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Report: KU officials to ask NCAA to reinstate sophomore forward Silvio De Sousa immediately

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Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa watches warmups alongside assistant coach Norm Roberts, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa watches warmups alongside assistant coach Norm Roberts, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

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 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 request for reinstatement to the NCAA, KU associate director Jim Marchiony told the Journal-World, “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 claim, 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 even 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, which has been in limbo as Kansas coach Bill Self voluntarily has 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, of course, 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.

Comments

Phil Leister 10 months ago

This is the biggest development on the Silvio front in a long while. The only downside, which I believe Seth mentioned in his article (I'm not paying to subscribe to The Athletic), is that by ruling Silvio ineligible, the NCAA could decide that the ruling applies to last year as well and make KU vacate their Final Four for playing an ineligible player.

Matt Tait 10 months ago

Hard to know if that's the case or not, but, whether it is or isn't, good for KU for trying to get a resolution for Silvio De Sousa the human being. Has to be awfully hard sitting there in limbo like that.

Doug Longstaff 10 months ago

I have to think that KU and the NCAA have discussed the penalties before KU agrees to declare Silvio ineligible. As much as we would like to think this is about getting Silvio eligible to play now, it's hard to believe the school would pursue this course if it thought last year's Final Four run could be forfeited. From the program's perspective, having Silvio eligible to play this year is not as important as keeping last year in tact. If they don't have assurances on what the penalty will be, then they simply should not play along. The penalty has to be negotiated--KU admits the violation in exchange for an acceptable penalty.

Doug Merrill 10 months ago

I get that, but at this point, I honestly don't care about vacated wins and records vs. this innocent young man's future.

Bryce Landon 10 months ago

I do! For one thing, Kansas has never had wins or records or achievements vacated. For another thing, we had to wait six years between Final Four appearances, and I would hate to have our 2018 Final Four vacated after all we went through to get there and all the postseason failures that preceded it - even if it ended with getting routed by Villanova.

Shannon Gustafson 10 months ago

They can't take away the final four. We were there, it happened, we lost. They can vacate it but it doesn't change the fact that we got there and played the game.

With that said, I can't fathom KU would agree to saying there was a violation without first negotiating the penalty for said violation and knowing it won't effect last year. KU wouldn't sacrifice last year's outcome for him to play half of this year.

Alex Staley 10 months ago

I'm really not even worried as much about vacating a Final Four as I am about vacating a conference championship. It seems like everyone kind of glosses over that. Isn't that a possibility?

Matt Tait 10 months ago

Anything's possible at this point... And even if they decide to clear De Sousa to play this season, we still don't know what's going to happen regarding last year's wins, if anything, and likely won't until after the 2018-19 season is over.

Robin Smith 10 months ago

The Big12 is separate from the NCAA and consequently their record books. It's unlikely that the Big12 would wish to vacate the title, especially since from their standpoint the NCAA had made its applicable ruling regarding his eligibility.

Dillon Davis 10 months ago

“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."

So basically, KU just put the 2018 Final Four in serious danger of being vacated by admitting Silvio and his family took $$, and yet it still might not help get Silvio back on the floor anytime soon...bold move Cotton.

Jacob Zutterman 10 months ago

Talking about the $2,500 for classes

Dillon Davis 10 months ago

But it's still up to the NCAA to determine if that makes him ineligible or not. It would seem egregious if that happens but it's possible. KU is basically saying I'm guilty, give me my punishment. As opposed to the NCAA making their own verdict and then punishment.

Shannon Gustafson 10 months ago

I can't fathom KU would agree to saying there was a violation without first negotiating the penalty for said violation and knowing it won't effect last year. KU wouldn't sacrifice last year's outcome for him to play half of this year.

Matt Tait 10 months ago

I'm not sure KU has that much leverage here. Could be. But if it's a rule violation, the NCAA is not likely going to want to play nice, especially today, given all of the scrutiny surrounding corruption in college basketball and the recent trial.

That said, if what we're talking about here is the $2,500 for online classes, Silvio has more than paid the price for that by missing 16 games.

