Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Preston Issue Lingers for KU

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Preston Issue Lingers for KU

Article excerpt

CHICAGO -- A level of uncertainty was cast Tuesday on Kansas basketball.

Pretty early for that. Just two games into the season.

Yet on the biggest nonconference stage the Jayhawks will appear, a player was suspended indefinitely.

Questions regarding Billy Preston, the vehicle he drives and "a clearer financial picture'' linking the driver and his ride influenced KU administrators to suspend the freshman forward for a blueblood showdown against Kentucky.

The Jayhawks did not respond with a game of beauty, but did use every ounce of fuel to outlast the Wildcats 65-61 at United Center.

Unfortunately for KU, the biggest angle to the mid-November matchup was the issue involving Preston.

The wording of a quote attributed to Self, which Kansas issued in a statement before tipoff, had the odd phrase about finances and the picture KU officials are attempting to clear up.

"The administration determined that we needed a clearer financial picture specific to the vehicle,'' Self said in the statement. "We decided to hold him out of (the) game and will continue to do that until the review is complete.''

How long that could take, Self was uncertain.

Preston learned of his fate just before Tuesday's team dinner, then rebounded for teammates during warmups and cheered them on from the bench.

"I am confident it will get cleared up, but I don't know the time frame. They haven't clued me in,'' Self said. "One thing about it, when that's turned over, coaches are totally eliminated from that situation, so they won't tell me exactly what's going on.''

Enough went on last season to sully KU's basketball image.

Problems with vehicles were not the most serious issues, but they did exist.

This time, however, there was no damage inflicted in a fit of rage, like the incident involving Josh Jackson a year ago. Nor was there an arrest of a player stemming from failure to pay a ticket for an expired tag, which happened last year to Devonte' Graham, who said after his release that he was "driving an ex-teammate's car.''

The latest matter, involving Preston, led KU compliance officials to look further into the vehicle in question after it had initially been registered with their office. …

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