Sunday, January 7, 2018

The waiting game for De Sousa, Preston causing confusion for Kansas

Newcomer Silvio DeSousa, left, sits next to teammate Billy Preston, who remains inactive, Friday, Dec. 29, 2017 at Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.

Newcomer Silvio DeSousa, left, sits next to teammate Billy Preston, who remains inactive, Friday, Dec. 29, 2017 at Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.


The uncertainty surrounding the status of freshman forwards Silvio De Sousa and Billy Preston goes much deeper than not having the two big men on game days.

It’s also hurting the Jayhawks in practice.

Yes, both players, who are still waiting word from the NCAA about their status for the remainder of the season, are practicing on a daily basis with the Jayhawks. But that does not mean good things or produce good results.

Saturday night, after his team’s hard-fought, 88-84 road victory over TCU, Kansas coach Bill Self explained the predicament.

“We’ve got modes,” Self said. “So we can play with two bigs or we can play with one big and we haven’t practiced playing with two bigs at all this year until this past week when we thought maybe we’d have another big or two. So we’re a little confused.”

The hope, of course, was that Self and company either would learn that De Sousa had been certified as an amateur or that Preston had done enough, both in terms of sitting out and providing information to be fully cleared in the situation regarding his vehicle. Heck, hearing something about both would have been nice, too. But for yet another week, nothing came.

“We were expecting something,” a frustrated Self said after the TCU victory. “I thought we'd at least get a direction, even if it's not positive. We got nothing. We got absolutely nothing."

Preston, as you surely know, is still waiting word from the NCAA on whether the information gathered by KU regarding a compliance issue with a vehicle he was driving at the start of the season is sufficient enough to allow him to play. Preston has missed all 15 KU games so far this season. As the Jayhawks approach the mid-way point, things appear to be entering do-or-die territory.

“We’re at the mercy of other people,” Self said. “If it's not this week... Yeah, it's got to be. You'd think there'd be a positive or negative thing one way or another but there hasn't been.”

As for De Sousa, the Jayhawks also are waiting on the NCAA to clear his situation, though the Angola native who joined the Jayhawks at semester after graduating early from IMG Academy is not waiting to be cleared, merely certified, which has been made a little more difficult by the timing of the holidays and the challenge of gathering the necessary details about his amateur status from his native country.

Regardless of what the outcome is on either player, Self said Saturday that the Jayhawks may be nearing the point where they no longer have time to wait around.

“I’ll be honest with you,” Self said. “It’s confusing to us as a staff and I know it’s confusing the players because you go into it thinking you’re going to play these guys and they get 50 or 70 percent of the reps in practice and you don’t end up using them. That’s frustrating, but that’s just the way it is.

“Hopefully we’ll have some feedback one way or another, positive or negative, soon and see what the outcome is. If we knew what we were dealing with it’d be a lot better but we don’t really know what we’re dealing with from a timing standpoint.”

More news and notes from Kansas vs. TCU


Steve Corder 2 years ago

I bet Mrs. Preston has lawyered up with a threat to sue the ncaa (racial discrimination) if her son is not cleared. I would bet she would have already given the middle finger to the ncaa if they have demanded proof that she could afford to by her son a car. If it were me, I'd be incensed over what appears to be a rectal exam. Must be Robert Mueller's cousin leading this "investigation"....might find that Billy got an X-box for Christmas a few years ago and the ncaa is demanding proof of purchase and where the funds came from to buy it.

If a white kid showed up on campus with a new car would the ncaa investigators conduct an inquisition upon a family for proof that they could afford to buy a car? Seen any car commercials lately that makes one think that it is extremely difficult to buy a car? Hum?

Don't blame KU or Self.

Expect the ncaa to clear Billy very soon and claim time served for non disclosure of a car. If not, I bet we might be hearing about a multi-million dollar law suit.

Chris Spangenburg 2 years ago

So, let me get this straight ... you're accusing the NCAA of racial discrimination?? Some people shouldn't allowed to use the internet lol

Gerry Butler 2 years ago

So you want to turn this into a racial thing? - -Go figure. - Everyone else here is frustrated along with Billy, but you -- -your the first that's tried to make this racial , are you really serious? - - -REALLY? - - WOW some might say - - THAT'S a reach. - -Somewhere someplace a white kid as you say probably has shown up with a new car and the ncaa probably has conducted an inquisition. -- Man how long dod you lay awake and think that one up - -holy crap.

Yonatan Negash 2 years ago

Steve, While I don't know all the facts surrounding the Preston case, I do think there is some validity to your views.

As we all know, the NCAA has a long history of exploitation, not only towards African American athletes but all athletes. But I get your point, it's not far-fetched.

Tom Jones 2 years ago

Please leave politics out of the sports section.

Thanks, Management

Yonatan Negash 2 years ago

You can't possibly be serious with that comment.

You made me laugh, good. one.

How the heck do you plan to leave politics out of sports?

Good luck with that.

Tom Jones 2 years ago

It's pretty simple. Just don't talk about politics on a sports message board.

Robert Brock 2 years ago

The KU Compliance Office did not get the requested information to the NCAA until Christmas week.

Thanks, Zenger!

Pius Waldman 2 years ago

Are you sure he makes decisions for this review?

John Fitzgerald 2 years ago

Not sure who to blame in this but it certainly doesn’t seem like Billy even though he’s the one being punished. The pompous NCAA may not think this situation is a priority especially since they didn’t receive the necessary information until a week before Christmas, but this is a guy who’s missed 15 games already. For his sake at least give him something.

Aaron Paisley 2 years ago

Actually, Billy is to blame for his situation because he was caught driving a car that neither he, nor his mom paid for and was acquired in a manner that does not comply with NCAA rules.

John Fitzgerald 2 years ago

Oh, so the NCAA came out with their decision? And you magically have all the facts? Do you work for KU Compliance? If you do or know someone that does you’re releasing information that you aren’t authorized to release. That or you’re simply making up a story to support your agenda.

Aaron Paisley 2 years ago

If everything was on the up and up with the title to the car, Billy would already be playing. He made a questionable decision and is now suffering the consequences of his poor choice.

And I have heard some fairly reliable sources in the media privately say that the issue is Preston needing to repay benefits and not being able to at this time.

Marius Rowlanski 2 years ago

Sorry, Arron but "reliable sources" doesn't pass the bar. Your inferences are just that.

Suzi Marshall 2 years ago

Since Preston is on a KU enforced suspension for a perceived violation, Self should reinstate him immediately, absent any NCAA direction, if he feels the current 15 game suspension is on par or more than similar incidents, i.e. Selby, Jackson, and others team incidents. If the NCAA tries to take away games for doing so or other similar penalties, Kansas should take the issue to court.

Time to move on without the NCAA because they have shown themselves to be a feckless organization.

Dale Rogers 2 years ago

You can't reinstate him if there is any doubt at all. If you guess wrong and you play him and then he's declared ineligible you likely forfeit each game he played in.

Marius Rowlanski 2 years ago

You could do that Suzi but you better believe that the NCAA will notice this challenge to their power and rule Preston ineligible.

Fairness is not an issue that doesn't concern the NCAA.

Suzi Marshall 2 years ago

If I were Billy Preston and his mother, I would file suit against KU and the NCAA this week if he were not cleared. Countless lawyers and organizations, including the ACLU/ACLJ/FIRE...., would love to take on the NCAA and this case pro bono, if needed.

Unless there are egregious unpublicized circumstances this situation is already out of control when it comes to justice and the law, especially when you toss in the UNC/FBI situations. The NCAA would be killed and could be the final straw, unless the FBI has already laid that final straw, of the NCAA, as we know it. Either Preston now or he won't play at all for Kansas and it becomes a legal matter. If I were on the Preston legal team, I'd go all the way back to UCLA days with Wooden and Sam Gilbert days.

I can understand the de Sousa situation. I'm also very concerned about human trafficking when it comes to these over seas kids, especially from undeveloped places like Africa. That's a bigger and tougher situation.

Tom Ballew 2 years ago

The difference between a player being suspended by their coach, and being held out of games pending completion of an investigation, and clearance by the ossified NCAA is significant.

Dave Painter 2 years ago

The NCAA is still busy counting the money earned from last years tournament. I never thought I'd say this. But I wish the final Conference realignment were here and the inevitable break from NCAA would happen.

I am for an independent governing body overseeing schools. I don't think you can let the inmates run the asylum. I just don't believe the NCAA and it's convoluted organization is capable of ruling effectively, quickly or fairly.

Brad Farha 2 years ago

I share your frustration Dave, but I don't want it to go that far. The $$ from the NCAA tournament are a huge part of funding all the non-revenue generating sports. I'd hate to see volleyball, softball, swimming, track & field, etc. suffer because of a departure from the NCAA.

Marc Frey 2 years ago

So a professional athlete can play at IMG Academy? Interesting they can, if the NCAA needs to check.

Marius Rowlanski 2 years ago

They are checking his playing time in Angola. I can't even imagine how long the NCAA could stretch out that investigation.

We might be lucky to get him in time for next season.

Dave Miller 2 years ago

I wouldn't be "banking" on getting him in time for next season. Probably in 3 years and just in time for the conference tournament... ;) lol I base this on using the previous North Carolina situation...

Barry Weiss 2 years ago

"even if its not positive" sure is covering all bases that this could go either way. still not sure the NCAA has dragged its feet on this one like they DID on Diallo. The Billy and Silvio deals have only been before them a matter of days. I'm no apologist for the NCAA, but the facts are this....with Billy....KU made the decision to sit him because they must feel like something is not right and they are trying to set this penalty themselves in hopes the NCAA will accept it. Beyond that, its hard to blame KU for the car unless they were involved, which I highly doubt, with providing it, selling it, whatever to Billy. All of this started before KU or the NCAA got involved. I have no clue what was going on with Silvio. Hope that one does not take as long as Diallo.

Free Billy! Free Silvio!

Jerry Walker 2 years ago

".KU made the decision to sit him because they must feel like something is not right and they are trying to set this penalty themselves in hopes the NCAA will accept it." -- Barry Weiss


Buck Bukaty 2 years ago

I understand the need to police cheaters. But, given my competency in my job as a professional, I could review a stack of documents in less than one business day and: A.) render a decision; or, B) provide direction to move forward.

In the real world for people with real jobs, when time is of the essence, people perform something called working overtime, whether working until midnight or later, and/or weekends if necessary. The fact that the NCAA will not do such is evidence that they have some other agenda such as keeping the kingdom under their thumbs.

The only parties to blame are the conference honchos who won't stand up and tell the NCAA they've had enough and are going in a different direction for an administrative organization. Time is over for the tail wagging the dog methods. Such administrative authorities should have 48 hours upon receipt of a file to render a decision or direction, period (48 hours regardless of what day of the week they receive it - if they're not committed to their job, put in their resignation and go out and get another one).

Craig Alexander 2 years ago

Your comment about working OT is exactly what I have been thinking too. Work some extra hours and get it done at least in a week. And the whole NCAA shut down for a couple of weeks for the holiday? Really? I have to get my stuff done regardless of holidays.

Marius Rowlanski 2 years ago

There is no chance that the NCAA will ever work overtime to speed up eligibility issues....

Dave Miller 2 years ago

There is no chance that the NCAA will ever work...

Martin Rosenblum 2 years ago

If Preston was going to be a OAD player anyway, should he not be cleared to play, in at least the regular season nor the post season, can he still declare for the draft after not actually having been an active player? If not, there are surely questions as to whether his future earnings will have been influenced by the actions of the University. The NCAA hasn't insisted that he not play until a resolution to the issue is clear. It is KU being prudent and walking the straight and narrow on the side of compliance and not taking chances that having him play anyway could put the program in jeopardy of sorts. So, had he had an opportunity to play and display his values and "stock" to the NBA, his draft potential would certainly have put him in a better position compared to him only being on the bench. This wouldn't necessarily be a frivolous action against KU. If the rules allow him to go to the combines and not hire an agent, he would have to be a real stud to be considered for the draft. If he didn't make the cut, I wonder if he would return to KU, provided that the "infraction" matter was resolved.

John Fitzgerald 2 years ago

He just has to be 19 from what I understand, that’s the only requirement by the NBA. I’m actually surprised he hasn’t just declared and moved on from KU. Not saying that would be the smartest decision but I could see it happening especially with seeing how frustrated his mother was. KU Compliance dragged their feet on this one and it really makes the University look incompetent. Now we’re waiting on the NCAA to make a decision in a few weeks after it took our people nearly two months to sort it out. Not defending the NCAA in any way, but it could have been handled better by KU in my opinion.

Marius Rowlanski 2 years ago

And 2 years past his senior class graduation date.

Sae Thirtysix 2 years ago

jFootz sayz, ". . . it could've been handled better by KU . . . "

INTPN - ". . . HFC Beaty must be involved . . . "

John Fitzgerald 2 years ago

You’re literally too stupid to make a coherent statement.

