Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Board of Regents chair, student body president concerned by behavioral issues within KU men’s basketball program

Kansas head coach Bill Self holds back Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa (22) following the Jayhawks' win against Kansas State, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas head coach Bill Self holds back Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa (22) following the Jayhawks' win against Kansas State, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020 at Allen Fieldhouse.


After Tuesday night’s basketball brawl, the University of Kansas student body president expressed concern over the pattern of “violence” surrounding the program and the Board of Regents chair suggested he would be discussing the matter with university CEOs.

KU's chancellor, however, said nothing about the incident after the Journal-World asked his office for a statement on Wednesday.

When asked about the various behavioral issues reported within the KU men’s basketball program in recent years, KU Student Body President Tiara Floyd said, “I definitely see a pattern of disciplinary problems happening.”

The conversation was kickstarted by Tuesday night’s events.

In the final seconds of the Sunflower Showdown, with KU up by 22, Kansas State University guard DaJuan Gordon stole the ball from KU big man Silvio De Sousa. De Sousa raced down the court and swatted the layup attempt, then stood over his opponent. K-State players then ran onto the court from the bench, and a major fight took place in which players from both teams appeared to throw punches and De Sousa raised a stool over his head.

Wednesday morning, men's basketball coach Bill Self announced De Sousa had been suspended from the team indefinitely. The Big 12 announced suspensions Wednesday evening for four players involved in the brawl. De Sousa has been suspended for 12 games and KU starter David McCormack for two. K-State players James Love III and Antonio Gordon were suspended for eight and three games, respectively.

The Tuesday night brawl was not the first instance in recent years in which University of Kansas men’s basketball players have come under fire for undisciplined behavior.

In December of 2016, men’s basketball player Josh Jackson was accused of arguing with KU women’s basketball player McKenzie Calvert outside a Lawrence bar. During that argument, he reportedly hit and kicked Calvert’s car while “yelling for her to get out of the car and that he would beat” her, the Journal-World previously reported.

That same month, a 16-year-old was reportedly raped in McCarthy Hall, which houses the men’s basketball team. All five witnesses listed in the rape report were 2016-17 KU men’s basketball team members, the Journal-World reported at the time. Charges were never filed, however, because of insufficient evidence.

In January of 2017, men’s basketball player Carlton Bragg Jr. was suspended from the basketball team for violating team rules. Months earlier, Bragg was the suspect in a battery report in which a man closed a door on a woman’s arm, causing bruising.

Also in January of 2017, the Kansas City Star reported that a KU investigation found it likely that men’s basketball player Lagerald Vick punched a female student multiple times in the arm and kicked her in the face in late 2015.

This academic year, the men’s basketball program is undergoing an investigation by the NCAA and the athletic department received national attention this past fall after Snoop Dogg’s risque Late Night in the Phog performance — which included pole dancers and money guns.

Floyd called yesterday’s brawl the “perfect opportunity” for the team and athletic department to take increased steps to “talk to the team ... maybe look into who they are recruiting.”

She said she’s noticed a pattern of “either violence or anger both on and off the court," and she suggested the potential need for an anger management counselor.

Though Floyd felt that K-State instigated the brawl and didn’t believe De Sousa should be suspended, she said she understood that some type of public disciplinary action must be taken and that the whole brawl was “unnecessary.”

She called it an example of “young people, especially young men, just making really uninformed decisions” and “acting on impulse.”

“We are all young people on college campuses. We are all under a lot of stress,” Floyd said.

But, she asked, is anything being done when these men show pronounced instances of anger?

KU Chancellor Douglas Girod did not offer a statement in regard to the incident on Tuesday night, nor did he answer whether the incident might indicate a recurring discipline problem within the men’s basketball program. It is unclear, however, if Girod ever received the questions.

When asked for a statement from the chancellor, KU spokesman Joe Monaco said he had “not seen the Chancellor today.”

Shane Bangerter, chair of the Board of Regents, did issue a statement in regard to the brawl, writing in an email that he was “disappointed” by the incident at the end of the game.

“The Regents expect athletic programs at state universities to represent their respective institutions in a positive manner, and we will work with the CEOs to ensure that happens,” he wrote.

Bangerter did not respond to a question asking whether the combination of disciplinary issues from recent years was forming a black eye on the men’s basketball program.

Come February, KU will once more be in the public eye. KU has until Feb. 19 to respond to an NCAA Notice of Allegations that it received on Sept. 23.

The NCAA's investigation of KU relates to allegations against the KU men’s basketball and football programs. The football allegations include allowing an extra coach to work during practice under former coach David Beaty. In basketball, allegations center on three former Adidas representatives who have been convicted of federal fraud charges related to a scheme to pay the families of recruits to attend certain schools, including KU.

