The Latest on Arterio Morris and KU

Where things stand with Arterio Morris, the Kansas Open Records Act, and a great quote from Lance Leipold

In this Hearings newsletter:

  1. An Arterio Morris Update

  2. The Kansas Open Records Act

  3. Mike’s Quick Links (Good Leipold Quote)

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EVERYTHING IN THIS NEWSLETTER IS BASED UPON WHAT I AM HEARING FROM PEOPLE I TRUST. PLEASE DO NOT MISTAKE THIS FOR FACT OR FOR ACTUAL JOURNALISM, WHICH HAS VERIFICATION STANDARDS THAT I HAVE NOT ADHERED TO. I DO NOT GUARANTEE THE ACCURACY OF THE CONTENT.

The Latest on Arterio Morris

Note: A few of you reached out asking why I hadn’t addressed the Arterio Morris situation, which I totally get. I’ve had limited time to write, and I wasn’t comfortable writing about this without more information. This is a potentially life-altering situation, and I’ve tried to be respectful given the sensitivity of it all. Basketball is not the most important thing here, even though that’s the subject of this story.

This is the latest on what I’m Hearing right now about the situation moving forward in regard to his status at KU:

While it’s unlikely Arterio Morris will play for Kansas this season, it’s still not impossible. As of Wednesday afternoon, there’s still a small chance he might play for the Jayhawks this year. Neither party (KU or Morris) has made their decision yet.

Morris was suspended from the program after being named the subject of an alleged sexual assault, according to the Kansas City Star. He was also arrested last summer in a separate incident after being accused an of alleged assault before his freshman season at Texas.

One significant piece for Morris’ future depends on how this plays out with the Douglas County District Attorney, as I understand it. While Morris hasn’t been arrested or charged, the case was forwarded to the district prosecutor, according to the Star.

If DA picks up the case, it becomes a criminal matter and less likely that Morris plays for Kansas anytime soon (or ever). If the DA doesn’t get involved, the situation likely becomes a Title IX Investigation at KU, which is also a murky process.

In a Title IX case, the accused party typically isn't afforded due process and can be disciplined if it's deemed more likely than not that misconduct occurred. These investigations don't operate on proving guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

All this is to say, if the case becomes criminal and goes to the DA, the chance of seeing Morris play for KU shrinks even more. If it stays within the University, it’s a bit more possible we will see him play at KU this year.

Either way, based on the information available today, I think it’s improbable Morris plays this semester. As always, I’ll keep you posted as the process plays out.

Thank you in advance for sharing this with fellow KU fans.

The Open Records Note

A few of you have asked about The Star’s note regarding the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) in its story breaking the news about Arterio Morris. The story was, on the whole, well-reported.

In the story, The Star said it filed a KORA request for the incident report on Tuesday, and it was fulfilled by KU on Friday. The story said, “Three days is the maximum amount of time allowed to respond to such a request.”

I have mixed feelings about the inclusion of this note. KU replying in three days is within its legal right here, though it seemingly waited until the last minute to respond. Context matters, though. I’ve sent dozens of KORA requests to KU, and it isn’t unusual AT ALL for the Office to take the maximum time to respond.

This is normally really frustrating for me. I generally don’t find the Office to be particularly easy to work with, and I’m glad to see it acknowledged by other reporters. HOWEVER, it might’ve been worth holding, given it came in the context of a breaking news story about alleged sexual assault.

Maybe The Star was trying to be transparent in its reporting process, which is always good. I just would’ve made that more clear. This is all really difficult to write and report on, which is important to remember.

TL;DR: It’s unfortunate to note that such delays aren’t unusual for KU. I’d like to see this change, but I don’t think The Star picked the best time to include the note.

Mike’s Quick Links 📝

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