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Monday, January 14, 2019

Notebook: Per report, KU officials to ask NCAA to reinstate Silvio De Sousa

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

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

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According to a Monday report from Seth Davis of The Athletic, the Kansas men’s basketball program is prepared to rule KU sophomore Silvio De Sousa ineligible and request that the NCAA immediately reinstate him.

Davis’ report, which cites multiple sources who claim KU is prepared to “formally acknowledge to the NCAA that a violation took place,” answers the question that KU officials would or could not answer last week.

When reached by the Journal-World last month for clarity in De Sousa’s case, an NCAA spokesperson said that NCAA rules require KU to first rule the player ineligible, then submit a request for reinstatement before the NCAA can even begin to review the case.

When asked last week if KU either had ruled De Sousa ineligible or submitted a reinstatement request, KU associate director Jim Marchiony said, “We cannot get into any particulars, but everyone is working together for a resolution that is best for all parties involved.”

Without knowledge of whether KU had submitted a request, it was hard to know whether the NCAA was simply moving slowly, as many critics claimed, or if De Sousa’s case was even being reviewed at all.

Davis’ report, if accurate, would suggest that the NCAA, per standard procedure of eligibility reviews, has not formally been reviewing De Sousa’s case.

However, the report also addresses what the NCAA has been doing while De Sousa has sat in street clothes waiting to find out more about his status. That status has been in limbo since Kansas coach Bill Self voluntarily elected to hold De Sousa out of competition while waiting for some kind of guidance or answer regarding whether the 6-foot-9 sophomore from Angola would be eligible if he played.

“Over the last three months, Kansas has been working directly with members of the NCAA’s enforcement division to investigate the matter and agree upon a set of facts,” Davis wrote. “There is no guarantee the NCAA will accede to Kansas’ wishes, and there is no standard for how long the NCAA must take to render a decision. However, the anticipated step raises the possibility that De Sousa could play for the Jayhawks this season.”

According to Davis’ sources, KU’s formal request to reinstate De Sousa is expected to be submitted to the NCAA’s Academic and Membership Affairs Group as early as this week.

KU officials on Monday morning had no further comment on De Sousa’s status or Davis’ report.

The violations in question stem from De Sousa's recruitment and its role in the recent college basketball corruption investigation, which revealed in federal trial that De Sousa's guardian, Fenny Falmagne, allegedly received a $60,000 payment from Under Armour to steer De Sousa to Maryland and, later, requested $20,000 from an Adidas rep to help him "get out from under" the Under Armour payment so De Sousa could attend KU.

Also in play is an alleged $2,500 payment from Adidas rep T.J. Gassnola to Falmagne to help De Sousa enroll in online classes so he could attend KU after graduating from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., a semester early.

Big Monday big shot

Monday’s 80-78 KU victory over Texas marked the Jayhawks’ 84th all-time appearance on ESPN’s Big Monday, by far the most in the Big 12.

Since the inception of the conference in 1996-97, KU is 66-18 all-time on Big Monday, including a 38-1 mark at home, 28-17 on the road and 46-12 under Self. The Jayhawks have won 31 straight Big Monday games at Allen Fieldhouse and 11 consecutive Big Monday games overall.

ESPN broadcaster Fran Fraschilla, who has worked Big Monday games for the past handful of years, can remember his first encounter with the Big Monday phenomenon, back when he was a young coach at Manhattan, and he said the KU brand played a huge role in building it into what it is today.

“Anything that involves a team like Duke or Kansas or Kentucky is going to get a lot of promotional support so that people know where and when that game is on at all times,” Fraschilla said before Monday’s game. “And it’s a combination of the great (KU) tradition, it’s great TV, because of Allen Fieldhouse — it looks great on TV — and it’s Kansas; it’s a staple of ESPN college basketball.”

Lawson honored again

For the third time on the newcomer circuit and sixth time in the weekly awards, KU junior Dedric Lawson was honored by the Big 12 on Monday as the conference’s newcomer of the week.

Lawson, who averaged 24 points and 8.5 rebounds during wins over TCU and Baylor last week, earned the top newcomer honor for the third time.

Lawson scored a season-high 31 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in KU’s win over the Horned Frogs last Wednesday and followed that up with a 17-point effort at Baylor last weekend.

