May 25, 2006
Dear Fellow Jayhawks,
As you may know, the University recently released the NCAA’s response to the self-report we submitted last summer. The response contains most of the violations we reported to the NCAA last July, with the exception of a basketball issue that was resolved during this past season and the issue of institutional control.
We have worked closely with the NCAA throughout this process, and appropriately disclosed every issue of which we were aware. The NCAA response, therefore, was precisely what we anticipated, and only served to reinforce our commitment to doing things the right way. We intend to never again hear the words ‘lack of appropriate institutional control‘ and ‘Kansas‘ in the same sentence.
Let me emphasize that this has been a cooperative effort between KU and the NCAA. We have been fully forthcoming and open with the NCAA staff, as they have with us. We look forward to completing this process, the next step of which comes in August when we meet with the NCAA Committee on Infractions. As Chancellor Hemenway has said, we trust the NCAA staff and this process. Because we have aggressively identified our weaknesses, and because we have instituted corrective measures since 2003, we are hopeful that the infractions committee will respond positively.
When I arrived at KU – and even BEFORE I arrived here – the Chancellor was EMPHATIC in his directive to me that the athletics department should operate in full compliance with NCAA rules, and that compliance must be a top priority. I unequivocally support the Chancellor’s goals in this area, and appreciate his unwavering support as we continue to build a strong compliance department and foster a culture of compliance throughout the KU family.
We set very high standards for ourselves at Kansas. Rather than debate the reasons why we fell short of those standards, I believe it’s important to look ahead, not back. My message to you is simple: We are all responsible for rules compliance at KU – every coach, every staff member, every alum, every booster, every fan and every student-athlete. It is a partnership for which we are all responsible.
That is why last year we distributed “A Guidebook to NCAA Rules and Regulations For Alumni, Donors and Friends.” And that is why we will distribute it to you every year. We believe that “I didn’t know” is never an excuse.
We ask you to reaffirm your own commitment to compliance, because although you may not realize it, you – yes you – are a key to our combined success in this critical effort. We encourage you to contact our compliance office with any questions you have regarding what you can and can’t do regarding prospective or current student-athletes. If you know something is wrong – if you think something is wrong – contact us at 785-864-4200 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You are a major part of this effort. We cannot be compliant without your cooperation and your support.
I want to review with you some of the corrective measures we have taken in the past two-and-a-half years:
We have provided additional rules education for all of our coaches. We have sent an in-depth compliance guide, to be updated and distributed annually, to all representatives of KU’s athletics interests, reminding them of NCAA rules and regulations. We have restructured the academic advising office to centralize responsibility for academic support for all prospective and enrolled student-athletes. We have hired a new Associate Athletics Director for Compliance, and we have increased our compliance staff by two full-time positions. We also have budgeted for two additional full-time compliance positions in the next academic year. We have contracted with an outside firm to perform annual athletics department-wide compliance reviews. We have included a comprehensive compliance and monitoring program in our strategic plan. We are committed to winning within the spirit and the letter of NCAA rules. We will play by the rules.
We have every confidence that what we have put in place here at KU will foster an atmosphere of rigorous compliance with NCAA rules. But we need your help. Please share that same commitment with us.
Thank you for your help and your support in this critical endeavor. Success is achieved when our university, our student-athletes, our alums and our fans partner together to create it. We thank you for that partnership, and look forward to continuously building and strengthening it in the future.
Director of Athletics