Sunday, May 19, 2019

Jeff Long: NCAA needed ‘more information’ from KU after initial Silvio De Sousa appeal

Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa (22) watches from the bench during the second half of an exhibition, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa (22) watches from the bench during the second half of an exhibition, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.


A month after the University of Kansas filed its formal appeal to the NCAA’s two-year suspension of Silvio De Sousa, the status of the forward from the KU men’s basketball team remains unresolved.

During an interview with the Journal-World, KU Athletic Director Jeff Long provided an update on the state of the appeal.

Long admitted he didn’t think De Sousa, KU officials, the basketball team and Jayhawks fans would still be waiting at this point to find out the decision on a ruling.

“Candidly, no, I didn’t think it would take this long. But there is a process,” Long said. “We filed an appeal and then it was looked at by the NCAA and they felt like it needed some more information and things changed.”

KU’s athletic director told the Journal-World KU has now submitted “everything” to the NCAA.

“We are waiting for the next step of that appeal process,” Long added. “Silvio, again, has been very patient and understanding.”

On April 18, Kansas Athletics announced it had submitted an appeal “on behalf of men's basketball student-athlete Silvio De Sousa, challenging the two-season penalty De Sousa received from the NCAA for alleged violations that he was unaware of and from which he did not benefit."

De Sousa’s lawyer thought a ruling could come as soon as the week after the appeal was submitted.

A little more than four weeks removed from that filing, Long said KU and De Sousa are now “in a little bit of a time crunch,” what with De Sousa having declared for the NBA Draft as a backup plan in case the NCAA doesn’t rule him eligible for the 2019-20 season — the deadline for players to withdraw from the draft is May 29.

“But he’s been very clear that should he be deemed eligible this next season he wants to be at Kansas,” Long said. “He wants to continue to pursue his degree, he wants to continue to play basketball and be coached by Bill Self. We’re hopeful that the appeal process will play out favorably for Kansas and, again, we’re still in a waiting game.”

The NCAA ruled in February that De Sousa must sit out the entirety of both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons, because his guardian received payment from a university booster and agent and agreed to receive additional funds from the same person.

“So it’s been a process. I know that’s an overused term today, but we worked through the process and cooperated with the NCAA and they’ve tried to move this along as quickly as they can but it is a complicated process,” Long said. “But I do think we’re getting close to a resolution one way or another.”

No update on Pooka

Meanwhile, while speaking with the Journal-World Long had no real update to provide on the status of one of the football program’s marquee players.

KU football coach Les Miles suspended running back Pooka Williams from all team-related activities this past December, after KU police arrested Williams and the running back from Louisiana was charged with domestic battery.

Williams agreed to a domestic violence diversion in late March. Per his diversion agreement, Williams is required to complete 40 hours of community service by Nov. 30. He must also had to undergo a domestic violence offender assessment, and barring additional recommendations from the evaluator, he would have to complete an anger management course by Nov. 30.

“I’m going to sound like a broken record,” Long began, when asked by the Journal-World if KU was any closer to deciding on Williams’ status for this coming season.

“There’s a process there,” Long said. “There was the police process, the legal process, now there’s the campus process. So, again, Pooka is working his way through that. And we hope to have a decision on that in the relatively near future, as well.”

While Williams didn’t practice with KU football during the spring, he was in attendance at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium for the spring game, watching from the bleachers.


Bill Pitcher 3 years, 6 months ago

The NCAA having been embarrassed will squeeze as hard as they can to hopefully force Silvio to stay in the draft by not deciding the university's appeal by May 29th. Then the NCAA can dismiss the appeal as moot.

Jay Scott 3 years, 6 months ago

Although I disagree, your premise is certainly plausible. It's just so darn cool to see someone correctly use the term "moot" instead of "mute".

John Swift 3 years, 6 months ago

This is somewhat funny to me as in falconry mute is define as:Mute Referring both to the fecal matter and to the act of defecating. Maybe it is a load of cr*p after all.

Jay Scott 3 years, 6 months ago

Kindly confine avian references to the species Poltrus Diminutae.

Jay Scott 3 years, 6 months ago

I predict that the NCAA reinstates him this week. They know they messed up bad on this one.

Brad Farha 3 years, 6 months ago

I want your prediction to be true. But my fear is that they will take the easy path and ignore it -- let the clock run out so he stays in the NBA draft, and figure everyone but Kansas fans will forget about it.

Kenneth Johnson 3 years, 6 months ago

Apparently you just don't know the NCAA. They will continue to delay until DeSousa finally gives up and goes pro.

The did it with Billy Preston, and will do it again.

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 6 months ago

Do you remember the Gong Show?

I know, cheap shot. After the Fact.

Jesse Johnson 3 years, 6 months ago

Can't Silvio stay in the draft and still return to KU if he doesn't get drafted with the new rules? Which would buy him more time? Of course there's always the possibility he gets drafted.

John Strayer 3 years, 6 months ago

I think that is for certain players who used NCAA approved agents?? Don't remember the specifics :(

Jesse Johnson 3 years, 6 months ago

I think if you don't sign with an agent as well then you also qualify. I'm pretty sure that's what LeGerald Vick did last year after he didn't get drafted.

Stuart Corder 3 years, 6 months ago

I agree with Jay Scott on this one; but if Silvio’s appeal is not granted, then would it be ignorant of me to assume that KU has larger institutional consequences on the horizon?