The NCAA contends former Adidas consultant T.J. Gassnola was acting as a booster of KU when he paid $90,000 to the mother of former KU team member Billy Preston and $2,500 to the guardian of current player De Sousa.

KU officials have said the university would “fiercely dispute” the charges.

Floyd, the student body president, said KU administrators are handling “a lot” this year.

On Tuesday night, KU athletic director Jeff Long said of the brawl, “The conduct of a few of our student-athletes at the conclusion of tonight’s game vs. Kansas State was simply unacceptable and not reflective of who we are.”

Floyd said, “We just kind of recovered from Snoop Dogg and to now have (the brawl) ... It’s just kind of a lot for Jeff Long to have to keep putting out statements.”


Bill Pitcher 1 year, 9 months ago

If "all" in the KU student body are under a lot of stress, too, well it seems fair to ask what is the rate at which complaints and disciplinary behavior occur in the general student body (both men and women) vs the rate in the athletic department and the basketball programs. I'm sure Ms. Floyd was confident of the answer to that question before she pointed fingers....

Dale Rogers 1 year, 9 months ago

I wish she would tell us how this behavior at KU compares to the other Big 12 schools. Then I could see whether this is a KU problem or a systemic problem.

Dane Pratt 1 year, 9 months ago

Since there are only 14 roster players on the team compared to 20k plus students I suspect the disciplinary behavior of the mens basketball team is quite a bit higher than the student body.

Brett McCabe 1 year, 9 months ago

Dirty program run by a dirty coach, overseen by - apparently no one because Major Milktoast was in hiding. Tear down that idiotic dorm, fire the filthy coach, let the Chancellor continue to wander in the wilderness and reinstate Silvio. Why do these idiots find it so hard to do simple things?

Joe Black 1 year, 9 months ago

I hope you were being sarcastic, otherwise you are a complete dolt.

Chris Bailey 1 year, 9 months ago

It’s Brett. We expect nothing but idiotic comments.

Sae Thirtysix 1 year, 9 months ago

Unleash the BMcCoob!!

(narcissist) — Personality trait or behavior of someone who has no empathy for people, constantly berating, blames others for their problems, selfish and controlling, and really horrific to be around. Tend to be interesting and gregarious when you first meet them, but eventually you realize that they only talk about themselves and only help if it benefits them more. Trouble holding a job due - mostly in working with authority figures. Have relationship problems for the obvious reasons, but believe it's all another person's fault. 🤦🏻‍♂️

Great job on the post - dipstick.

Howell Johnson 1 year, 9 months ago

It is not a personality disorder. The guy is psychotic

Brian Skelly 1 year, 9 months ago

It's not unfair to ask about Self's job at this point.     Sorry, it's not.     Think how many issues we've had with recruits in recent years.    There seems to be a NCAA issue (even if minor) every other season.

I get that assistants have a lot to do with the recruiting process.    But it's Self who's in charge.    And the last 5-6 years he seems to have little to no control over what is going on.    To be fair, you can't control everything.    But it seems like he's in control over almost nothing.

This many issues represents a pattern.    Why is no one pointing that out?

Dane Pratt 1 year, 9 months ago

It’s a fair question but physical confrontation is inherent in sports and for that reason I don’t think the brawl belongs in the same category as the other incidents listed in the article.

Michael Maris 1 year, 9 months ago

An idiotic standing over an opponent, after another idiotic play by K-State player. And, everyone's calling for a complete overhaul of the program (as if the incident is to the magnitude of the Baylor Bear's program under Dave Bliss). Really people?

Dane Pratt 1 year, 9 months ago

If we use Baylor and Penn State as the threshold for which we can not exceed then the bar is pretty low. You're correct, it's not as bad as Baylor but I think it's a fair question. Student concerns over the image of their university is not a bad thing.

Phil Leister 1 year, 9 months ago

Silvio screwed up, he's being punished, and he wrote a very contrite letter apologizing. Go read it if you haven't.

I've screwed up plenty in life, and I'm sure glad I wasn't in the public spotlight when I did. Let's relax with these doomsday talks.

Titus Canby 1 year, 9 months ago

Good point Phil. I'm glad reporters didn't follow me around when I was in school. And I was comparatively well behaved,

Take the punishment and move on.

As for Ms. Floyd, what a wonderful opportunity for her to raise her visibility. Perhaps she'll be Time magazine's person of the year for 2020.

W Keith Swinehart II 1 year, 9 months ago

This an opportunity to actively and, in a positive manner, address all issues of discipline, control, sportsmanship, leadership, safety for players and spectators and perhaps game rule changes. KU is immediately under a national microscope. Furthermore, we are hosting "ESPN Game Day" on Saturday on nationwide TV. The questions will be asked.

Joe Black 1 year, 9 months ago

I personally think the student body president's words and opinions are worth about the same as Greta Thunberg's. So not much.

Drew Doerfler 1 year, 9 months ago

lol that's really are a brainiac aren't believes 98% of the world's scientists? dare they say something that i don't like.....i'll attack a little girl trying to actually do something important and crucial for the world....what do you do besides attack little girls...let me guess, yuge trump supporter? where facts have no basis in reality whatsoever.....i have a biology degree from ku and studied the effects of global warming....what is your background? fox news? i'm getting really tired of lthe political shots on a basketball forum....please keep to one cares about your political opinions....thank you

Joe Black 1 year, 9 months ago

Thanks for turning something that was meant to just be in good fun into an attack on a "little girl". I doubt that she reads these posts and she is just a mouth piece for her activist parents. I never said I was a Trump supporter or that I watched Fox News, that is just your bias showing. Get triggered much! Also, I think I will stick to Basketball, I'm not sure what "baketball" is, probably something you invented while getting your biology degree. By the way I also have a biology degree and do not like the effects of climate change but also do not like a 16 year old screaming at adults that are much smarter and more experience than she is. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Drew Doerfler 1 year, 9 months ago

unfortunately the 'adults' don't seem to be doing much about the situation.....and the 'children' are the ones that are going to have to live with the consequences of our actions and good for her for standing up for her generation.....and the intelligence of adults is highly questionable

Shannon Gustafson 1 year, 9 months ago

You took shots at Greta and said the word triggered. You don't need to say your opinion of Trump. You've provided all of the evidence we need to know if you're on the right or the left.

Glen Miller 1 year, 9 months ago

Yeah, because if anyone doesn't agree with leftist ideas, that must mean they are Trump supporters. You can disagree and NOT be a Trump supporter. Get real, they used this kid in poor judgement and now half the world hates her and her ideas because "adults" didn't have the balls to be adults. She was a part of a dog and pony show and they had no regard for her well being. It was a photo op and you know it. And if you want to get all technical about it.... the triggered ones were Drew and yourself because you felt the need to shame someone for their opinion. That's the definition of triggered.

Joe Black 1 year, 9 months ago

I never took a shot at Greta, I just don't want to see anyone who just gets up in front of people screaming and looking all angry. I tuned them out. If the conversation cannot be respectful than it doesn't need to happen. And triggered is not a right or left word. They both use it when someone has a different opinion. Stop trying to make everything so divisive by hating on people that don't have the same opinions and then blaming them for being divisive. I'm not trying to be political, I'm talking about life in general. Have a nice day.

Joe Black 1 year, 9 months ago

Actually it was not well said at all. It was a rant that sounded like talking points from the left networks while trying to accuse me of listening to right networks. I am an independent but you have been so blinded by this I'm right you're wrong mentality that you cannot take time to review what was said.

Adam Bengtson 1 year, 9 months ago

It’s okay no one watches ESPN anyMore. Gameday isn’t gameday anymore.
The took the NBA bait and pushed college basketball away.
Plus the production has just reduced to garbage.

Buck Bukaty 1 year, 9 months ago

The Board of Regents of this and all other Big 12 schools should resign for allowing the ESPN+ contract. They're responsible for breaking the Cardinal Rule, don't bite the hands that feed you.

Dale Stringer 1 year, 9 months ago

Outside of picking up the stool (very bad and deserved the suspension he got), Silvio hasn't done anything wrong that wasn't reactionary. He stood over a guy (unsportsmanlike) after that same guy did an unsportsmanlike thing to him. He threw a punch after being punched (self-defense). Even the FBI said he was innocent in their investigation.

As for the 'pattern of violence' claimed by Floyd, until she brings stats showing that the basketball team is worse than the rest of the student body, then she needs to shut up.

Jocelyn Kennedy 1 year, 9 months ago

The "evidence" of the past few years was dealt with and it's really hard for me to believe this isn't just as common in other schools. We are high profile and get the press. The other night was a chain of events that if each thing didn't didn't happen, there would have been no escalation. I can't hep questioning the length of suspension compared to several other incidents at other schools. He should at the very least be able to play for Senior night.

