LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW) - Despite major allegations against the KU men's hoops program, Bill Self doesn't see them impacting his players.
Kansas coach Bill Self talks to a player during the second half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against West Virginia in the Big 12 men's tournament Friday, March 15, 2019, in Kansas City, Mo. Kansas won 88-74. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
"I don't think it'll be any distraction for our players," Self told reporters on Thursday. "None of our players that we have in our program are involved, no matter what anybody says."
KU men's basketball faces three Level I violations from a recent Notice Allegations, which are the most severe under the NCAA. There's a lack of institutional control charge as well and a head coaching responsibility charge for Self, who is accused of having knowledge of and being connected to recruiting violations involving relationships with former Adidas consultants and executives.
With that in mind, he plans on trying to handle this in a way to not distract his players.
"It could become that if I'm not very mature about it," Self said. "But I plan on being very mature about this. And I'm planning on coaching this team harder and better than I have any team that I've had here at Kansas.
"So I don't see it being a distraction at all from a player standpoint. And I see it as being a gift for me from a personal standpoint that it'll motivate me."
Asked what his message to Jayhawk fans would be ahead of the upcoming season with all of this facing his program, Self offered encouragement.
"I think that we're going to have a terrific basketball team," Self said. "And I think that this team obviously, like any player that's played here, has represented this university in a very first-class way. They deserve to be supported."
The Jayhawks figure to be a highly-touted team with Devon Dotson, Marcus Garrett, Ochai Agbaji, Udoka Azubuike and Mitch Lightfoot back, along with a reinstated Silvio De Sousa as well as others contributing. Self can understand though if fans are thinking about the future implications of these allegations against KU.
"People can always be concerned about the future in all areas or avenues depending on what's happening with anybody personally," Self said. "That can certainly be the case here. But I don't think it should take away one bit from what's going to happen this year and that's going to be putting a team on the floor that's going to be awfully fun to watch and support."