Kansas was hit with a three-year probation Tuesday and became the first NCAA basketball champion ever barred from defending its title.
The NCAA stopped just short of imposing the death penalty, which would have shut down the basketball program for at least one season. In addition, te Jayhawks will be allowed to give no paid campus recruiting visits in 1989 and will be stripped of one scholarship during that period.The report by the Infractions Committee said the investigation was begun by call from a "confidential informant" dealing with the recruitment of a "highly visible transfer student-athlete."
News reports have linked former Memphis State guard Vincent Askew to the probe although the NCAA announcement identified no one. Askew was recruited by KU and spent one summer on campus but returned to Memphis without playing.
David Berst, assistant executive director for enforcement, confirmed that no one who played on the 27-11 championship team at Kansas was involved in any serious violations.
Kansas officials, describing themselves "frustrated and disappointed, said they would not fight the decision. "Because we believe the university effectively presented its case, and we believe the NCAA committee gave us a fair hearing, we will not appeal," said athletic director Bob Frederick.
Kansas officials had complained that the NCAA was taking more than a month to render its verdict. Berst said the delay was caused partly by deliberations on whether to make Kansas the second school to receive the death penalty.
Larry Brown was the KU coach when the violations occurred. He resigned shortly after KU defeated Oklahoma 83-79 in the NCAA title game in April and is now head coach of the NBA's San Antonio Spurs. He was replaced by North Carolina assistant Roy Williams.
Milt Newton, a senior forward and key member of the championship squad, broke down weeping during the news conference and left the room. He returned a few minutes later saying the probation "hit me like a ton of bricks."
The NCAA noted the Kansas football program received a major penalty in November 1983 and that this major basketball violation within a five-year period made the Jayhawks subject to having their program shut down.
"The committee believes, however, that the following unique circumstances were present in this case: the violations, while serious and calculated to obtain a recruiting advantage . . . were isolated to a 10-day period and the investigation revealed no other serious violations in the basketball program; the basketball program was not involved in the 1983 football case."