Glen Miller 1 year, 9 months ago

This is just another example of the in our feelings, safe space type of people we have to navigate more frequently. Why don't you worry about the student body and let our administration and coaches handle the athletics side. When you're a nationally ranked, blue blood program the spotlight shines brighter and everything that you do is criticized at an even higher rate. The brawl was an embarrassment we all know that, but it doesn't mean that our basketball team is out of control. These are kids who are in an environment that is amped up and conducive to emotions. I think we forget that when we want to bring the hammer down on them for their mistakes. Your mistakes were not put up for all the world to see like these kids. I'm not saying it's alright, but cut them some daggum slack.

William Dostert 1 year, 9 months ago

I’ll take this over what Duke went through with “the tripper” any day.

Chad Smith 1 year, 9 months ago

There is a disturbing trend with KU Basketball over the past few years. Timing makes it all seem worse. But it doesn't mean the program needs a complete overhaul. I do think counseling and anger management would be good, but these players play with so much emotion and energy and are physically monstrous, so it's not always the easiest thing to control.

plus, can we freaking throw 100% of it escalating to a brawl on Kstate? Had they not got off their bench and rushed De Sousa, there wouldn't have been a melee or a brawl. It should have ended after his taunt. He got swung on and continuously attacked by 3-4 Kstate players. Self-Defense is a thing. Picking up the chair is where he lost it. But everything before that was in the interest of self-preservation and self-defense.

The student body president can voice her concerns, that's fine. But the campus as a whole probably has issues that are more important than this. I would probably just focus on that right now.

W Keith Swinehart II 1 year, 9 months ago

Plus, include training issues like discipline in ball handling, situation awareness, not rushing into the trouble zones and spectator seating areas (a la end zone handicapped), sportsmanship, etc..This includes players and coaches alike. Impose fines or temporary suspension for breaking certain coach-established rules.

Now is a perfect time to become proactive. We are under the public microscope like it or not. We need to get ahead of it.

Dane Pratt 1 year, 9 months ago

Does anyone else find it odd Ms. Floyd doesn’t think Silvio should be suspended? I think she is pretty much on an island with that opinion. And to her credit she correctly blames K-State.

Brian Skelly 1 year, 9 months ago

It's not hard to point to "lack of institutional control" even just based on issues that have had public scrutiny the past 5-6 years.    Never mind things happening that most of us don't know about.

Chris Bailey 1 year, 9 months ago

If you didn’t get into an incident and played any kind of competitive sport then you were never on a very good team. When people envy you things like this are bound to happen. This is how men are and we will never change. Some of these progressives, and I’m guessing the student body president is one, can’t wrap their heads around what makes a man. Sure we’re all different by at the end of the day men, and especially athletes, are competitive and violence is a side effect that will never end. If it did that would leave for some pretty lame sports watching. No one condones it but we all know it’s part of sports.

Drew Doerfler 1 year, 9 months ago

i think she is referring to all the violence against women that ku basketball players have been accused of recently....that is not a man....that is the opposite of being a man

Chris Bailey 1 year, 9 months ago

That I will agree with. I said it when Pooka was accused. If it was my daughter I’d be coming for them! Absolutely you should never raise a hand to a woman.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 9 months ago

Pattern? Hmmmm?

Failed to mention the accusation against Bragg that turn into prosecution of the accuser. Wasn’t it the same accuser in Vick’s case? Also a lack of evidence in multiple accusations.

Way off base about Silvio’s responsibilities though I also really appreciated his apology.

Are there negative incidents? Yes. Does that constitute a pattern if they are also scattered? Only if you lack the ability to focus.

Shannon Gustafson 1 year, 9 months ago

It was two different girls. Bragg's was the sister of the gunman in a mass shooting in TX, Vicks was on the basketball team (and was the same on in Jackson's incident).

Stuart Corder 1 year, 9 months ago

The Jayhawks will continue to do what they have always done - “fight” the competition on the scoreboard and stat lines, unless they are attacked by Kansas State.

This is all being blown out of proportion, and anybody comparing Silvio De Sousa to either Carlton Bragg or LeGerald Vick is only doing so because it is politically opportunistic to do so. Carlton Bragg and LeGerald Vick were trouble, and both were ultimately removed by HCBS and the KU athletic department. Silvio De Sousa was victimized by Gassnola and was forced to sit out by the NCAA, then responded inappropriately to being punched and shoved to the floor.

Silvio deserves to be suspended - he picked up a stool as a weapon (though he did not use it). McCormack deserves to be suspended because he kicked a defenseless player while he was on the ground. KState got off relatively easy because they are not a perennial powerhouse that gets almost every home game televised. Neither Silvio nor McCormack deserve to be “kicked off the team”.

Now - lets out this behind us and focus on Tennessee and the Big XII/SEC showdown.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!!

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