Friday, January 24, 2020

ESPN GameDay analysts assess punishments that followed rivalry brawl

Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa (22) picks up a chair during a brawl following the Jayhawks' win against Kansas State, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa (22) picks up a chair during a brawl following the Jayhawks' win against Kansas State, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020 at Allen Fieldhouse.


The late-game brawl that tainted the final moments of this week’s Sunflower Showdown remained a topic of conversation Friday as members of ESPN’s College GameDay arrived at Allen Fieldhouse for the Jayhawks’ next game.

Not only did analyst and former head coach Seth Greenberg think two Kansas State players should have received longer suspensions, but he also was surprised KU forward David McCormack’s punishment was only two games.

Greenberg thought the Wildcats who came off the bench and were part of the fracas, James Love III and Antonio Gordon, needed to be suspended “at least seven games” and “maybe 10,” because they were the second agitators in the event, after KU forward Silvio De Sousa was the first “instigator.”

The Big 12 suspended Love for eight games and Gordon for three.

“I’m not sure their punishment was severe enough,” Greenberg said, noting he had never seen a basketball altercation escalate to that extent.

“I think that all the agitators should have received a, maybe not as severe as Silvio (12 games), but all maybe a more severe penalty. I think the culpability on the Kansas State kids coming off the bench was egregious. It was unacceptable,” Greenberg said.

“That can't happen. Silvio standing over (DaJuan Gordon) after the block, you didn't have to do that. It was a great basketball play,” Greenberg added. “But from that point forward the number of agitators that got involved created what ended up in the chaos that resulted there after.”

What’s more, Greenberg considered McCormack “very fortunate” to only be suspended for two games.

“I know there’s inconclusive evidence,” Greenberg said. “And I looked at all the video. But from the video that you look at it’s hard not to fathom him swinging down at someone. He was swinging downward and there was also some type of foot action.”

Greenberg in 2017 coached McCormack as part of a USA Select Team.

“He was as pleasant a young person as I’ve ever been around,” Greenberg said of McCormack.

Greenberg’s colleague, analyst Jay Bilas, said the 12-game suspension De Sousa received was in line with what took place, notably because De Sousa picked up a stool, which was an unusual course of action.

“And everyone's very fortunate that no one was hurt for a variety of reasons, it's not just because of that,” Bilas went on. “But there was culpability all around. Nobody walked away from that better than they started. But now that that it's over and we've had time to process it, I think there are ways — I made an analogy that if I walk down a dark alley and I get mugged, I think every one of us can can agree that that's unacceptable and the mugger should face justice. But after you step away from that and say, ‘OK, well what can we do better to make sure that that doesn't happen again?’ You say, ‘Well, maybe I shouldn't walk down that dark alley.’ That doesn't mean that the mugging was justified, because we say maybe I shouldn't have done that. There are a bunch of things that that led to the fight. And I think a lot of people have learned a lot from from the incident, and hopefully we’ll be better for it.”

While public perception of the KU men’s basketball program has taken a hit over the past year, with some commentators linking the Snoop Dogg performance at Late Night with the fight, Bilas said that shouldn’t be the case.

“The fight at the end of the Kansas State game was obviously an ugly incident, and it was something that I think all reasonable people think is unacceptable. And it's not just unacceptable in college basketball it's unacceptable period,” Bilas said.

“Outside of the UFC arena, or the Golden Gloves, I don't think anybody would condone fighting in a sporting event. So whether it's the NFL, the NBA, college sports, it doesn't really matter,” Bilas said. “But after, I thought the way everybody handled it was reasonable and in line with with happened. And the issue is you know you condemn it, you condemn the action and move on.”

ESPN College GameDay from Allen Fieldhouse will air at 10 a.m. Saturday, ahead of the Big 12/SEC Challenge matchup between KU and Tennessee.


Dane Pratt 10 months, 1 week ago

This is the type of incident I would expect at a KU-MU game.

Adam Bengtson 10 months, 1 week ago

I suggest KU fans boo the S*** out of the piece of trash. Analyst that couldn’t make it as a coach and thinks he is the voice of reason. Him and Vitale can kiss my ass.

Dane Pratt 10 months, 1 week ago

Hope that doesn't happen. We've suffered enough embarrassment.

Brett McCabe 10 months, 1 week ago

Silvio’s “agitation” was easily handled by the refs on the court. Since when does standing over a guy who just pulled a dbag move, a cause for a 12-game suspension? The stool? Ummmm....what happened with the stool exactly? Have they been able to tally up all of the dead bodies or are they waiting for Boeing’s crisis response team?

What I’d really like to see is a players meeting. And I’d like them to come out and say: We’ll play when our teammates can play.

How many old, rich, white dudes would need a new change of pants then? Come on Marcus - step up.

Dale Rogers 10 months, 1 week ago

I have read two or three articles by writers who saw fan videos showing what really happened with the chair. First, let me say I don't condone the action, I'm just reporting what I read. Those articles pointed out that when Silvio saw 3 KSU guys coming at him he reached down and picked up a chair, probably for self-defense and also to make those KSU guys think about it. When those three guys turned to go after someone else, Silvio dropped the chair behind him. Never was the chair moved forward in any threatening manner, although just lifting it in the air was threatening. Immediately after he dropped the chair, a coach (Howard?) grabbed Silvio's arm. I assume Howard's intent was to stop him from using that chair on anyone but by the time he grabbed Silvio the chair had already been dropped. This all is plenty bad in many ways but it's not like so many media people are saying when they say he intended it as a weapon. Those people watched a video or two and met their deadlines without really researching it.

Waylon Cook 10 months, 1 week ago

Well we can all sleep well from now on. ESPN has weighed in! When is the next round of layoffs?

Dirk Medema 10 months, 1 week ago

Bilas apparently hasn’t watched hockey and the nhl in particular, where fighting is not only allowed but extolled.

Hadn’t seen video/recognized 3 guys coming after Silvio though it totally makes sense.

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