That was the strong, clear and unmistakable message from Kansas on Friday. We like to win, we don’t care how, we don’t care about NCAA penalties, we don’t care about anything other than keep winning. Therefore, Bill Self is Coach For Life.
Rock, chalk, Scofflawhawk!
Amid a violation process that has led to significant charges by the NCAA Enforcement, which could lead to huge penalties, Kansas has stood up and given Self, who is personally charged with a Level I, a contract for life. It’s a five-year agreement that specifically states that you cannot be fired for good cause due to NCAA penalties. He’s impressively brash, and also extremely on the mark of the school that claimed to be a victim of the federal corruption scandal, sued Jim Gatto, blew up the money cannons for Midnight Madness, and then complained that the scandal has hurt recruiting.
I mean, at least Kansas isn’t trying to be something it’s not. It is admitting that winning is the only thing that matters and skipping the simulation. The school release announcing Self’s lifetime contract is appropriately devoid of the usual talk of “integrity,” “character,” and “academics” and “doing it the right way.”
Chancellor Doug Girod stood firm: “For nearly 20 years, Coach Self has embodied the spirit and tradition of the University of Kansas, leading our men’s basketball program to a national championship, 15 Big 12 titles, and 17 tournament appearances in the NCAA. “There you have it: Championships are the currency of the kingdom in Kansas, although you’d like to think they could win more than two national titles in the last 68 years.
Acting Athletic Director Kurt Watson said: “I have known Bill for many years, but working closely with him over the past few weeks in my current role has shown me even more on a daily basis how much he cares about this program. . “Watson has been the interim AD because Kansas fired the last AD, Jeff Long, after Les Miles’ chill seeped out of LSU and led to his resignation at Lawrence. So the school has an interim AD, a coach from interim soccer, a big NCAA infraction case … but a basketball coach for life, honey.
The school faces five Level I allegations, the most serious the NCAA can carry, related to men’s basketball. Among them are the lack of institutional control burden and the head coach’s lack of control burden that is directed directly at Self. The NCAA also has a long list of aggravating factors in the case and a short list of mitigating factors, meaning that potential penalties could lean toward the higher end of the NCAA penalty matrix.
In an aggravated case, the penalty for a postseason ban is two to four seasons. If the NCAA hits Kansas with a four-year ban, even life coach Bill Self would have a hard time keeping the program relevant.
And then there are the possible penalties for the coach. In the Notice of Allegations, the NCAA wrote: “Law enforcement personnel believe that a hearing panel could enter a show of cause order. … ”An aggravated case with an apparent cause penalty could result in the head coach’s suspension for 50-100% of the season. Kansas seems ready to go a season without Self as a coach, if need be.
Self’s new contract establishes that he will receive only half of his assigned salary during the period of time that he is suspended, if that sanction is imposed. But as the Kansas City Star, that does not affect the retention bonus of $ 2,435 million that you will receive each year.
Kansas has shown its willingness to lie to itself and its fans (and to the NCAA) about the school’s guilt in the infractions case, which centers on Adidas representatives handing out stacks of cash to Los Angeles players. Jayhawks. The school clings to the ridiculous premise that Adidas representatives (specifically Gatto, TJ Gassnola, and Merl Code) actually defrauded the school by paying players to go to Kansas, and that the school was stunned to know that such antics were going on. That led to the dirtiest deal of all: Kansas sued Gatto, a mid-level Adidas employee, for $ 1.1 million. He ended up agreeing to pay a much smaller amount in restitution, but the school’s intention was to financially ruin a guy who was trying to help the basketball team win games.
This is not how it works, of course: shoe companies are fulfilling the wishes of schools by paying players, and coaches understand very well what is happening. Adidas representatives were not staying at the campus hotel for Midnight Madness on the same floor with recruit Billy Preston by accident (although the school has argued that). Per Self’s famous text message to Gassnola, which was entered as evidence in the federal lawsuit, “I just have to get a couple of real guys.”
The “real boys” who have come to Kansas to play for Self include Billy Preston, whose family received at least $ 70,000 from Gassnola; Silvio De Sousa, whose legal guardian was paid to a lesser extent through Gassnola; Cliff Alexander, who was declared ineligible in 2015 after his family took money from a financial advisor; Josh Jackson, whose mother received $ 2,700 in 2015-16 from aspiring agent Christian Dawkins, according to Dawkins expense reports submitted to the ASM Sports agency.
Of course, Kansas’ history of recruiting “real guys” predates Self, too. The NCAA Notice of Allegations cites six other major violation cases involving the school between 1957 and 2006, most of them basketball-related. The fact is, Kansas has been amazingly successful in getting talented players from places like New York, California, Philadelphia and Detroit to come to the little slice of prairie sky that is Lawrence. From the days of Wilt Chamberlain in the 1950s, Kansas seemed to have a knack for finding city kids who like to look at rolling wheat fields. So in that sense, Bill Self just keeps a long-standing tradition alive.
But at the end of last season, which ended with a diminished Jayhawks team failing to win the Big 12 and being defeated in the second round of the NCAA men’s tournament, Self lamented the current loss of talent at the school. “Our playing field has been harder to recruit against the people we normally recruit against just because we have the NCAA situation on our heads,” he said in mid-February. Damn luck.
About the only area of Self’s new contract where the school doesn’t bow to its star coach is when it comes to shopping. Kansas only owes him $ 5.41 million, his full one-year compensation, for separating. That’s not a prohibitive number, but it’s also not insignificant for a school that has lost money to soccer coaches, athletic directors, and NCAA legal fees in recent years.
Yes, it is good to be Bill Self. Not only are you not being fired over potential major penalties from the NCAA, but you are also being rewarded with increased job security. Kansas likes to win, and Kansas doesn’t care how desperately obvious it is to the rest of America.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.