has been a nearly two-year news cycle since the FBI first announced arrests and charges in its investigation into corruption in college basketball.
KU was mentioned in documents and during testimony at the subsequent trial of three individuals facing wire fraud and other charges in the pay-for-play scandal.
TJ Gassnola, a former fixer for apparel giant Adidas and star witness at the trials, testified that through payments to parents and guardians he helped steer former Jayhawk forward Billy Preston and current junior forward Silvio De Sousa to KU, an Adidas-partnered institution. Gassnola testified under oath that KU’s coaches were unaware of his rules violations.
Preston was voluntarily withheld during his lone season and never played an official game for the 2017-18 squad.
For the purposes of reinstating De Sousa — the Luanda, Angola, native was voluntarily withheld, then banned from play last year before winning a reinstatement appeal in May — Long and KU declared Gassnola a booster of the university, though only as “a hypothetical” at the suggestion of the NCAA, the athletic director said in February. De Sousa played down the stretch for the 2017-18 team, which reached the Final Four.
McBride leaving KU
Freshman guard Issac McBride is leaving the program, KU announced in a Friday news release.
McBride, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound guard out of Little Rock, Ark., made his decision Tuesday, Self said in the release.
Self said he is “disappointed” with the decision.
“After discussing with his family, everybody came to the conclusion that this was not a good fit,” Self said. “We wish Issac the best.”
McBride was a three-star recruit and the nation’s 137th-ranked prospect in the Class of 2019, according to 247Sports’ composite.
"I decided that the program was not a good fit for me," McBride tweeted, echoing Self's remarks. "I will continue to pursue a future basketball career. I would like to thank the basketball staff at KU. Most importantly, I would like to thank my family, especially my dad, who has supported me through this decision."
Ellis to complete degree, join KU staff
Former KU standout and Wichita native Perry Ellis has returned to campus to complete his undergraduate degree in sports management, and a spot on the KU coaching staff awaits after that.
Ellis will join the Jayhawk sideline as a video coordinator next month, Self announced Friday. Ellis injured his knee while playing in The Basketball Tournament in July.
"Getting injured was God showing me a different path, preparing me for the future and to grow stronger as a person," Ellis said.
Ellis played for KU from 2013-16.