His performance in Waco, Texas, included a season-high five blocked shots and a career-high five steals, which made him the third player in Big 12 history to record five blocks and five steals in the same game. Baylor’s Quincy Acy (2008) and Brian Skinner (1996) previously achieved the feat.

Jayhawks still 7th in AP poll

Despite two victories last week, including yet another Top 25 win, the Jayhawks stayed in the No. 7 spot in this week’s Associated Press Top 25, released Monday.

The top 10 spots remained unchanged, with Duke, Michigan, Tennessee, Virginia and Gonzaga holding down the top five spots and Michigan State, Texas Tech, Virginia Tech and Nevada surrounding KU in rounding out the Top 10.

Future KU foe Kentucky (Jan. 26 in Lexington) and past KU victim Marquette, each jumped six spots to Nos. 12 and 15, respectively.

Oklahoma jumped three spots to No. 20, and Iowa State, which was ranked No. 20 after knocking off KU, fell out of the Top 25 following losses to Baylor and Kansas State.

Five of this week’s Top 25 teams owe one of their losses to Kansas, with No. 3 Tennessee, No. 6 Michigan State, No. 15 Marquette, No. 20 OU and No. 22 Villanova all falling to Kansas earlier this season.

This and that ...

KU’s victory improved the Jayhawks to 15-2 overall and 4-1 in Big 12 play or better for the 13th consecutive season, dating back to 2006-07 ... KU now leads the all-time series with Texas, 32-8, including a 17-1 record in games played in Lawrence and a 15-1 mark at Allen Fieldhouse. KU won a pair of games against the Longhorns in 1940 at Hoch Auditorium ... The Jayhawks are now 28-7 against Texas in the Big 12 era ... KU has won 14 consecutive games in Allen Fieldhouse and is 10-0 at home this season.

Comments

Nathan Scholl 3 months, 1 week ago

The NCAA doesn't give a darn about Silvio and that's a sad fact. I'd bet they haven't done a single thing to look into his eligibility. The NCAA is organization run by complete incompetence and influenced solely by the lure of profit. Too bad for student athletes. Not that this is about school, I'm not naive, but they're obtuse. What about past situations makes anyone think they will make a ruling anytime soon? My guess is that they sit in their offices all day playing solitaire and eating donuts. Total bummer.

Nathan Scholl 3 months, 1 week ago

The NCAA doesn't give a darn about Silvio and that's a sad fact. I'd bet they haven't done a single thing to look into his eligibility. The NCAA is an organization run by complete incompetence and influenced solely by the lure of profit. Too bad for student athletes. Not that this is about school, I'm not naive, but they're obtuse. What about past situations makes anyone think they will make a ruling anytime soon? My guess is that they sit in their offices all day playing solitaire and eating donuts. Total bummer.

Micky Baker 3 months, 1 week ago

The NCAA doesn't care about De Sousa. It seems to be that over such a small amount of money in this instance, they could have suspended him for 10 games or so and then let him move on. He's stuck not being able to play, and it doesn't matter what team a guy like this plays for. The NCAA needs to get the ball rolling and make a determination one way or the other so the kids know what steps to take next such as entering the draft or whatever else it is they may choose to do. The NCAA is acting immaturely.

Mike Greer 3 months, 1 week ago

Either there's been a lot going on that no one is willing to disclose, or KU is inept at NCAA rules and or procedures. Really, it's taken three months to establish a set of facts? Who comprises the NCAA , a bunch of former Congress members?

I really hope Silvio gets to play, these kids are like pawns in a chess game, or what the military would refer to as collateral damage. In this case his guardian allegedly gets the cash and Silvio gets his basketball career ruined. Just look at how this worked out for Billy Preston.

Joe Black 3 months, 1 week ago

How could anyone read this article and then come out blasting the NCAA? It appears as if KU was not sure how they wanted to pursue this. Did they want to admit wrongdoing? or take some other approach. They seem to now have decided on an approach which will cause the NCAA to look at the case. Now you can start the whining about the NCAA because the time KU makes its official request for reinstatement is when the NCAA clock begins. And we all know how slow that clock runs.

