Kansas Releases Self Report To NCAA - Intro
July 15, 2005
Note: Names of students, including student-athletes, student tutors and graduate assistants, have been redacted from this report in compliance with federal law (the “Buckley” amendment) and state law on open records.
This is a self-report of an investigation of possible NCAA rules violations at the University of Kansas. The University’s athletics department reports to the Chancellor of the University. The Chancellor appoints a director of athletics to oversee all aspects of the athletics program. This self-report includes a review of the evidence uncovered during the investigation and a conclusion by the University of whether a violation occurred in each instance of an alleged violation.
In the late 1980s, the University was involved in a major NCAA infractions case that led to significant changes in the structure of the athletics department and the University’s athletics compliance program. One of those changes was the creation of a compliance auditor position in the University’s athletics compliance program. The compliance auditor reports to the Office of the General Counsel and is housed in the athletics department’s offices. The compliance auditor is responsible for reviewing athletics department documentation of recruitment of prospective student-athletes, distribution and receipt of financial aid to enrolled student-athletes, and other required compliance functions in the athletics department. The compliance auditor works closely with the athletics department’s compliance coordinator. The design of the operation (reporting lines outside of athletics) was to provide the compliance auditor with greater independence and autonomy from the oversight of the athletics department. This independence was a key factor in having greater active institutional control systems for monitoring the athletics department. This system helped to identify many of the violations reported in this document.
In June 2003, University Chancellor Robert Hemenway hired Lew Perkins as the University’s new director of athletics. Prior to his appointment as director of athletics, Perkins had served as the director of athletics at the University of Connecticut; the University of Maryland, College Park; Wichita State University; and the University of South Carolina, Aiken.
On June 11, 2003, during Perkins’ first day as director of athletics at the University, interim director of athletics Drue Jennings informed him of two possible serious NCAA rules violations. These potential violations had been discovered through the efforts of the compliance auditor and the former compliance coordinator. One of the potential violations involved possible misconduct on the part of a football coach, and the other involved the possible improper recruitment of two prospective women’s basketball student-athletes by women’s basketball coaches. On the same day, after discussing these matters with University General Counsel Jim Pottorff and Chancellor Hemenway, Perkins and Jennings contacted Rick Evrard of the law firm of Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC, to assist with a review of the facts and circumstances of the matters, and to advise the University on NCAA compliance and infractions matters.
After learning of the basic facts that were available in the two matters, Evrard and Perkins contacted NCAA Vice-President of Enforcement Services David Price. Price agreed to allow the University to conduct a self-investigation of the matters. After several months of investigation and a thorough review of the football matter, the University submitted a report to Price that was processed by the NCAA enforcement staff. The NCAA enforcement staff and the University agreed that no violation had occurred in the football matter.
Simultaneous to the review of the football matter, the University investigated the facts and circumstances of the matter involving the women’s basketball program. That matter involved two prospective student-athletes who had initially been unsuccessful in achieving the requisite combination of g.p.a. and standardized test scores to become academically qualified under NCAA initial-eligibility standards to participate in athletics during their first year of enrollment at the University. The investigation into that matter took several months, and as the investigation was winding down, the head women’s basketball coach resigned her position with the University. At the end of the academic year, the women’s basketball staff was not retained and the prospective student-athletes who had been involved in the possible improper recruitment were no longer at the University. One of the prospects never enrolled at the University.
During the period of the investigation into the women’s basketball matter, Chancellor Hemenway and Perkins decided to retain Evrard and the law firm to conduct a full compliance review of the University’s athletics compliance program. The review was requested to evaluate the current compliance program and to advise and recommend changes for restructuring if necessary. Chancellor Hemenway and Perkins instructed the firm to conduct a comprehensive review of all aspects of the University’s compliance program and to make recommendations to strengthen the program where areas of weakness were identified. Also, Chancellor Hemenway instructed the firm to identify, investigate and report any violations of NCAA rules that the firm discovered during its review of the program. As the compliance review began, the University’s assistant athletics director for compliance resigned her position with the athletics department. Soon thereafter, the senior associate athletics director with oversight responsibilities for compliance resigned from his position for reasons unrelated to NCAA rules violations matters or the compliance review.
During the period of time that the firm was conducting its compliance review, it learned of several other possible rules violations, and the firm investigated those. If the possible violations were secondary in nature, they were processed through the University and Big 12 Conference reporting system. If there was a need for further investigation, the firm conducted an investigation, and if it was determined that a violation occurred, those violations are included in this self-report.
The investigation revealed that during the fall of 2003 XXX. XXX decided at that time that he should disclose to University administrators information about possible NCAA rules violations he was involved in during his recruitment to the University. XXX told University Faculty Athletics Representative Don Green that he had received improper academic assistance during the summer of 2003 from the football graduate assistant coaches in his enrollment in and completion of correspondence courses. Green immediately notified Perkins, and the information was forwarded to Evrard for his investigation.
Evrard interviewed XXX on two occasions; at the end of the second interview, XXX asked to speak to an NCAA investigator concerning his eligibility. Evrard reported this to Price and gave the NCAA’s telephone number to XXX. XXX contacted the NCAA enforcement staff on at least one occasion. XXX then refused to cooperate further with the University’s investigative efforts. The information that XXX reported revealed that there had been improper academic assistance to XXX and at least three other football student-athletes during the summer of 2003. Additionally, the investigation revealed that XXX had received clothing items from his recruiting coach during his recruitment and after he enrolled at the University.
During the spring of 2004, the University learned that either a former compliance administrator or the former head men’s basketball coach had approved nominal gifts of cash to be provided by supporters of the men’s basketball program to student-athletes who had either completed their eligibility or had graduated from the University. The discovery of this information led to a further investigation that resulted in a finding that at least three supporters of the men’s basketball program during the past four years have provided some gifts to men’s basketball student-athletes after their eligibility had been completed or after they had graduated from the University. The gifts ranged from $25 to $400 in cash and clothing.
Additionally, the University investigated a possible violation of NCAA extra-benefits legislation that involved a 30-year old agreement between the University and a furniture company in the community. The violation involves the provision of nonessential furniture in the dorm rooms of some student-athletes in one dormitory on the University’s campus. The furniture includes modest dining room tables and chairs and some oversized beds. The NCAA membership services staff has determined that providing oversized beds is not a violation of NCAA rules, but that any additional furnishings in a dorm room that are not provided to every student with similar accommodations would be considered to be a violation.
During the past 18 months, the University has undertaken many changes in its athletics program, including a restructuring of its athletics department staff, completely new personnel in the compliance office, additional staff in the compliance office, and a compliance review that is included as an attachment to this self-report. See Exhibit 1. Additionally, the University’s compliance office staff has prepared a new athletics Compliance Policies and Procedures Manual.
The information contained in this self-report has been communicated periodically to both the NCAA enforcement staff and the Big 12 Conference.
A list of self-imposed penalties and corrective measures is included at the end of the Compliance Review Report. See Exhibit 1.