University of Kansas

As the University of Kansas prepares to open the men’s basketball season against the number one team in the country, KCUR has discovered that for more than two years its athletic department has paid thousands of dollars a month in legal bills, defending the storied program against serious alleged NCAA violations.

The bills from two law firms started coming weeks after a top executive from Adidas was federally indicted in New York in September 2017.

University of Kansas

CHICAGO — Hall of Famer Gale Sayers, an All-American at the University of Kansas who made his mark as one of the NFL’s best all-purpose running backs and was later celebrated for his enduring friendship with a Chicago Bears teammate with cancer, has died. He was 77.

Nicknamed “The Kansas Comet” and considered among the best open-field runners the game has ever seen, Sayers died Wednesday, according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Relatives of Sayers had said he was diagnosed with dementia. In March 2017, his wife, Ardythe, said she partly blamed his football career.

Students who live at four fraternities and five sororities at the University of Kansas must quarantine for 14 days.

Using contact tracing, the Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health agency said people in the Greek homes were most likely to have come in close contact with some of the 200-plus students who have tested positive for the coronavirus. Chapter members who live elsewhere are not part of the order.

Nomin Ujiyediin / Kansas News Service file photo

BELLE PLAINE — The prosecution of a Kansas researcher ensnared in a U.S. government crackdown on Chinese economic espionage and trade secret theft could lead to criminalizing workplace disagreements, his attorneys argued Friday in a motion asking a court to throw out the charges.

Kansas News Service/File photo

TOPEKA — A top Republican legislator in Kansas was hospitalized last month after testing positive for the novel coronavirus and didn’t disclose it to colleagues until this week. The state’s Democratic governor declared Thursday that she’ll get tested because the two of them attended a meeting together after he was hospitalized.

A man who provided massages for female athletes at University of Kansas for more than four years was charged this month with six more counts of sexually assaulting four people between 2016 and 2019.

Lawrence massage therapist Shawn O’Brien, 49, was charged in February with indecent liberties with a 9-year-old. In early March, when the charges were reported in the media, KU said it canceled its contracts with O’Brien.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3 file photo

BALDWIN CITY, Kansas — College athletics departments in Kansas are needing to make a call as the number of coronavirus cases climb across the country and in their own ranks: Cancel fall sports, delay them until the spring, try in-conference games only or something in between.

At the center of it all is football — the high-contact sport that brings in money from the top college level to the small schools. 

The University of Kansas has reversed course and decided to leave it up to department chairs and directors whether to hold in-person classes this fall.

Faculty members had revolted last week after they were told to return to campus beginning Aug. 24, unless they could invoke an exemption under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Fifty-two University of Kansas department chairs have signed a letter challenging the school’s requirement that most classes this fall be offered in person. The faculty members insist they should have the option of teaching online.

The letter, addressed to Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer, was sent after Chancellor Douglas Girod announced last week that KU would hold in-person classes starting on Aug. 24 as part of a shortened semester ending before Thanksgiving. Students will be encouraged to leave the campus after the holiday to minimize the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus.

Nomin Ujiyediin / Kansas News Service file photo

WICHITA, Kansas — Gone are the days of sneaking late into a crowded lecture hall. Reading college students' disapproving faces won't be easy. And Thanksgiving is the new Christmas.

There’ll be a lot of adjustments this fall for students and professors at Kansas’ universities, institutions that have been finalizing plans for how they’ll keep everyone safe from the coronavirus when in-person instruction returns.

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