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Kansas planning $17.5 million housing for basketball players to stay competitive

The Dagger

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The Kansas Jayhawks mascot performs for the crowd during the game against the Towson Tigers at Allen Fieldhouse …

Kansas wants to make sure its basketball players are living the good life.

The school is planning to build a $17.5 million apartment complex that will house its men's and women's basketball teams as well as 34 regular students who are not student-athletes, the Kansas City Star reported.

The building would be located near Allen Fieldhouse on the south side off Naismith Drive and is scheduled to be completed in time for the start of the 2016-17 school year.

“We have one of the very elite basketball programs in the country, and we want to do everything we can to stay there,” Kansas associate athletic director Jim Marchiony told the newspaper. “Not only that, we need to, and housing is part of that.”

So the first thing you're probably asking yourself is how does this square with NCAA rules?

The answer is it's entirely legitimate in the NCAA's eyes as long as student-athletes don't receive anything that is not available to regular students. Kansas making half the building available to regular students meets that criteria.

Kansas is not the first to undertake such a project. Kentucky basketball players already are housed in a $7 million complex called Wildcat Coal Lodge. Auburn recently built a $51 million residence hall to house its football team along with several hundred other students.

Kansas players currently live in a different apartment complex that has been updated in recent years, but Marchiony told the Star the new building would be a step up and allow Kansas to compete for the best recruits in the nation.

Kansas landed the nation's top recruit in the 2013 class in Andrew Wiggins, who is a big part of coach Bill Self's team this season.

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Kyle Ringo is the assistant editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at kyle.ringo@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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