Bill Self Says Fallout of Alleged Rape at Kansas is ‘Huge Distraction’ Heading Into Kentucky Game
Kansas coach Bill Self says the fallout of an alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl at a school dorm housing the men’s basketball team is a “huge distraction” as his team heads into Saturday’s SEC/Big 12 game at Kentucky.
“It certainly is a distraction without question,” Self said Thursday on a conference call. “The Kentucky game is a big game. It’s probably as big a game for fans as it is for players, but certainly players. It’s a game that you circle and you look forward to playing whenever the season begins and whenever we start practicing.
“Sure, it’s a distraction, I mean how could it not be? But it’s not a distraction from our guys’ standpoint from a film standpoint. It’s a distraction because you have to hear about it and go through it.”
Five members of the Kansas team are listed as witnesses on the police report, according to the AP. No charges have been filed as of Wednesday and no suspects publicly identified. Police say the alleged assault and other related crimes occurred sometime between Dec. 17 and Dec. 18. They say the teen was visiting residents in the building.
The police report cites other possible offenses as contributing to a child’s misconduct, furnishing alcohol to a minor and possession of drug paraphernalia. Jim Marchiony, associate athletic director for external relations, declined comment, citing the ongoing investigation.
“All is know is what I said [Wednesday],” Self said. “There’s an alleged incident that took place there and the people were listed that are potential witnesses in some way, and that could be a plethora of ways…what a witness potentially could be. That’s all we know at this point and certainly it’s not going to minimize it at all because it’s such a serious potential allegation that took place in McCarthy Hall but I’m also not going to draw something from it that in no way, shape or form have we been told that is there right now.”
Asked if his players were all clear in his mind to play, Self said: “If there was an issue they wouldn’t be playing so there hasn’t been anything that has been brought to my attention that would keep anybody from playing.”
Follow Adam Zagoria on TwitterAnd like ZAGS on Facebook
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.