Archive for Friday, October 13, 2006

Sanctions disappoint Jayhawk fans

October 13, 2006


The NCAA's decision Thursday to take away some future football and men's basketball scholarships from Kansas University stung some Jayhawk alumni, supporters and fans.

But because the NCAA Committee on Infractions directed much of its criticism at former Athletic Director Al Bohl, members of the Jayhawk faithful said they were confident that it was a dark period now in the past.

"It's disappointing that we had a phase where we did not follow the rules. It's clear that's what happened," said former state Sen. Wint Winter, a 1973 KU football letter winner. "At the same time, I'm convinced that that phase is behind us, and the new athletic administration and new coaches understand that this husbandry of the department has improved. I think you take your licks and move on."

The three-year probation sentence, which does not ban the Jayhawks from postseason play, will not affect KU's relationship with one area business, Peoples Bank, which is sponsoring tonight's Late Night in the Phog at Allen Fieldhouse.

"It's important that the NCAA recognized the self-correction that the university did to address what the issue was," said Maley Wilkins, community president for the bank in Lawrence. "That kind of internal adjustment or change was necessary, and it corrected the problem. They are just moving on, and that's a good thing."

Dana Anderson, of Los Angeles, said Thursday "was not a great day." The new Anderson Family Football Complex near Memorial Stadium will be named for the Anderson family.

Anderson had cooperated with NCAA investigators and apologized for providing one-time graduation gifts of $300 or so to graduating men's basketball seniors for several years. He sent the gifts with permission of former KU coach Roy Williams, he said, and was unaware that it broke any rules. Anderson also said it was not part of some grand plot to help athletes and lure them to the university.

Anderson said he was unaware how much the graduation gifts factored overall into the NCAA's decision considering the other self-reported violations.

"I think (athletic director) Lew (Perkins) has done his best to try to be sure that everything is up to snuff," Anderson said. "I think there's been a renewed emphasis put on (rule compliance). Coaching staffs are much more cognizant and aware. I think correction was already being made."

Regarding the academic fraud violations, KU Associate Athletic Director Jim Marchiony said football coach Mark Mangino has said he would not bring junior college transfers to campus unless they had graduated. Overall, in the last three years the athletic department has strengthened its compliance staff and made an effort to cooperate with the NCAA, Marchiony said.

"All of that equates to commitment, and with that commitment, we are confident that at Kansas chances for violations to occur are minimized," Marchiony said.

Winter, who is president and chief executive officer of Peoples Bank, said the NCAA's punishment was tough but one that KU as a "very good, high-end program" can overcome.

"They made it first (down) and 15 and not first and 10 for us, but we are good enough that we are going to get another first down. They didn't make it first and 30," he said.


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