Kansas basketball self-imposes 4-game suspension for Bill Self and Kurtis Townsend

Kansas basketball head coach Bill Self and assistant coach Kurtis Townsend were suspended for the first four games of the season, the school announced Wednesday. This self-imposed punishment by the university stems from a 2017 NCAA investigation into Kansas following an FBI probe that found multiple basketball programs paid top recruits to attend their schools.

Assistant Norm Roberts will serve as interim head coach during Self's absence.

"Coach Townsend and I accept and support KU's decision to self-impose these sanctions," Self said in a statement. "We are in good hands with Coach Roberts, and I am confident that he will do a great job on the bench leading our team. I am proud of the way our guys have handled this situation and I look forward to returning to he bench for our game against NC State."

Self and Townsend will miss three home games — against Omaha, North Carolina State and Southern Utah — but will also miss a huge matchup with Duke in Indianapolis on Nov. 15.

The sanctions also included recruitment restrictions for Self, Townsend and the school:

  • Neither coach attended off-campus recruiting-related activities from April-July.

  • Three total scholarships were cut that would be distributed over the next three years

  • Official recruitment visits for next year were reduced by four.

  • A six-week ban on recruiting communications.

  • A six-week ban on unofficial visits.

  • A 13-day reduction in recruiting days this year.

This decision comes just seven months after the Jayhawks completed the largest comeback in a men's basketball national championship game to beat North Carolina, 72-69.

The suspension was a small response to one of the biggest scandals in college basketball history that included an indictment of 10 men, some of whom were active assistants at Arizona, Auburn, Oklahoma State and USC. An executive at Adidas was also indicted.

The NCAA originally charged Kansas with three Level I violations in 2019, tied mostly to the recruitment of Billy Preston and Silvio De Sousa. Court documents stated that Adidas consultant T.J. Gassnola “conspired to illicitly funnel approximately at least $90,000” to Preston's mother and Gassnola later admitted to sending De Sousa’s guardian $2,500.

Despite Kansas' self-punishment, Goodman later noted that Kansas wouldn't receive any penalties from the NCAA until after the season.

"We are hopeful these difficult self-imposed sanctions will assist in brining the case to a conclusion," Kansas athletic director Travis Goff said in a statement. "Until then, we will continue to focus on supporting our outstanding men's basketball student-athletes and coaches."

Bill Self will miss the first four games of Kansas' season. (William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports)
Bill Self will miss the first four games of Kansas' season. (William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports)