National basketball writer wonders if KU's Big 12 streak will be ended by the FBI

By Pete Grathoff pgrathoff@kcstar.com

New federal charges filed Tuesday in an FBI investigation of corruption in college basketball included allegations about players who attended Kansas and North Carolina State.

The FBI revealed more on how Adidas executive James Gatto allegedly arranged to pay players to induce them to attend universities that are sponsored by the apparel company.

Here is a sample of how people around the country believe the latest news will or could affect Kansas.

Gary Parrish of CBS Sports wondered whether Kansas' streak of Big 12 championships will fall because of the FBI investigation. Parrish wrote that sources told CBS Sports that Adidas funneled money to people connected with Silvio De Sousa to ensure he enrolled at KU.

"(KU's director of strategic communications Joe) Monaco is correct that the indictment does not suggest any wrongdoing by the university, its coaches or its staff," Parrish wrote. "But it doesn't clear anybody either.

"If the NCAA can eventually prove that De Sousa's guardian was indeed paid $20,000 (at least) to enroll De Sousa at Kansas, which is what the indictment alleges, the Jayhawks will likely be forced to vacate their 2018 Big 12 title and appearance in the 2018 Final Four. And it could also impact next season's team. Because, right now, Kansas is No. 1 in the CBS Sports Preseason Top 25 (and one). But if De Sousa is ruled ineligible because of the allegations in this indictment, the Jayhawks might not have a roster worthy of that ranking or good enough to achieve what otherwise seems realistic. And if the ongoing investigation eventually uncovers evidence that anybody at Kansas was aware of the alleged payments, then, obviously, someone might pay with his job the way multiple Louisville coaches, including Hall of Famer Rick Pitino, have already paid with their jobs.

"As always, we'll see.

"But for years people have been wondering who can snap the Jayhawks' string of consecutive Big 12 regular-season titles. Would it be Texas or Baylor? Oklahoma or West Virginia? TCU or Iowa State? Turns out, the answer is none of those schools.

"The answer is ... the FBI."

Joe Drape and Marc Tracy of the New York Times wrote about the scandal and said KU was the "biggest fish in the Adidas pond."

They wrote: "Combined with other unrelated scandals, Louisville’s inclusion in a criminal complaint last September led to the ousters of the Cardinals’ longtime head coach, Rick Pitino, a member of the Hall of Fame, and its athletic director, Tom Jurich.

"But when it comes to college basketball, the biggest fish in the Adidas pond is Kansas, the consummate blueblood. The Jayhawks’ head coach, Bill Self, just completed his 15th season, leading them to the Final Four in the men’s N.C.A.A. tournament. He is also in the Hall of Fame, and is under contract through the 2021-22 season."

USA Today's Andrew Joseph tweeted: " 'Gatto alone defrauded the University of Kansas' doesn't exactly frame this as KU being in the wrong. Sounds like Kansas was a 'victim,' at least that's how I read the FBI's statement."

adidas

Will Hobson of the Washington Post wrote: "A second unidentified player on this year’s Kansas team is also referenced, which could prompt an NCAA investigation of a Jayhawks team that went 31-8, won the Big 12 and advanced to the Final Four before losing to eventual national champion Villanova."


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