Thursday, April 18, 2019

KU announces formal filing of Silvio De Sousa’s appeal of NCAA suspension

Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa, who was recently ruled ineligible by the NCAA, watches the video board along side injured teammate Marcus Garrett before tipoff against Kansas State, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019 at Bramlage Coliseum.

Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa, who was recently ruled ineligible by the NCAA, watches the video board along side injured teammate Marcus Garrett before tipoff against Kansas State, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019 at Bramlage Coliseum.


Seventy-five days after promising to fight for his eligibility, University of Kansas officials have filed a formal appeal of Silvio De Sousa's two-year suspension by the NCAA.

On Feb. 2, during an impromptu press conference before KU’s home victory over Texas Tech, Kansas Athletic Director Jeff Long spoke with fire and passion about the suspension handed out to KU's sophomore forward on Feb. 1, which stemmed from his guardian’s role in a pay-for-play scheme that was part of a federal investigation into corruption in college basketball.

Kansas Athletics on Thursday morning announced it had entered "its formal appeal on behalf of men's basketball student-athlete Silvio De Sousa, challenging the two-season penalty De Sousa received from the NCAA for alleged violations that he was unaware of and from which he did not benefit."

The release added that KU officials would have no further comment until the process was complete.

Later Thursday, when the Journal-World reached him for comment through a spokesperson, Long said that there were reasons for the lengthy delay between the time of De Sousa's suspension and KU filing the appeal.

“This has been a detailed, collaborative process involving the University of Kansas, the NCAA and Silvio’s attorney,” Long said via written statement. “That process has resulted in the best possible appeal for Silvio.”

So now the matter is officially in the hands of the NCAA, and, according to its website, the body that will review the appeal is separate from the one that handed out the suspension in the first place.

De Sousa’s appeal will be ruled on by the Student-Athlete Reinstatement staff, which is made up of "a team within the NCAA's academic and membership affairs department."

According to the website, the SAR staff reviews each student-athlete reinstatement request individually, based on its own merits and set of specific facts.

Requests by the Journal-World of both the NCAA and KU seeking clarity on any timeline associated with the appeal have been unsuccessful, but a review of a 20-page document on the NCAA website may provide some guidance.

In a document titled “NCAA DIVISIONS I, II AND III COMMITTEES ON STUDENT-ATHLETE REINSTATEMENT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES,” which was updated last December, the NCAA lists two different types of appeals processed by the Student-Athlete Reinstatement committee.

The first is dubbed “Reinstatement of eligibility appeals – violations.” And the second is titled, “Waivers and extension request appeals.”

If De Sousa's appeal falls under the first category, the document indicates that "review of a violation appeal by the appropriate divisional committee via paper review will generally take seven business days.”

If the appeal somehow falls in the second category, the document indicates that review of the appeal can “generally take three weeks.”

Kansas coach Bill Self said Tuesday night at the team’s season-ending banquet that he was “still holding out for hope on Silvio participating at Kansas moving forward, even though we don’t have any answers on that yet.”

Throughout his time with the Jayhawks this season, De Sousa remained a visible part of the team even though he could not participate in the action on the floor.

Self on Tuesday praised De Sousa’s attitude throughout the season and reiterated that he believed the 6-foot-9 sophomore from Angola had been dealt “the worst hand anybody’s been dealt.”

One other potential factor in De Sousa’s immediate future is the looming early entry deadline for the 2019 NBA Draft, which arrives Sunday and could play a role in where De Sousa's career goes from here.

Self, in a recent interview with the Journal-World, said he would "totally understand and encourage" De Sousa to look into declaring for the draft, which would allow him to take advantage of new rules that deliver NBA exposure while retaining college eligibility.

If De Sousa decides to stay at KU for what would be his junior season, his status for the 2019-20 season will not be known until a ruling is made on his appeal.

As of today, De Sousa's suspension by the NCAA has him ineligible to play until the 2020-21 season.

According to a report by The Associated Press, the SAR's ruling on De Sousa's appeal is final.