Larry Knzas 2 years ago

John, I believe you take yourself a little too seriously. The guy seems to know how to push your button and you decide to go nuclear / name calling, 100% of the time.

Brian Skelly 2 years ago

I'd argue the Preston and De Sousa cases are different.    De Sousa is reclassifying his graduation class to play this year.    Im not sure this was or wasnt expected,  but irregardless of the timing,  the NCAA DOES have protocols for this.   I can't speak to how long this process takes.    I'd say that considering that the NCAA certifies thousands, if not hundreds of students every semester,  I fail to see what is taking so long with this.    His being from a foreign country may have something to do with it,  but arent there a lot of foreign kids who come to the USA to play sports in college?   Im sure it's hundreds, if not more.

With Preston it appears KU do most of the leg work here, his suspension is KU's doing, not the NCAAs. To me, this one is almost more frustrating. This seems more like the Diallo thing to me. My concern with this one the whole time has been, is some KU Alum the owner of the vehicle? I'd think we'd know that by now.
I do know this. One and Done has to go away. If a kid wants to go pro whenever the hell he wants to go pro, let them. And let them go whenever. Outta HS, after 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th year... who the hell cares. The self induced restrictions the NCAA puts on these kids IS ostensibly the problem. The kids who'll jump for the money will jump, the kids who dont, wont.
All these problems are NCAA made. Their using their 1950s playbook to try to figure folks in the new millennium. Good luck with that.

Marius Rowlanski 2 years ago

You really don't need to argue something so obvious.

Craig Alexander 2 years ago

They have stated in prior articles that they don’t do the leg work prior to knowing they need to so they review 1000s in the summer. That being said this December graduation evaluation should be hitting them during their slow time. It should be done this week.

Barry Weiss 2 years ago

Brian, I read somewhere, either an article or a blog, that a former KU player was involved in giving/selling/whatever the car to Billy. Because I do not know the reliability of that source, I won't even pass on the former player's name.

Tony Bandle 2 years ago

Random Thoughts:

1] That would be one hell of a scout team for Kansas if the Bigs sit out the reps [the Lawsons, Moore, Billy, Silvio].

2] NCAA - Nothing Concerning Adequate Administration.

3] Tough Day for the Top 25...Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina all losing on the same day and MISERY blowing a game at the last second while KU wins is like a glimpse of heaven to a Jayhawk!! :).

4] We got two very winnable games at Allen this week that will buy us another week in the Billy Preston/Silvio De Sousa hijacking. Maybe the NCAA will finally get off their butts and finish this.

5] Did I mention Missouri blowing a game in the last second??!! Hee, Hee, Hee!!

Marius Rowlanski 2 years ago

Missouri might have had a final 4 team if Michael Porter Jr. did not get injured at the beginning of the season. They are an NCAA tournament team even without him.

Aaron Paisley 2 years ago

Lay off the crack pipe, we all know Missouri was never going to the Final Four with Porter. They've had far better teams than this one and never made it.

Dave Miller 2 years ago

Duke, Kentucky, and Misery (the "Evil Triad") all losing on the same day. That just makes it feel like it's 78 degrees F and sunny this week!! lol

Harlan Hobbs 2 years ago

Excellent analysis, Buck. You live in the real world where results are expected and demanded. Unfortunately, the NCAA is like the federal bureaucracy where few if any are held accountable. It is the classic case of the unsuccessful telling the successful how to do their jobs.

I also agree with Suzi. If the NCAA won't get off their butt on Billy, then Coach Self should take the bull by the horns and play him and dare the NCAA to do something about it. Billy has already served a harsher penalty than anyone else in what appears to be a similar situation of perhaps receiving improper benefits.

As far as I am concerned, this has to be decision week. With home games against ISU and KSU before heading to WVU on January 15, some finality is essential.

Buck Bukaty 2 years ago

In corporate world vernacular, my earlier comments translate to "s_ _t or get off the pot". That's what our clientele expect anyway, who, btw, are bigtime NCAA corporate sponsors at the highest levels.

Andy Tweedy 2 years ago

Nothing the NCAA does should be confusing to anybody at this point!

Mallory Briggans 2 years ago

My take on the De souza is that he played on the Angola National Team during the FIBA basketball season There are professional players that do play in that league so maybe that's the issue with him .So he may have been deemed playing on a professional team .That's the only thing I could think of on the hold up of his status

Tim Orel 2 years ago

This was mentioned a few days ago. At the time, the writer said he could do so, but it had to be proven he had not been paid for his time (don't know about how it works with uniform, transportation, lodging, etc). Still, this should have been resolvable by now.