It's going to be interesting to see what happens.

Brian Wilson 10 months ago

I'm not sure this amounts to anything other than KU and Silvio saying to the NCAA that they need to get off off their duff and make things right. Silvio has been punished enough. $2500 received by family without knowledge shouldn't be enough to negate wins or losses and Silvio has already lost more than a dozen games and some consideration should be given for Silvio's anxiety and anguish. IMO, they are right in saying enough is enough. Unless there is more evidence or accusation this should be over and it's time to move on.

Dillon Davis 10 months ago

Hopefully the NCAA just makes a decision on Silvio. Leave the KU punishment or whatever until after the season like they said they would.

[''] 10 months ago

Why just now? Why hasn't KU been demanding this daily since Late Night?
And Silvio's guardian is clearly an idiot and needs to be blocked from ever having access to another student athlete. What a POS?

Shannon Gustafson 10 months ago

Did you not read the article? Your questions are answered in it.

Tony Bandle 10 months ago

The NCAA could take the humane, logical route and declare that KU was not fully aware of the situation last year so no victories forfeited and the Final Four appearance remains intact and, since KU has recognized the situation this season and have held him out of almost half the schedule and declared him ineligible, he must pay back the $2500 and consider "time served" as his punishment..........of course, they won't!!

Doug Stahler 10 months ago

The Selby/Kantner year proves the NCAA to be void of humanity or compassion or logic or speed. Us and Kentucky just sat waiting for the molassesNCAA to make a decision that year. Kantner had even turned down a million dollar contract to attend UK. I am still mad about that year obviously.

Dennis Strick 10 months ago

I went through this last year with my son on a totally unrelated matter but the process is similar. If he is ruled ineligible by KU and the NCAA starts the review process you are looking at 4-8 weeks easy to get a final result. This will have to be reviewed by a committee not just the NCAA staff and those committees meet at specific times during a semester for reviews by conference call. If we waited all this time to declare him ineligible that is on us not the NCAA. The clock starts to tick once the process is begun and not before. They have thousands of athletes with all kinds of issues and they have a process. Even we are not powerful enough to circumvent the process as we saw last year with Preston.

Dirk Medema 10 months ago

It appears that Preston mother was not truthful in the information she was providing, so maybe that had more to do with his situation than our power or apparent lack thereof.

Matt Tait 10 months ago

Well said, Dennis. That's right on the money. My story last week laid that out clearly and I was more than a little surprised that KU chose not to comment on whether or not they had ruled Silvio ineligible or requested reinstatement. Nothing starts until that happens, so it appears the NCAA, though deserving in many ways, took some unnecessary bashing regarding the snail's pace with the De Sousa case.

That's if KU waited until now to rule Silvio ineligible and/or request reinstatement, as Davis' article indicates, and KU officials would not say yes or no when I asked last week.

Suzi Marshall 10 months ago

I encourage Silvio to hit the NCAA with a mega million $ suite if they fail immediate reinstatement. Case law, supported by global amateur practice, clearly shows he's likely to win. Off the top of my head, I can think of a dozen big name law firms that would take this case, pro-bono....on contingency, in a heartbeat.

Shannon Gustafson 10 months ago

That gives them subpoena power and I'm not sure anyone wants that.

Suzi Marshall 10 months ago

Excellent point. There could be bigger issues involved with Silvio, such as Human Trafficking issues.

Layne Pierce 10 months ago

I agree with Suzi. The NCAA must be forced to recognize that they do not have the right to hang people out to dry without a reasonable time limit for decisive action. Now, of course, Silvio might be ruled ineligible again, but so what. If there is evidence that KU knew that Silvio was paid, then maybe we should be on probation. But if it is only here say and cannot be proved, then they should not punish by neglect and inaction.

Ideally once the trial was over, the NCAA should have scheduled a hearing no more than 30 days later, and then ruled, yea or nay, Silvio is eligible, or he is ineligible and for how long.

Hiding behind bureaucracy is a disgusting unacceptable and totally unfair practice.

