Self offers minimal comments following Morris’ dismissal from team, citing legal proceedings

Kansas coach Bill Self reacts to a play during the first half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

Three days after Arterio Morris was charged with rape and dismissed from the Kansas men’s basketball team, KU coach Bill Self declined to comment Monday on how he weighed the decision to bring Morris to Kansas or when he first learned of the late-August allegation against his former player.

Self, who was speaking to the media ahead of Friday’s Late Night in the Phog exhibition, referred to the ongoing legal proceedings as his reason for not commenting. Morris was arrested and charged Friday morning in connection with an Aug. 26 alleged rape at McCarthy Hall, was released on a $75,000 surety bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 18.

Self also pointed to his own previous statement on the matter, issued through a spokesperson Friday morning shortly after Morris’ arrest: “When we learned of allegations regarding Arterio Morris, he was suspended from the Kansas men’s basketball program. We are now aware he has been arrested and charged, and he was dismissed from the program. As this is an ongoing legal matter, we are not able to comment further at this time.”

“You guys can ask and your questions are fair,” Self said Monday. “But I’ve been instructed the correct way to handle this, and even though it may not please those that are asking the questions, but it’s still the best way, and so everything that’s been said has been said. And what was said was not much, but until this is completed there’s not much you can say.”

Self did say Monday of the process of Morris initially joining the team, “It was obviously well vetted.”

KU officially announced Morris’ signing on May 3 after the player committed to join the team a few days earlier. Morris spent his freshman year at the University of Texas. He was expected to compete for significant playing time and potentially a starting guard spot for KU, and participated in the team’s summer trip to Puerto Rico.

Throughout most of his time at Texas and Kansas, Morris was facing a Class A misdemeanor assault charge in Denton County, Texas, court dating back to a June 2022 altercation with an ex-girlfriend that took place prior to his first season at Texas.

Self issued a statement to media outlets at the time of Morris’ signing in which he acknowledged the charge and said that he had spoken with administrators at the University of Texas, as well as Morris and his family.

“Based on these discussions, we are comfortable welcoming Arterio to the University of Kansas,” Self said at the time, per the Associated Press, “and he is well aware of the high standards and expectations that come with being a member of the Kansas men’s basketball program. We fully expect him to meet those daily.”

He later reaffirmed Morris’ availability for the upcoming season in mid-July ahead of the Puerto Rico trip, adding, “This thing happened before he even went to Texas, and Texas went through everything, we’ve gone through everything.”

Morris pleaded no contest to a lesser Class C misdemeanor in the Texas case on Sept. 14.

A day later, KU Athletics announced his suspension, though it declined to provide a reason for the suspension, amid reports of an alleged rape in McCarthy Hall in late August. Then, Morris was arrested and charged with rape on Friday.

According to court records, the state of Kansas, represented by Deputy District Attorney Joshua Seiden, moved on Friday to seal the affidavit that supported the warrant for Morris’ arrest.


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