Trying to make sense of where the Silvio De Sousa appeal goes from here
Sorting through the NCAA policies and procedures handbook is not for the faint of heart, so take what I’m about to share with you with a grain of salt and more as a possibility instead of something that’s set in stone.
I’ve got my chisel and rock handy and am working on firming up the details, but have not been able to nail down anything just yet.
With that said, my endeavors to try to find any kind of timeline for the recently announced Silvio De Sousa appeal of the NCAA’s 2-year suspension of the KU forward have led me to believe that the magic number here is 7 business days.
In a 20-page 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.”
Efforts to gain clarity through both KU and the NCAA have been unsuccessful thus far, but it seems to me that De Sousa’s appeal would fall under the first classification.
If that’s the case — again, if — the timeline for reviewing the appeal would fall under the following parameters.
“Review of a violation appeal by the appropriate divisional committee via paper review will generally take seven business days.”
For what it’s worth, if De Sousa’s appeal for some reason falls under the other category — though I can’t see how it would qualify as a waiver or extension request at this point — the review is said to “generally take three weeks.”
A couple more interesting tidbits I discovered while reading the document include the following:
• The SAR committees, which are made up of members within the NCAA, “have one or two scheduled appeal times each week.”
Furthermore, “appeals will be scheduled during these times unless pending competition or a student-athlete’s class schedule warrants review during another time. Appeals will be scheduled based on date of receipt of appeal and pending competition.”
It has to be considered good news for people in the De Sousa camp that these reviews are a regular thing within the NCAA’s daily and weekly business. No waiting until the end of the month or the end of the quarter to hear the case.
In fact, according to the latest data available on the NCAA’s web site, 830 reinstatement requests were processed by the SAR during the 2015-16 academic year. What’s more, the NCAA points out that an astonishing 99 percent of those resulted in the student-athlete being reinstated, though some, as pointed out with the data, required a condition.
• As for why KU waited 75 days after learning of De Sousa’s suspension to file the appeal, this section may provide a little clarity on that matter, though nothing specific is known and, as of the time of posting this, KU had declined to comment.
“For all appeals handled by the committees, all factual and interpretive disputes must be resolved prior to the divisional committee reviewing the matter. Prior to consideration of the matter, the reinstatement staff will make available to the members of the divisional committee the institution's request and the information on which the reinstatement staff based its decision. The institution will receive a copy of the same information. The reinstatement staff shall include applicable case precedent in the appeal materials.”
So it’s possible that KU, while working with De Sousa and his lawyer, have been seeking to resolve “factual and interpretive disputes” for the past couple of months so the appeal could be filed.
If so, the above section indicates that the SAR committee may have heard/seen/read at least some of the details of De Sousa’s situation, at least in some manner, which, one would think, might make it easier and quicker for them to review the appeal now that it is officially in their hands.
• Finally, without knowing exactly whether the appeal will be reviewed in person, via teleconference or on paper, it’s hard to know what the proper procedure will be from here.
But the following section outlines what will happen in the case of a review that is heard by the SAR via teleconference.
“For all appeals conducted by teleconference, at least one of the following institutional representatives must participate: chancellor or president (or individual designated by the chancellor or president); faculty athletics representative; senior woman administrator; director of athletics; or compliance officer. In addition, the institution's legal counsel and the prospective student-athlete's or student-athlete's legal counsel may participate.”
“Coaches and sport-specific noncoaching personnel (e.g., director of basketball operations) are prohibited from participation on a teleconference appeal unless the individual also serves in a previously mentioned capacity at the institution.”
Stay in touch with KUsports.com for more on the particulars of De Sousa’s appeal.
For those of you who so desire to see the entire document, have at it.