Self: No change in Silvio De Sousa's status for Thursday exhibition game vs. Washburn

Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa talks with associate athletics director for public affairs Jim Marchiony during Media Day, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa talks with associate athletics director for public affairs Jim Marchiony during Media Day, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Kansas basketball fans wondering about the status of sophomore forward Silvio De Sousa can expect to see the KU big man in street clothes again on Thursday night, when the Jayhawks welcome Washburn to Allen Fieldhouse for their second and final exhibition tune-up of the 2018-19 season.

KU coach Bill Self briefly addressed De Sousa during his first Hawk Talk radio show of the season on Tuesday night, saying that KU had not learned anything about De Sousa's eligibility that would make him available for Thursday's 7 p.m. game.

"No, unfortunately, and there's not going to be any news, I wouldn't think, in the immediate future," Self said. "Without going into any details at all, I think everybody would understand (details were) very limited until the trial was officially over, and then after the trial everybody's got to be able to put everything together and look into whatever they look into. So we're hopeful his eligibility review is done as hastily as possible, but we also don't know the time-frame in which that will occur."

De Sousa did not play in KU's exhibition opener, instead sitting on the bench in street clothes, cheering on his teammates throughout the 93-55 Kansas victory.

"Silvio’s in great spirits always," KU forward Dedric Lawson said after last Thursday's win. "He’s always a guy in the locker room that you can laugh at or get a joke out of. He’s a great kid.”

De Sousa, of course, is being held out of competition until Kansas gets more information on his status in the wake of the recently completed college basketball trial that led to the conviction of three men — two of them former Adidas executives and another aspiring agent — for their role in recruiting corruption.

The Angola native played an important role in helping Kansas reach the Final Four last season after joining the team for the second semester after graduating early from IMG Academy.

Although he was never accused of taking any money himself, De Sousa's name came up throughout the trial, with his guardian, Fenny Falmagne, allegedly taking $60,000 from a Maryland booster to steer De Sousa to the Under Armour program, $2,500 more from an Adidas consultant for online classes for De Sousa and discussing another $20,000 payment from Adidas — that testimony said was never made — to help "get out from under" the $60,000 payment.

"It's a sad deal," Self said Tuesday night. "But I just hope (a review and resolution) can happen sooner rather than later, and then we'll deal with what we've got to deal with. But, you know, when there's so many different factors involved in things like this, you just don't know when that time frame will be, and certainly I don't know. Maybe somebody else knows, but I don't know that yet. I think everybody will cooperate to try to do it as quickly as possible."

Self has said throughout the past several weeks that any action Kansas takes regarding De Sousa's status would come after thorough communication with the NCAA.

“Our decision to play (him) will be based on the facts that come out in correspondence with the NCAA,” Self said on Oct. 10. “So it’s not going to be, ‘What does Kansas do?’ It’s going to be what we think is the right approach to obviously try to get to the facts to determine what the situation really is.”

Comments

Ray Winger

Red Shirt?

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Dee Shaw

Shocking. No status? I can’t believe this. Can you say Billy Preston Part 2. Tell the young man it’s best for him to move on and try to sign with a team in the D League or Europe. Why drag this out. He will never play for KU again.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Allan Olson

Isn't the NCAA going to stay silent until the two remaining trials are over? If so, that may be next April. Then maybe coach Self should follow that same concept instead of responding to every inane question about Silvio's status! Yes sir its Billy all over again with the "coach comment de jour". Is the media in North Carolina regularly asking Coach K about Zion's family's alleged money & job requests? Don't tell me that he and those other 5-stars are there for Duke tradition only.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Steve Quatrocky

I agree with Ray Winger, we are deeeeep this year and have a pall cast over recruiting right now so redshirt Silvio until the dust clears. View him as a swap for losing Jeremiah Robinson Earl's contribution next season and its a pretty even deal.

The NCAA is just starting its investigation, it wont be over in three or four weeks, and it could eat up the whole first semester or more. Last season, we only played Silvio immediately after the NCAA pronounced him eligible and we have to do the same thing this year. The Number One Priority must always be keeping the program in compliance, even if it sucks for Silvio. Thus far, I see no justification for vacating wins or titles so dont take any chances.

When the dust clears, the KU - Silvio NCAA issue is probably going to come down to 2500 in online classes, which are improper benefits, and were probably necessary to get him to graduate at semester and play for KU last Spring, but aren't six figures and was spent directly on an educational endeavor. So, the NCAA will probably suspend him a few games, and may even rule that the suspension has already been served if we hold him out this year and then apply for a redshirt.

That is the best and safest route for everybody, especially if the NCAA can find some evidence of the hearsay Maryland Booster Money that later affects Silvio's eligibility and would be NCAA Violation that Maryland has to deal with.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Joe Joseph

I don't know what's best for Silvio. But if I'm a talented athlete, with aspirations to get paid some day to play basketball, and don't particularly care about getting a degree (in the next few years, anyways)... I'm taking a real hard look at other options.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Barry Weiss

No way he plays this year. Not sure what all the factors could be that Coach talks about. Either Fenny took the cash or he didn't.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Jacob Bateson

If Fenny took the cash unbeknownst to Silvio, should he still be punished?

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Karen Mansfield-Stewart

That's a fair point. The NCAA has stated though that a situation where a parent took money (ala Cam Newton or Billy Preston) the player can be ruled ineligible even if he/she was unaware. That's probably true for a guardian also, but it seems odd to me as the guardian in this case obviously didn't have the influence over the school choice that he claimed (allegedly) to the Maryland booster and/or Under Armour as Silvio chose a different school that didn't offer him anything prior to his commitment. The $2,500 (if true) came after the commitment if I understand the timing of the events correctly.

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Barry Weiss

Personally I would say no. But I almost feel like Silvio has been caught up in a larger mess that includes Preston's problems, these text messages, phone calls, etc. It could be that KU feels the need to show the NCAA that it will punish itself by holding Silvio out.

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Armen Kurdian

On the one hand, I understand ineligibility based on actions the player / school were unaware of. Otherwise, this might happen a lot more. However, on the other hand, we've seen what this kind of thing does to players. Billy Preston could be an NBA all-star right now, and because of actions beyond his control that's nowhere near a reality.

The NCAA has to institute some kind of probationary status for players in this situation, at the very least, an 'involuntary' redshirt for a year, or even for him, heck, take away a year of eligibility, he won't need it anyway. But the school has to play risk-averse with him, and in the meantime this uncertainty floats overhead.

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Dirk Medema

The NCAA has gone both ways in the past regarding benefits to families that players weren't aware of, so really no precedents or surprises there. Just more unknowns.

Some of the testimony was about contributions of gear to the national team which doesn't sound particularly different than sponsoring an AAU team which is accepted.

At the end of the day it might be that all we really need to be concerned about is the $2,500 for online classes. That sounds similar to Darnell Jackson's benefits a decade+ ago and resulted in 10 games. I'd be happy with getting him for the second semester.

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Bee Bee

Tell the National Communists Against Athletes where to TO GO and play ball.

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Robert Brock

The ruse is on...Silvio will play against Michigan State and he will smoke the Spartans!

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Dane Pratt

Cliff Alexander, Billy Preston and now Silvio De Sousa. Another athlete screwed by his own parents.

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Kit Duncan

One likely difference between de Sousa and Preston. Billy might not have been involved in bribe-taking by his mom, but he certainly had to have had some idea that the car he was driving was an improper gift. Silvio does not appear to have been the recipient of any special favors and, possibly had no knowledge of how his online classes were paid for, nor the cost of said classes.

2 weeks, 2 days ago

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