Robert Brock 3 months, 1 week ago

KU sat on its hands and was not proactive in moving for De Sousa’s eligibility. The NCAA was not stalling. Stop boo-hooing.

Nathan Scholl 3 months, 1 week ago

Joe and Robert, do you guys work for the NCAA? So defensive! Talk about whining and boo-hooing! Ha. This is a forum for discussion, no need to take cheap shots fellas! Bill Self has said repeatedly to the media this season that he contacts the NCAA EVERYDAY asking about Silvio's eligibility and that they always reply with, "we're working on it." He has also said repeatedly that Silvio is a stud teammate, has done everything right and that he is crushed. Yes, the university has just now gotten OFFICIALLY involved, but the NCAA has known about this the whole time. To imply that they haven't known would just further prove their inadequacy. They move as slow as molasses in matters such as these. Always have. The university getting officially involved seems to me more like a push to influence the NCAA to actually get the ball rolling rather than a first contact regarding the situation. I.E., the more the story is in the public eye and the more it is "official" and on the record, perhaps the faster this will be resolved. If you look at the processes of players like Cheick Diallo and Billy Preston (different situation admittedly) you will see a genuine pattern of the NCAA's futility and lack of concern over resolving these cases. I'm not even saying that Silvio shouldn't be kept out of playing for what transpired by his guardians, but it seems they should at least make a ruling. The facts are out there, what's the hold up?

Shannon Gustafson 3 months, 1 week ago

No, he's said he asks compliance about Silvio (which is KU's compliance office, not the NCAA).

Kenneth Johnson 3 months, 1 week ago

Davis's report supposedly addresses what the NCAA has been doing while De Sousa has sat in street clothes. Anyone with any knowledge of how the NCAA treats KU, should know that they haven't done anything at all, but hope that De Sousa leaves, just like Billy Preston did after waiting months for them to make a decision.

Don't count on the NCAA doing anything positive regarding the Jayhawks.

Marius Rowlanski 3 months, 1 week ago

In 1906, the NCAA was founded. One of NCAA's founding principles was to protect the student-athlete from exploitive practices of the time. Then in 2013 the NCAA, in a court filing, claimed it’s not the organization’s responsibility to physically protect student-athletes.

The hypocrisy is almost without precedent. The NCAA is now the organization that exploits its member schools and certainly the student-athlete and is willing to do just about anything to maintain its grip on college athletics.

Brian Leslie 3 months, 1 week ago

Self and staff's comments on Silvio's eligibility were so positive over the summer. Then they began to back off those comments and, as we see, were reluctant to bring this to the NCAA. Clearly something changed, and fans can only make inferences. Am I misremembering that the guardian had a meeting in Allen with Self?

Whatever the "something" was, Self knows what went on. My guess (GUESS) is that Self kept having meetings with Silvio and finally got him to admit he knew about the payments -- and how this would play out over months was then a fait accompli. You're barking up the wrong tree if you think Self, Roberts, Townsend and Howard (and Marcioni) wanted this to work out this way.

Silvio, for a guy a half-year out of high school, got some top-flight instruction, lived in McCarthy, had state-of-the-art strength training, ridiculous training table, and got to grow up a bit in a structured environment. It hasn't been a terrible deal for him. Agents attend KU practices for nearly every home game, so he is still on their radar

Mike Greer 3 months, 1 week ago

Brian, over the summer the leaked information was timeline of an event that matched Silvio joining KU. What changed, was during the trial, which ended mid to late October, a statement made by a defendant, specifically named Silvio's guardian and $2500 so he could graduate early to join KU at the semester break. That shed a whole new light on the situation.

Just my personal opinion, Coach Self is far too aware of what he's accomplished at KU, the KU tradition, KU's reputation, the conference winning streak, his reputation, and even his legacy, to have anything to do with impermissible activity. And that's why Billy Preston didn't play, Cliff Alexander rode the pine at seasons end, why Diallo waited half a season to hit the floor, and why Silvio is in street clothes for the games. Once a situation is evident Self isn't going to risk the program.

It's not so much the scouts seeing him practice, but getting the experience in a game environment at this level, that may determine his basketball future. Again, look at Preston's path as an example, half a year in Europe, NBA combine, summer league, first cut. And Preston came in with much more fanfare than Silvio.

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