Does Silvio’s appeal status act as a sort of “canary in a coal mine” in regards to Adidas/NCAA fallout?

Sam Meyer 3 years, 6 months ago

It really feels like the NCAA is continually kicking the proverbial can further and further down the road until Silvio makes the same decision Billy Preston did. C'mon NCAA, stop giving us reasons to doubt your competence.

Dale Rogers 3 years, 6 months ago

I'm not sure there's any doubt there. They have displayed incompetence too many times for me to have any faith in the NCAA.

Craig Carson 3 years, 6 months ago

What the NCAA has done to SDS is beyond unfair

Len Shaffer 3 years, 6 months ago

Words cannot describe how much I hate the NCAA ...

Tony Bandle 3 years, 6 months ago

Let me try.....despicably despised, hated more than the flames of Hell, wishing the greatest of poxes upon them, etc., etc.

P.S. I choose to remain mute about the word moot.

Pius Waldman 3 years, 6 months ago

It appears Long is trying to say NCAA needs more information. Looks like to me a hearing is where information is presented. Maybe a lawsuit would get them to make a decision. Is there a reason KU is not demanding a hearing? Also if I remember the hearing is not by the NCAA but a group that review decisions made by NCAA.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 6 months ago

While I expect the NCAA to give a determination 4/30 or later, and don’t generally think they deserve being defended, I definitely can’t criticize them for Billy’s case after what we learned in the trial. That momma claimed to be the secret lover of one of the defendants to justify the extra thousands in the bank and new car in the accident. It’s not hard to imagine people cracking up behind closed doors over that “explanation”. Really?

Sam Meyer 3 years, 6 months ago

I agree that Billy should not have been allowed to play, but the NCAA never actually gave a ruling on his situation (unless I missed something). Billy just gave up and went overseas. If they had said "We think he and his family took money", we all probably would have been upset at the NCAA (although they were correct) but at least we'd have gotten a ruling. The Billy situation and the SDS situation seems to point to the NCAA process being broken, possibly beyond repair.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 6 months ago

It should be pretty straight forward for Pooka to get in 40 hours of community service once school is over. It is the path to the nfl. Make it a priority young man.

Dane Pratt 3 years, 6 months ago

The fact that he is still in Lawrence seems to indicate that after meeting his requirements he will be in uniform come fall.

Tony Bandle 3 years, 6 months ago

I have been keeping track of the opinions on Silvio the last several months [ YES, I know..I need to get a life] but the gap is narrowing between those that think Silvio is gone versus those who think he will return. Still, I would not want to bet the mortgage on his return at this point.

Allin Herring 3 years, 6 months ago

Could the KU sports admiinistative department anticipated what additional information needed before this delay? Lord know we should know all the NCAA players by first name for all the questional players we have had the past 5 years or so. I know the NCAA,are a bunch of idiots but I not sure our administrators are bunch behind them. By now the NCAA is probably in delay mode.

Justin Kruse 3 years, 6 months ago

This Silvio situation has been going on forever. You'd think KU would have made sure that they provided the NCAA with absolutely everything they could possibly want to get this resolved quickly. Definitely not defending the NCAA here, but it seems like KU is blaming them for everything taking so long when we haven't been the most efficient on our end.

Richard Benson 3 years, 6 months ago

The University of Kansas has more than dragged its feet appealing the two-season penalty that basketball player Silvio De Sousa received from the NCAA for alleged violations “that he was unaware of and from which he did not benefit." The apparent truth is that De Sousa’s culpability was —at most— negligible. And that his life’s possibilities have been quite dramatically diminished as a consequence of the scandal. “Quite dramatically diminished,” as in unconscionably, catastrophically diminished. That is what frequent commenters to the Journal World’s Jayhawk basketball coverage cry with their every breath.

What they do not say is that De Sousa is being tarred and feathered for precisely the reason that he is resourceless; powerless; and may find himself ignominiously shipped back to desperately poor, war-torn Angola, maybe courtesy of President Trump. Perhaps never again to be seen or heard from. For De Sousa is being tarred and feathered as a proxy for that rich and powerful blueblood, the University of Kansas.

KU is more than capable of defending itself. And hurting KU would reduce the value of the college basketball brand. By feeding De Sousa to a short life without possibilities, the NCAA will diminish KU’s on-court success to a misleadingly slight degree, and will set itself up to some degree to be thought to have stood down a blue-blood.

Who does not remember Kentucky’s basketball payola scandal? (Hint: the one with the shoebox full of folding money.) A wag commented that “NCAA enforcement showed it’s backbone: If Kentucky EVER tried that again, Cleveland State would be suspended from post-season play for a full five years.”

Poor Silvio De Sousa.

David Howell 3 years, 6 months ago

And yet the likes of Duke, North Carolina, Michigan State, Arizona, etc. are never held to the same degree (as in the NCAA looks the other way) ...........

Micky Baker 3 years, 6 months ago

Let's hope that De Sousa and Pooka are both back for their respective upcoming seasons. With De Sousa, I think the NCAA is treating him unfairly. Pooka, make sure you take care of business and get done what has to be done and be reinstated to the team. Then learn from it. You two guys are important to your respective programs.

Marius Rowlanski 3 years, 6 months ago

The one thing I most like about Silvio was his demeanor through the entire process. It's always better when a player really wants to play for a certain school or coach instead of those who are far more interested in possible minutes available then for the University itself.

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