Bj Cassady 2 years ago

I would see if both bigs would take to red shirting this season. This season is pretty much gone anyway. To get them integrated into the system would take some games so see if they would be open to join a loaded team next year.

Brian Skelly 2 years ago

I don't think the redshirt thing matters. Neither is going to spend 4 seasons at KU.

Robert Brock 2 years ago

Leave De Sousa outa the NCAA rubric. The dude is from Angola. Tough to figure his qualifications.

Preston is what is interesting. C’mon...this reeks of agent/shoe company/NBA runner corruption. This ain’t about a lousy Dodge.

Darrel Stice 2 years ago

At least this story seems to be gaining some momentum. I doubt the NCAA will cave to pressure and act much faster, but at least people (DIckie V) are starting to speak out about it. It's beyond frustrating (as well as completely unacceptable) that this is taking so long. How many of us would be allowed to take this long to complete ANYTHING at our jobs?

Harlan Hobbs 2 years ago

It's amazing how many so called experts know the inside scoop on both young men. I'm at the point of just taking the opposite position that they do simply because I know as much about the details as they do, which is nothing.

As Buck says, "you know what, or get off the pot."

Yonatan Negash 2 years ago

De Sousa should never have been an issue, to begin with.

The kid was a recruit for the 2018 - 2019 season not this season.

Meaning, if the NCAA had 9 months to review De Sousa's eligibility, chances the NCAA could complete all reviews by the start of the 2018 - 2019 season.

Unfortunately, due to the circumstances involving a shortage of players and other desperate measures, it's become an issue.

By the way, De Sousa is not considered a One and Done. He's not even on the NBA draft radar anytime soon.Some of you have assumed DeSousa will be a One and Done, that's not true as of today.

Point is, he'll probably be a 4-year player for KU, why are we risking his future by rushing him to save a situation he had nothing to do with.

Now known some of you will probably reply without analyzing the situation or thinking critically. While I accept all challenges, stick to the topic and refrain from personal attacks when/if you decide to reply.

Barry Weiss 2 years ago

I think Silvio, himself, wanted to move up his eligibility to play this semester. I recall reading that somewhere. If he can help us, I'm all for that.

Yonatan Negash 2 years ago

Barry, I get the help factor but at what cost?

If you leave it up to a kid to decide, it's already a bad sign. No pun intended.

Keep in mind, De Sousa is not a top 10 player coming in.

Meaning he's going to need some time to develop.

After all, that is why the kids are supposed to go to college first, right?

Barry Weiss 2 years ago

well, some of the transfer outs made needing a big body down low a priority. You know we are thin when we have a football player come out and sit on our bench. I think alot of this was a perfect storm of unfortunate twists and turns. I note you do not seem to be too high on Silvio's skills. I don't know much about him. I hope he is able to contribute sooner than you think. I understand the KU player hype machine is not always accurate. But we need help now!

Tom Jones 2 years ago

Risking his future? Huh? We're trying to get him eligible, not risking his future.

And while he's not a one-and-done, I'll be shocked if he's here as a senior and happy if he's here as a junior.

Yonatan Negash 2 years ago

Tom - Let's think this through.

For argument's sake, let's assume that KU was loaded at the Power Forward/Forward position.

Do you really think KU would have allowed De Sousa join the team this year? The answer is NO.

Why? Because 1.) there wouldn't have been any unused scholarships available and 2.) there wouldn't be a need

Keep in mind, at one point we had Bragg and Colby on the team, than Whitman came & went, and finally Preston signed.

Other things to keep in mind, by the time De Sousa get's cleared, practices with the team, and plays in an actual game, we're looking at possibly late January to early February.

So, you really think you're doing this kid any favors?

As I mentioned before, De Sousa's situation doesn't have to be this complicated.

Tom Jones 2 years ago

Yes, coaches recruit players based on need as well as talent. The staff recruited and signed De Sousa based on both.

He wants to play. You still haven't supported this claim about how we're "risking his future" and now how we're not "doing this kid any favors". What on earth are you talking about?

Marius Rowlanski 2 years ago

Umm... Remember Cheick Diallo?

You are assuming that the NCAA works in a logical fashion.

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