CHICAGO — Kansas freshman Billy Preston missed the fourth-ranked Jayhawks’ victory over No. 7 Kentucky on Tuesday night after he was involved in a car accident that caught the attention of the school’s compliance office.
The accident occurred on campus on Saturday. The athletic department tried to get everything worked out before the game against the Wildcats in the Champions Classic, but the effort was unsuccessful and Preston stayed on the bench during Kansas’ 65-61 win at the United Center in Chicago.
“When a kid goes to school at your school, you register his car, if he has a car, through your compliance office,” Self said. “He had a minor, minor — no injury or anything like that — one-car accident on Saturday that’s reported to the compliance office and they started doing the checking on the car and wanted to get a clearer picture of how some things were done and we couldn’t get it cleared up. So that’s basically all there is to it.”
Preston also was benched for Kansas’ season-opening victory against Tennessee State because he missed both curfew and class. Self said he isn’t sure when the 6-foot-10 forward will be able to play for the Jayhawks.
“I am confident it will be cleared up,” he said, “but I don’t know the timeframe and they haven’t clued me in on exactly — 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.”
Preston is one of three McDonald’s All-Americans on the Jayhawks’ roster. He averaged 15.3 points and 10.4 rebounds last season at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia.
Self said Preston found out just before the pregame meal that he wasn’t playing against Kentucky. Preston’s absence left the Jayhawks’ short-handed against the talented Wildcats, but they managed to hold down the stretch.
“To me, I’m really proud of our guys; I’m really proud of Billy,” Self said. “He was a great teammate on the bench and our guys will rally around him but certainly it was disappointing, very disappointing.”