Senior forward Silvio De Sousa leaving Kansas basketball program

Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa (22) watches from the bench during the second half of an exhibition, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Citing “personal issues,” Kansas senior Silvio De Sousa announced Friday afternoon on Twitter that he was leaving the KU basketball program.

“I have a lot of things weighing on my mind and need to address these by taking time for myself and stepping away from basketball,” De Sousa wrote. “This was not an easy decision, but it’s the best thing for me to do right now.”

Thus ends a Kansas career that began with promise and was fraught with setbacks and frustration for both De Sousa and the program.

After graduating from IMG Academy early to join the Jayhawks during the second semester of the 2017-18 season, De Sousa played a key role in KU’s run to the 2018 Final Four.

However, allegations of improper benefits taken by his guardian cost him the 2018-19 season and his role in a brawl with Kansas State players at Allen Fieldhouse during the 2019-20 season cost him another 12 games.

Throughout an appeal of a two-year NCAA suspension that ultimately was reduced to one, De Sousa received all kinds of love and support from the KU fan base and the Kansas coaches and teammates. He referenced his appreciation for that during his farewell note on Twitter.

“Jayhawk nation, thank you for welcoming me and supporting me through the ups and downs,” he wrote. “It has been very tough for me at times, but you all have meant so much to me.”

De Sousa also thanked his coaches and teammates “for always having my back.”

De Sousa's decision to leave the program leaves Kansas with two proven big men entering the 2020-21 season. Junior forward David McCormack has been regarded by many as a breakout candidate this season and redshirt senior Mitch Lightfoot also has logged significant experience during three prior seasons with the team.

If anything, De Sousa's departure opens the door for true freshman big man Gethro Muscadin to earn more playing time in 2020-21. But there's also the chance that Muscadin could be viewed as more of a luxury than anything else, with KU possibly moving toward another season full of four-guard lineups.

Earlier this summer, Kansas coach Bill Self called Muscadin raw but made no effort to hide his excitement about the freshman's potential.

“I love his talent,” Self said. “He’s 6-foot-10 and skilled and he’s going to be really good. He’s just not physically strong yet like he will be. Six months with (strength coach) Ramsey (Nijem) could make a ton of difference.”

In a news release sent out at 4:41 p.m., Self said De Sousa informed him of his decision to opt out of the 2020-21 season earlier Friday.

“Knowing Silvio, it was clear he had been distracted and not fully focused during workouts as of late," Self said. "After he and I sat down and talked about that, it was clear this was the best decision for him and Kansas basketball, to leave the program. At some point in the future, Silvio will decide what his next steps will be and where that will take him. Silvio has worked very hard during his time here and we have stood by him throughout, but we fully understand his reasoning to take time away from basketball. We support his decision and wish him nothing but success moving forward.”

by Silvio De Sousa ™

Comments

Dale Rogers

That's a shock and a big loss but I hope he is able to work out those issues satisfactorily. That is what is most important. Good luck, Silvio. Thanks for all you did despite all the ridiculous distractions.

1 week, 2 days ago

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Sarah Carr

Thank you Silvio - I’m gonna miss watching you, but you’ve dealt with so much baloney, and I wish you nothing but the best! ROCK CHALK FOREVER!!!

1 week, 2 days ago

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Jeff Foster

So, isn't Opting Out and Leaving the Program two different scenarios? I thought opting out (which I thought was the only opt-out language being due to covid), one would stay as kind of a member of the team, not practicing/playing obviously, and back next year. But this sounds like he's gone-gone, leaving the program. May be semantics, as it seems he'll never wear the uni again, but it's a shame KU invested so much time/energy/money in defending him that it goes down like this. Best of luck to SDS regardless.

1 week, 2 days ago

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Bryce Landon

Silvio De Sousa, yet another in a recent string of KU players who never lived up to his potential and was more liability than asset. Some of it wasn't his fault (the ridiculous one-year suspension from the NCAA), but some of it was (his role in the brawl with K-State and nearly weaponizing the chair). I would love to remember him as the spark that helped Kansas get to the 2018 Final Four, but instead I can only remember him in the same breath as players like Cliff Alexander, Cheick Diallo, Billy Preston, Quentin Grimes, among others.

Welp, next man up! RCJH!

1 week, 2 days ago

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Brett McCabe

Ahh Jeff and Bryce. Could you be more wrong? Silvio was abandoned by his mentors and then his coach, who left him twisting in the wind when he stood up for his team.

He deserves far better than Dirty Bill and his cronies ever gave him.

Best to you Silvio. If you want it, it’s still there for you. You’ll just need to find another path.

1 week, 2 days ago

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Tony Bandle

Random Thoughts:

1] We will miss his big body and energy on the court and, even more, in the practice gym.

2] After all the crap he went through, I really can't blame him for a "reboot" for his life.

3] I'm happy to see two of my favorite posters showing up almost simultaneously on the same article. Let the battle of wits begin!!

4] My only question...and I don't have an answer....is losing Silvio REALLY going to hurt the '20-'21 Hawks???

5] Am I alone in praying for this upcoming election to be OVER!!!!!

1 week, 2 days ago

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Bryce Landon

5) Are you kidding? For most Democrats, the 2016 election still isn't over!

1 week, 1 day ago

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Mark Wooden

Best of luck to this young man.

1 week, 2 days ago

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Jesse Johnson

I keep thinking how if he had just walked away after the block, we would all have remembered it as one of the greatest blocks in program history. Instead we only remember the brawl.

1 week, 2 days ago

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Dane Pratt

Yep. But I actually liked the stare down. It was the chair that could not be defended.

1 week, 1 day ago

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Allin Herring

I do not think,we will miss him. Except for his first half semester in our final four run he really has not brought much to the program except holding a chair. He has broughr a lot of bad press to the program so I,will not miss him one bit. Good bye

1 week, 2 days ago

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Ben Berglund

Could use a thumbs down button for your comment!

1 week, 1 day ago

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Brian Skelly

For him personally, I hope he figures it out.

But im tired of the program getting dragged down because of poor choices of the coaching staff on players.

Were getting to the point where Self might be more of a liability than an asset. I don't believe that's true by the way. But we're certainly at a point where it has to be asked.

1 week, 2 days ago

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Dane Pratt

Agree. The KU brand should be protected in the same manner in which Fort Knox protects its gold but a steady stream of questionable coaching decisions has left it tarnished. When it comes to realignment, does anyone think our football program will bail us out.

1 week, 1 day ago

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Brian Wilson

KU Football is not a sport it's an enrichment program.<br><br>Not that I am not disappointed Silvio is gone but I really look forward to Lgithfoot getting 25 minutes a game. I like rooting for the underdog and I am hoping Mitch puts up numbers no one expects!

6 days, 17 hours ago

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Steve Zimmerman

Lighten up, Silvio! Really, I mean it.
Good luck with whatever you'll do next.
I wish to see more of your plays. But this could be a good thing for both.

6 days, 15 hours ago

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