KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Normally Kansas Men's Basketball Media Day is a welcomed distraction from the woes of the football team in the Fall.
This year is no different as far as the pigskin woes go (the Jayhawks are 2-4 and tied for last in the Big 12), but the distractions actually belong to the basketball team.
The FBI is investigating Adidas and their alleged payments to basketball recruits, which would violate NCAA rules. Kansas is an Adidas school and two of their previous recruits, Billy Preston and Silvio de Sousa, are mentioned in the FBI indictments.
"I can't talk about that, and I'm not meaning to be opaque about this at all," said head coach Bill Self. "I just feel like our stance is still the same. We'll comment when the time is appropriate."
Preston never played a real game for KU. But de Sousa was a key member in the Jayhawks' Final Four last season and remains on the team.
"I know I'm going to play this year," said de Sousa. "Right now it's just time to focus on what I have to do."
"I know he's [de Sousa] been the center of a lot of things that have been said," said Self. "And he certainly appears to be playing with a totally clear conscience."
Testimony continues in a New York courtroom.
Meanwhile, basketball practice continues in Lawrence, where the Jayhawks have a potentially explosive mix of veterans, freshmen, and transfer eligible players.
The freshman class is led by point guard Quintin Grimes, who already played for Self during the Summer for Team USA.
"He kind of gave me a little taste of what it was going to be like when I first got here, but he didn't give me the full package," said Grimes. "When I got here I realized he was going light on us at Team USA."
LaGerald Vick is back, literally. The senior left the team with intentions of going pro. However, when those plans fell through, Vick returned to Lawrence. And KU welcomed him back, but not with his old number. Transfer Charlie Moore had already claimed that so Vick will spend his final season as a Jayhawk wearing a #24 jersey.
"I was leaving and decided to come back," said Vick. "I didn't really come back for a jersey. I just came back to play basketball."
KU's first exhibition game is in two weeks against Emporia State.