Kansas coach Bill Self briefly addresses Silvio De Sousa's eligibility status
Kansas basketball coach Bill Self, quiet on the issue since the end of the federal trial in late October, addressed the eligibility review surrounding sophomore forward Silvio De Sousa during his “Hawk Talk” radio show on Wednesday night.
Self’s comments came in response to questions about De Sousa, who remains held out of action while Kansas awaits word from the NCAA regarding his eligibility in the wake of the recent federal trial on corruption in college basketball and the alleged involvement of De Sousa’s guardian.
“The status hasn't changed, even though wheels are in motion,” Self said Wednesday night. “The status hasn't changed, and it's still preliminary. But I certainly hope we can have him back soon.”
By “wheels are in motion,” Self no doubt was referencing the fact that the federal government recently gave the NCAA the all-clear signal to begin whatever investigations it deemed necessary.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby told the Journal-World this week that he had not heard anything from anyone at the NCAA about an investigation into Kansas, and KU officials, as of last week, had not responded to inquiries about whether they had heard from the NCAA, either.
“If there's an update, I get an update, but there hasn’t been a lot of updates, and understandably so with the situation," Self said Wednesday. “So we know that it wasn't going to happen immediately. And so, now that we've gotten past immediately, now we're hoping it happens immediately now, since we've had a little bit of water under the bridge over time.”
What's in question, of course, is whether De Sousa should be ruled ineligible because of testimony in the trial that alleged that his guardian, Fenny Falmagne, received both a $60,000 payment from a Maryland booster to attend the Under Armour program and a $2,500 payment from an Adidas rep to enroll De Sousa in online classes so he could attend Kansas.
There also was plenty of talk in the trial — and before it — about an alleged agreement for the Adidas rep to pay Falmagne $20,000 to help him "get out from under" the Maryland money so De Sousa could go to Kansas. According to testimony at the trial, however, that payment was never made because news of the FBI investigation broke before any money changed hands.
All parties involved here have been rather quiet on what this all could mean for De Sousa, but there seem to be three options, at least as of today.
• De Sousa could be ruled ineligible and forced to sit out the entire season.
• De Sousa could be required to pay the $2,500 back and serve a shorter suspension, much like former Jayhawk Josh Selby back in 2010, when he received improper benefits worth an estimated $5,700 and sat out the first nine games of KU's 2010-11 season.
• De Sousa could spend the entire season wondering and waiting, much like former KU forward Billy Preston did a year ago, without any clear timeline of when a ruling might come.
Two of those three options could lead to a scenario where De Sousa would stick around and simply use the 2018-19 season as a redshirt year. But Self said Wednesday there had been no talk of anything like that at this point.
"I don't think that Silvio, my personal opinion, would be a guy that would be in college for five years with his talent level. So I don't know if that would be the case," he said. "I guess it is a possibility, but I don't think it's a realistic possibility, at least right now, unless there's some things that transpire differently than what we know to be as we speak right now."