Kansas officials announced early Wednesday what has long been expected — specifically that sophomore Silvio De Sousa will be withheld from competition pending an eligibility review.
“Information was presented during the current trial in New York — some of which we knew, some of which we didn’t,” said Kansas coach Bill Self. “We have decided to withhold Silvio from competition until we can evaluate and understand the new information. We have already discussed trial developments with the NCAA and will continue to work with NCAA staff moving forward.”
Former Adidas consultant T.J. Gassnola testified in federal court last week that an unidentified Maryland booster paid De Sousa’s guardian, Fenny Falmagne, $60,000 to attend Maryland, and that when De Sousa instead enrolled at Kansas the booster wanted his money back. Gassnola said he agreed to give Falmagne $20,000 to help repay the booster but never actually did so. Regardless, Gassnola said he did give Falmagne $2,500 to pay for online classes for De Sousa.
In other words, De Sousa’s amateur status has been compromised, according to Gassnola. So if Kansas played the 6-foot-9 forward under these circumstances it would risk being punished for playing somebody who likely will be ruled ineligible, at least for a period of time, retroactively. Either way, Kansas already played De Sousa in 20 games last season — including all five games it played in the NCAA Tournament. Consequently, it’s reasonable to expect that the Jayhawks will eventually be required to vacate their 2018 Final Four appearance if De Sousa is ruled to have been ineligible last season.
Preseason No. 1 Kansas opens its season Nov. 6 against No. 10 Michigan State in the Champions Classic.
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