Kansas University officials are confident that a legal matter concerning prized football signee Jocques Crawford is an isolated incident.
Crawford, a transfer from Cisco Junior College in Texas, pleaded guilty in September 2005 to a charge of misdemeanor simple assault for an incident involving a 15-year old girl while both were in high school in Memphis, Tenn.
He initially was charged with aggravated rape, after the girl alleged that Crawford and two other boys forced her to perform oral sex in the summer of 2005.
Crawford, then 17, spent several weeks in Juvenile Court custody in '05 before being released after the rape charges were reduced to assault in a negotiated plea.
The incident led to Crawford being suspended for much of his senior season at Cordova High, and some major colleges stopped recruiting him.
Crawford signed with Texas Tech the next spring but ended up going to Cisco. He signed with Kansas on Wednesday and is expected to make an immediate impact as a running back this fall.
"We recruited Jocques because he is a good person and a good football player," KU coach Mark Mangino said in a statement. "We know that since the incident, Jocques has conducted himself in an exemplary manner and has done what he needed to do to put the incident behind him.
"We are confident that he will make positive contributions here at the University of Kansas, both on and off the field."
Crawford was the NJCAA offensive player of the year after rushing for 1,935 yards and 19 touchdowns at Cisco in 2007. He picked Kansas over TCU, Arizona and Mississippi.
"We are aware of the incident Jocques was involved in more than two-and-a-half years ago," KU athletic director Lew Perkins said in a statement. "As is our general policy, we commissioned a thorough, in-depth, independent assessment of the incident, which included a background check and discussions with parties who were involved in the adjudication of the case.
"What we learned is that, in consideration of several factors, including his good behavior before and after the incident, his juvenile record has been expunged. We look forward to having Jocques become part of the Kansas Athletics family."
¢ New coach coming: Multiple sources have confirmed that Mangino will name Joe Bob Clements an assistant coach.
Clements, a Kansas State grad who most recently worked at San Diego State, will coach the defensive line at KU.
Clements, 32, spent part of his childhood in Lawrence, and played football for West Junior High. He then moved to Emporia before joining Kansas State's football team in the mid-90s while Mangino was an assistant there. Clements went into coaching after his playing days, working as a full-time assistant at KSU from 2003-05 before moving to San Diego State.
The hiring of Clements will fill the lone vacancy on KU's staff. As a position coach he will replace Bill Young, who went to Miami.
¢ QB Club event: The Kansas Quarterback Club will have a special event at 7 p.m. today to showcase KU's 2008 recruiting class. It will take place at Zig and Mac's, 1540 Wakarusa.
KU assistants Brandon Blaney and Clint Bowen will appear to talk about the new recruits. Admission is free to the public, and will include a complimentary hot dog tailgate.