As the trail concerning the FBI investigation into college basketball rolls on, more bombs continued to be dropped about what has actually transpired in major college basketball programs.
On Wednesday, Adidas consultant and AAU coach TJ Gassnola testified under oath that he issued payments to recruits from several major programs including the Arizona Wildcats, the Kansas Jayhawks, and the NC State Wolfpack.
Breaking: Former Adidas consultant TJ Gassnola testified under oath this afternoon to paying the families of:— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) October 10, 2018
Dennis Smith Jr.
Silvio De Sousa
Brian Bowen Jr.
Based on precedent, if the NCAA chooses to use this information for its own investigation these players could be deemed retroactively ineligible and wins could be vacated among other major punishments.
But the major story breaking here is the potential direct involvement of Kansas head coach Bill Self. Gassnola provided a written report where he states that he met directly with Self and his staff, assuring them that he would help to secure major recruiting targets.
A report Gassnola wrote did include that he "met with Coach Self and his staff ... talked recruiting targets ... assured them we are here to help."— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) October 10, 2018
It should be noted that college coaches and AAU coaches meet often to discuss players, so a meeting between Gassnola and Self is not a problem in and of itself. But if the content of that conversation is in the vein of the rest of Gassnola’s testimony and De Sousa and Preston were primary pieces of that discussion, then this could cause major problems for Kansas’ program.
While it is assumed that many players received impermissible benefits from shoe companies and runners, and really any program is in danger of their name being brought up in that regard, a head coach being implicated and accused of having direct involvement with paying recruits takes the conversation to another level.
Kansas’ name has been simmering on the surface of this story for months, and as an Adidas school it was only a matter of time before one of their players’ names came to light. We first heard the name of Silvio De Sousa a few weeks ago, and his eligibility was immediately brought into question.
But if Bill Self was directly involved, the NCAA will have no choice but to throw the book at the Jayhawks. That hammer could dropper sooner rather than later, and perhaps the University of Kansas will take its own actions upon hearing the news.
Regardless, this does not bode well for the Jayhawks heading into a potentially special season. As they currently sit alongside Kentucky as the top team in the country for 2018-2019, this cloud will undoubtedly be hanging over the program for the duration of the season and potentially for years to come if sanctions are ultimately levied.
More testimony is expected from Gassnola on Thursday, but this is possibly the biggest news from the trial thus far. Be sure to check back at A Sea of Blue for updates on all of the breaking news resulting from the court proceedings.
You could show them a picture of Bill Self handing a recruit a gold bullion with a note saying "PAYMENT FOR BASKETBALL SERVICES," and Kansas people would still insist he's an unwitting victim here. It's an impressive level of cognitive dissonance.https://t.co/xpToK7wqUT— Jeff Ermann (@Jeff_Ermann) October 10, 2018