Earlier today a federal jury in New York found three former Adidas executives guilty of fraud charges. This trial has targeted college basketball players at the University of Kansas locally. Today Chancellor Douglas A. Girod and Director of Athletics Jeffrey P. Long released the following statement. More on the college basketball corruption trial can be found via our media partner ABC News.
Dear Jayhawk Community,
During the past three weeks in a federal courtroom in New York City, the University of Kansas and our men’s basketball program have been the subjects of testimony and speculation during the trial of three defendants accused of defrauding three universities, including KU. The trial concluded today with jury verdicts of guilty on all counts of conspiracy and wire fraud.
First, we want to remind you of developments that predate this trial. In fall 2017, amid concerns about student-athlete recruitment, the NCAA instructed each Division I institution to conduct a review of its men’s basketball program to ensure compliance with NCAA rules. KU took the issue seriously and engaged outside counsel to assist our review. At the same time, KU has been working with prosecutors, including fulfilling all obligations of subpoenas issued to us.
During the trial, information was presented regarding a former KU student-athlete, a current KU student-athlete, and KU men’s basketball coaches. Some of the information we were aware of, and some is new to us. The new information needs to be evaluated and understood. We have already been in contact with the NCAA regarding trial developments and will continue to work with NCAA staff moving forward.
Two additional federal trials are set for February and April 2019. Thus, we remain unable to fully comment on the issues before us. By limiting our comments, we are able to protect the integrity of the federal matters and the work of the NCAA.
While that work continues, we remain fully supportive of our student-athletes, our coaches and our men’s basketball program. Coach Self and Kansas Athletics are committed to maintaining a culture of compliance, and we will continue these efforts. Kansas Athletics has been, and will continue to be, committed to excellence and integrity.
So, what now? First, we will await guidance from prosecutors as to next steps regarding the criminal matter. Second, once the Justice Department clears us to move forward, we will work with the NCAA to vigorously review new information presented during the trial. Third, we will continue to review the eligibility of all our student-athletes to ensure that they meet the eligibility standards of the NCAA and KU.
Finally, while we have made no decision regarding a long-term contract extension with our apparel partner, adidas, we continue to evaluate our options. There is no timetable for a decision. A strong apparel partnership is important and beneficial to all our student-athletes and our institution, and we will take great care in making the right decision for KU.
We look forward to updating you on these matters when it is appropriate to do so. In the meantime, as our men’s and women’s basketball seasons approach, we encourage you to continue to support the incredible young men and women in our programs.
Douglas A. Girod
Jeffrey P. Long
Director of Athletics