Nearly 1,000 Days Ago, The NCAA Called Kansas Coach Bill Self A Cheater His Power Has Expanded.
The NCAA issued a document to the University of Kansas’ men’s head basketball coach 921 days ago, calling him a cheater. Kansas has won 81 games since then, signed four McDonald’s All-Americans, won two Big 12 crowns, and is now in the Final Four.
What About The Coach?
Teflon Bill Self has been so irritated by the situation that Kansas has given him a lifetime contract that looks like a middle finger pointing at Indianapolis — an NCAA disgrace that could only be topped by Self holding up the national championship trophy on Monday night.
For no other reason than a collective desire to spray additional propane onto this blazing house of amateurism, the NCAA nihilists are definitely pulling for Teflon Bill to do precisely that.
If you’re one of the few remaining true believers, the image of Mark Emmert handing a trophy to a coach who is facing five Level 1 complaint against his program is enough to make you squirm. However, the Teflon Bill tale has been a gift, no matter how it concludes this weekend.
Because of all the scandals that have passed through the NCAA’s hall of mirrors, none has highlighted how filthy college basketball is and how difficult it is to hold anyone accountable when a school digs in on behalf of a winning coach. Kansas coach Bill Self celebrates with his team after defeating Miami in the Midwest regional final to go to the Final Four.
It’s probably best to start with the text messages sent immediately after Kansas renewed its mega-deal with Adidas if you really want to understand what it’s like to be Teflon Bill, what’s actually in the soul of a college coach who could go down as one of the five best of all time.
“Just got to get a couple of real guys,” Self texted to T.J. Gassnola, the flamboyant Adidas bagman who later admitted to paying people connected to two former Kansas players as part of a plea deal. Despite the fact that we can all read the words, Gassnola stated that Self was unaware of the payments.
Teflon Bill was evasive on Big 12 media day in 2019 but insisted that nothing in the text texts indicated criminality. And throughout the process, both Kansas and Self have fought tooth and nail against the NCAA’s claim that Adidas was operating as a booster to bring athletes to Lawrence.
Kansas even went so far as to accuse former Adidas CEO Jim Gatto of fraud, suing him for $1 million. (They ended up with a figure in the low six digits, Jayhawks, congrats on your windfall.)
Despite The NCAA Tournament Poetic Purity, This Is How College Basketball Truly Works:
A Hall of Fame coach so anxious for players while also being concerned about his rivals that championship rings, NBA stars, and the allure of Allen Field House aren’t enough to attract the “genuine boys.” In the end, he realizes he needs T.J. Gassnola’s assistance, even if he claims he has no idea what that assistance entails.
It’s worth mentioning again today, as Kansas prepares to play in the national semi-finals on Saturday since no one else is. That’s how the NCAA’s judicial system works, where three full seasons can pass without a decision: everyone just moves on.
Sankey is one of the college athletics administrators leading a committee that will recommend changes to the NCAA’s enforcement approach later this year, and the speed with which investigations are completed will surely be a key factor. Two US Senators have proposed a bipartisan bill that would require investigations to be completed within eight months and hearings to be held within a year.
The endeavor to reform the enforcement model must first be fair, according to NCAA president Mark Emmert. “It has to be quick.” And it must not punish the innocent or those who were not involved in the illegal actions.”
On Monday night, Emmert could deliver a second national championship trophy to the coach his league accused of wrongdoing nearly 1,000 days ago without facing the first sanction. That has to be one of the most egregious failings of the NCAA system. It would legitimize whatever comes next for Kansas.
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