RCJH

Barry Weiss 10 months ago

I'm not sure I understand the timing of this...why now, what has changed?

Matt Tait 10 months ago

I can't say for sure, and no one has told me this, but my best guess is that KU thought it would be resolved much sooner — one way or the other — and did not want to have to go down the road of declaring him ineligible and requesting reinstatement.

Since that did not happen, they may be doing it now as a last-ditch effort to try to get Silvio on the court this season.

Just because it's last-ditch does not mean it's more likely or less likely that he plays. But I say last-ditch because if nothing happens relatively soon after this, my guess would be he's definitely not playing this year.

Suzi Marshall 10 months ago

It should have been resolved before the NCAA shut down for their 'Winter Break." Those low-lifes are just now getting back to work from their mid-year vacation.

Barry Weiss 10 months ago

That sounds reasonable Matt, the NCAA was probably waiting on KU to declare him ineligible based on the admitted 2,500 issue. The other 30K issue has not been admitted to by anyone. The NCAA has clearly said they want the school to take the first action. I guess if KU had not presented the issue to the NCAA, I'm not sure what we were waiting on.

Armen Kurdian 10 months ago

This is nuts. What kind of ridiculous rule is that the school must first rule on eligibility before the NCAA does?

Silvio was never going to spend four years here, but maybe we get this done, he comes back next year, plays a full season and goes pro. All the time he's practicing and getting better. Wouldn't it be poetic justice if we won a title in 2020 with him in the lineup?

But I agree w/Suzi & Layne. NCAA needs to take a dump or get off the pot. And to punish the guy for something he had no knowledge of...I understand fruit of the poison tree and setting a precedent for the future, but enough is enough. Let the kid play for crying out loud.

Brian Skelly 10 months ago

The NCAA is up there with FIFA and the Olympic Committees as far as greed, avarice, and corruption. Their an Ivory Tower sitting on top of the Ivory Tower. Knocking them down wouldnt be a terrible thing.

The reality is if there was more federal actions taken against the NCAA -- it's a cartel at this point -- it'd be bound to be pushed to losing 10 outta 10 times.

 The ground they sit on is only there because folks let it be there.    And most importantly, there's a lot of jobs tied to it.

 Knocking them down wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

Dane Pratt 10 months ago

NCAA on par with FIFA? I don't think so.

Robert Brown 10 months ago

Aren’t some of you misreading this? While I agree with commmets about the unnecessary slowness of the NCAA, doesn’t this article imply that this is just now being turned over to the NCAA. Do I expect a quick resolution? No. But a bigger question, is why this wasn’t submitted to the NCAA in November or why not? Did it really take this long to figure out that nothing but the $2500 for an online class was given to Silvio?

Mike Bennett 10 months ago

The NCAA doesn't care about athletes, only coaches and administrators. They demand more and more out of the athletes so they can make multi-million $$$ salaries.

Alan Dickey 10 months ago

I assume that those of you who keep asking with outrage why KU took so long did not read all of the article and some of the comments.

“‘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.” Matt Tait.

“I can't fathom KU would agree to saying there was a violation without first negotiating the penalty for said violation and knowing it won't effect last year. KU wouldn't sacrifice last year's outcome for him to play half of this year.” Shannon Gustafson.

KU finally has successfully negotiated a deal (agreed “set of facts”) that meets KU’s needs. Before that, they weren’t going to admit to anything. That’s the way it works. Not complicated. KU will make admissions only in response to a commitment from the NCAA negotiators that certain actions will not be taken. It took a while for KU to get that commitment from the NCAA.

Dirk Medema 10 months ago

Way too reasonable and logical. There must be more drama than that. :-)

Eric Dawson 10 months ago

I like the way you think, Alan. Naturally hope you are right, as that would mean a quicker resolution to Silvio's status one way or the other.

Dirk Medema 10 months ago

Matt - Assuming the NCAA were to rule as hoped for in the article, what do you see happening with the season? Would they go back to a traditional 2 bigs line-up? It would seem that Silvio is too good to simply sub for Lawson, but that would seem to waste so much of their practice over the recent past. It would also seem reasonable to expect another adjustment period while working SDS into the roster.