Craig Carson 2 years, 5 months ago

I really hope they rule in his favor and repeal his suspension..not just because the we need him on next years team but also since its not fair to him and his future....I'm still anxious on what the NCAA will do in terms of violation and would be a slap in the face to reinstate him just to turn around and ban KU from postseason play

Brian Wilson 2 years, 5 months ago

What violation? Penalties for what?

So far there is only a smidge from the Addidas trial and although the NCAA wants everything the FBI has as for as evidence the chance they get any of it is slim to none. Based upon results from the trial KU is the victim and the only way the NCAA gets traction is by calling Addidas a booster.

Plus once the Nike trial and Under Armour trials get under way, my guess is there will be a bunch of schools in deep trouble

Craig Carson 2 years, 5 months ago

While not in disagreement with u, the NCAA might feel a knee jerk reaction to make a statement that makes them seem in control and KU might be the sacrificial goat...

John Strayer 2 years, 5 months ago

We all need to remember that the judge in the Adidas trial squashed all the real juicy text messages between the Adidas runners and KU coaching staff as not relevant to the Federal case. The NCAA however, won't be limited by rules of evidence in its investigation. The truth is no one outside of the legal teams knows what is in those text messages or how bad they look. I'm still scratching my head why the KU coaching staff thought it was a good idea to use texting as the method of communication with the Adidas folks. Did they really think those wouldn't hang around on some server somewhere??

Shannon Gustafson 2 years, 5 months ago

How is it that you know all those texts are real juicy?

Oh, you're just speculating and the reality is the juiciest stuff could have already been released?

You can speak in absolutes about things you know nothing about.

Brad Farha 2 years, 5 months ago

One concern is that the NCAA required KU to designate the Adidas rep (forgot his name) as a booster for KU. It was something to do with our request to get him formally declared eligible during the year. Maybe NCAA is going to use that to penalize us.

Phil Leister 2 years, 5 months ago

Silvio posted an Instagram story last night about about 1:30am, working out and shooting hoops in the practice gym. The kid loves basketball and KU so much and it's incredible the attitude he's maintained all year.

He's been punished severely. He sat out an entire season. Do the right thing and acknowledge the time served, and let the man play next year. This is a big referendum on the NCAA.

Dale Rogers 2 years, 5 months ago

To me, that whole thing about the NCAA telling KU it would not consider his eligibility questions (not the appeal, the original eligibility question that led to the penalty) unless KU admitted a booster did something wrong, then, when KU did that while commenting they were doing that only because that's the only way the NCAA would consider it, then for the NCAA to turn around and say, well, your booster did something wrong so Silvio sits... that smacks of legal entrapment, or very close to that.

I have no idea why it took 75 days to file the appeal but I'm sure there is a valid reason. Nobody at KU is going to just sit on something for no reason. I have to think there is some NCAA requirement, yet again, that had to be met before they'll consider the appeal.

I'm rather conservative when it comes to making major changes but I've reached the point I think the NCAA needs a major overhaul. But, of course, I have no idea how to do that but the conferences need to get together to make it happen.

Doug Roberts 2 years, 5 months ago

The NCAA will begin reviewing the appeal promptly after Christmas break.

Lance Iamnot 2 years, 5 months ago

Agreed. Christmas Break of 2021 I'm guessing.

John Henderson 2 years, 5 months ago

I am sure they will wait for the NBA deadline before they decide anything.

Ashwin Rao 2 years, 5 months ago

NBA deadline does not mean anything if he is suspended for 2 years. If they don't ease the suspension, Silvio can go pro anyway. It does not make sense for him to stay in college for 1 more year.

Layne Pierce 2 years, 5 months ago

Ordinarily I would say, Silvio go pro here or somewhere, you don't deserve this grief, but then I think why did he stay, and what I come up with is he bought in, he love's KU and he loves to play here, and he wants some more of that.

Looking back and thinking how far and how fast he came and how much he has been screwed over by the NCAA, I get angry just thinking about that 2 year punishment. Note I did not say penalty. In fact the NCAA should be required to deal with these cases within 3 months tops.

If they try to make a scapegoat of KU, if they try to go on punishing us by punishing an innocent person, then they should be sued. After all, who said he was eligible in the first place?



Craig Carson 2 years, 5 months ago

honestly, with so many programs tied to this FBI issue, it might make it hard for the NCAA to dole out punishments or sanctions..this seems more systemic than it is a few programs getting any rate, 2 years for a measly $2500 is extreme

Armen Kurdian 2 years, 5 months ago

There's a question of financial damage and career impact to him if this continues. This appeal is between KU and the NCAA. But if it doesn't pan out, a court may find that the NCAA is unfairly imperiling his future career and potential earnings as an NBA start, and may be violating his civil rights if as you say, they are just trying to make a scapegoat or a statement at the expense of a player's future career. And I'm willing to bet $50 that KU could find inconsistencies in how the NCAA has ruled against players in the past.

Has the NCAA ever come out and publicly stated or published a policy that specifies actions taken to influence a player's recruitment by or scholarship offer to a school would result in punitive actions against that player even if the player and school have absolutely no knowledge of the act?

Bob Bowles 2 years, 5 months ago

Public sentiment clearly means nothing but I can guarantee every member of the Jayhawk Nation (and probably many others) support Silvio. Sure it would be great to see him suited up next year but this whole thing is just plain WRONG. He appears to me to be the kind of kid college athletics needs more of instead of those who are clearly in it for the money.

It would be great if enough schools got fed up with the NCAA inconsistencies and said the hell with it and dropped out.

Brett McCabe 2 years, 5 months ago

As we often hear and read, the point of all this is supposed to be about helping student athletes. Take a moment and consider the damage the organization is trying to do to a student athlete. A kid....a 17 or 18-year-old kid at the time. He didn't take any money. He went to class. He's academically progressing and eligible. And the organization gives him a 2-year sentence?

I'm with you on what should happen but the fact that it doesn't makes me realize that the dollars are more important to the members of the NCAA than the kids are.

Bryce Landon 2 years, 5 months ago

You are right when you say many others support Silvio. That would include Texas Tech coach Chris Beard. As I recall from postgame pressers after the Jayhawks whipped their asses in Lawrence, Beard tried to tell his Red Raiders that they were walking into a hornets' nest because the KU players would be angry about having Silvio ripped from them because the NCAA was doing NCAA things to Silvio.

When the opposing coach is throwing shade at the NCAA for its handling of a matter that doesn't involve one of his players, you know the NCAA screwed this up pretty badly.

Brad Avery 2 years, 5 months ago

It took less time to censor the Mueller Report than to file this appeal. I thought this was filed during the season after the NCAA formally re-established its disdain for KU in announcing Silvio 's banishment from college basketball.

Robert Brock 2 years, 5 months ago

The breakneck speed of this appeals process is breathtaking. Face-contorting speed.

Bj Cassady 2 years, 5 months ago

Would love for all the powers to be to get behind Silvio, Kansas senators, reps, everyone. This is so unfair at all levels. I don't care who your school is.

Bryce Landon 2 years, 5 months ago

According to a report by The Associated Press, the SAR's ruling on De Sousa's appeal is final.

Not necessarily. KU could sue the NCAA and take their fat asses to court.

Len Shaffer 2 years, 5 months ago

I don't think a lawsuit would work because schools choose to be members of the NCAA -- i.e., it's a voluntary organization (at least theoretically).

If lawsuits could work, the NCAA would be getting sued all the time.

Micky Baker 2 years, 5 months ago

The NCAA can be sued, and I'm betting that if Kansas sues them, Kansas wins this one. The way the NCAA handled it without even notifying De Sousa until after there was news that his family might sue the NCAA. I mean, it was just a few days after that article was published. The NCAA is in trouble if they are taken to court on this one.

Dane Pratt 2 years, 5 months ago

IDK if a member school has ever sued the NCAA but they have been sued plenty of times by individuals. Silvio is the victim, not KU and we would lose in the court of public opinion if we filed a civil suit. Most people would agree that Silvio's punishment is excessive but for KU to play victim because his suspension hurt our chances of winning would likely backfire and hurt us more than help us.

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