Matt Tait 10 months ago

Hey!!! Basketball talk! Yay!!!

There'd be an adjustment period for sure... But Silvio has stayed ready and is in as good of shape as he can be. Game shape is different, of course, but he'd be close.

I think he'd play 20-25 minutes a game and some of that time would be with Lawson and some of it might be as the only big, depending on foul trouble to Lawson and circumstances of the game.

It's all about space with Lawson and sometimes having him and Dok out there together did not provide either of them the space they needed to be as effective as possible. Silvio's a great athlete, plays well in space and can move all over the floor. I think it'd be a great pairing to put him out there with Lawson for 10-15 minutes a game.

Steve Corder 10 months ago

KU's legal has made a determination which they now believe, on basis of collected facts, that this course of action is now warranted and protects last year's accomplishments. If there was reasonable doubt about jeopardizing the conference streak then De Sousa would never be allowed on the court.

This is a procedural move which is finally here and welcomed by all Jayhawk fans.

Eric Dawson 10 months ago

Matt, does the Seth Davis article say anything about the alleged $60K/$20K payment (from UA or a Maryland booster, depending on who is telling the story) to get Silvio to Maryland? To me if there is any truth to that claim it has a lot more potential damage to Silvio and KU than the admitted $2500.

Thanks!

Shannon Gustafson 10 months ago

Supposedly this has been investigated by Maryland and the NCAA and nobody has found any evidence that it happened. This matches what was stated under oath in the Adidas trial (that it was discussed but never happened).

Ervin O'Neal 10 months ago

The NCAA could force KU to vacate last year's result regardless if KU ever claimed SDS ineligible. I believe the resolution is coming sooner rather than later. I'm hoping this is all part of a joint solution that allows SDS to play and for KU to not have to vacate wins.

Kenneth Johnson 10 months ago

No matter what happens, don't expect that the NCAA will rule anything in favor of KU.

Remember last year when they sat on the butts on the Billy Preston issue? They did NOTHING, until Preston and his family finally gave up and he went pro.

Now they are doing the same thing to DeSousa. It's abundantly clear that the NCAA has it in for KU.

I like the idea suggested above that KU should just sue the NCAA for millions. Perhaps the DeSousa's and the Preston's could join the suit.

Mike Hart 10 months ago

That's a crock. The NCAA sat on their butts... right... like KU didn't sit on their butts.. not even submitting their findings to the NCAA until 6 days before Christmas... right before NCAA was on holiday break. Come January... and 3 weeks later... Preston was gone. It came out that the Prestons were full of crap... the Adidas story that they advocated Nicole and her son repeat back to investigators was garbage and wouldn't hold water. He flat out bailed.. and the Prestons never admitted a damn thing that they did.. in fact, they did the opposite.. Nicole denied every bit of it all the way to the end. Preston family gave up? Yeah.. they gave up on their bogus story. Preston could join the suit? For what.. lying to KU and lying to investigators? SOMEONE hasn't been paying attention... at all. Preston's mom was knee deep in the scandal and fraudulent activity... hiding it every step of the way.

Shannon Gustafson 10 months ago

Yeah, the NCAA was waiting for the family to provide information they asked for, family refused and that was the end of the investigation as far as the NCAA was concerned as they would never clear him without the info they asked for.

Michael Sillman 10 months ago

Let’s not forget that it turned out that the Prestons don’t appear to be innocent bystanders. One thing that I’ve learned over the years is to not pass judgement on such situations unless I’m in possession of direct knowledge. All of this may make perfect sense based on the issues and the time needed to do a full investigation. I am convinced that DeSousa himself is clean and I hope that he is allowed to play again this season.

Mike Hart 10 months ago

Would suggest you follow your own advice: "not pass judgement on such situations unless you're in possession of direct knowledge". Then you say you are "convinced that DeSousa himself is clean". But that's just it... we aren't in possession of direct knowledge. So just as you can't convict the kid... you can't absolve him either.

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