Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Big 12 suspends Silvio De Sousa 12 games; McCormack, two K-State players also suspended

Kansas head coach Bill Self holds back Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa (22) following the Jayhawks' win against Kansas State, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas head coach Bill Self holds back Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa (22) following the Jayhawks' win against Kansas State, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020 at Allen Fieldhouse.


The Big 12 announced suspensions Wednesday evening for four players involved in the brawl that marred Tuesday’s Sunflower Showdown between Kansas and Kansas State.

KU backup forward Silvio De Sousa received the most severe punishment, as the conference suspended him for 12 games. Additionally, the Big 12 suspended KU starter David McCormack for two games.

On the other side of the rivalry, the Wildcats’ James Love III, who wasn’t even suited up for the game, was suspended for eight games, and Antonio Gordon will have to sit out for three.

The conference’s rulings came a little more than five hours after KU head coach Bill Self announced the indefinite suspension of De Sousa, pending the “final outcome of the review” by KU and conference officials.

After De Sousa threw punches at K-State players and even hoisted a stool above his head during the skirmish, Self stated Wednesday night he, KU Chancellor Douglas Girod and Athletic Director Jeff Long “fully support” the Big 12’s decision, and appreciated league officials working through the situation with them.

“Like I said (Tuesday) night, I am disappointed and embarrassed by what transpired, because there is no place for that type of behavior in any competition,” Self said. “After meeting with my team and discussing the incident in detail, it is evident that everyone fully understands the magnitude of their actions and all are remorseful for what occurred. We represent the University of Kansas and will all learn from this experience moving forward.”

Shortly after Self issued his statement, De Sousa posted one of his own to Twitter.

It read, in part: “I displayed highly unacceptable behavior that was a poor representation of my team as well as my own character. There is no excuse for my behavior, and I cannot justify the unreasonable choices that I made (Tuesday) on the court. I not only showed a lack of sportsmanship, but I put myself, my teammates and the fans in danger.”

De Sousa added he was “truly embarrassed” by his actions, which let people down.

“I understand that I am extremely fortunate to have been given the opportunity to play for KU,” the statement continued, “and I recognize that I never should have let my emotions get the best of me, but unfortunately that is what happened. By doing so, I put the Kansas reputation at stake because of a moment of weakness and inconsideration.”

De Sousa also expressed his gratefulness for the support KU gave him when he was ruled ineligible by the NCAA and missed a full season before being reinstated.

“I messed up and I am sorry,” his note concluded.

None by Silvio De Sousa ™

The Big 12 issued a reprimand to both schools for violations of the league’s sportsmanship policies after both KU and K-State players left the bench during the fight.

“This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated and these suspensions reflect the severity of last evening’s events,” Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in the Big 12's statement.  “I am appreciative of the cooperation of both institutions in resolving this matter.”

With the Big 12’s ruling, De Sousa would not be able to return to the lineup until KU’s regular-season finale, on March 7 at Texas Tech, meaning he won’t take part in the rivalry game rematch in Manhattan on Feb. 29.

McCormack will miss KU’s home game against Tennessee on Saturday, as well as a Monday road date at Oklahoma State.

Dan Beckler, KU’s associate athletic director for public relations, told the Journal-World Big 12 rules state that both suspensions will begin immediately. The suspensions prohibit student-athletes from traveling with the team to away games, participating in pregame activities and being in the team’s bench area. However, the suspended players may continue to practice and receive related support incidental to their participation.

Before the punishments were announced, one video that surfaced on social media late Tuesday night showed how the altercation escalated after De Sousa blocked DaJuan Gordon’s layup attempt and stood over the K-State guard in the game’s final seconds — an action that eventually resulted in a technical foul for taunting.

The footage recorded from the student section on the south end of the fieldhouse by attendee Cameron Collins shows Antonio Gordon shoving De Sousa to the floor. De Sousa responds by coming up swinging in the direction of the Wildcats’ David Sloan. The video then shows De Sousa and Love going after each other as players and coaches from both programs rush in.

None by Kansas Jayhawks

Asked during a previously scheduled Wednesday morning teleconference about how the fight started, Self said his opinion on how it began didn’t matter.

“The bottom line is that in competition, and obviously it’s heated, some things can escalate sometimes, and you never, ever want that. This was not part of that. This was not part of heated competition,” Self said of the fight, which broke out in the final seconds of a game that wasn’t close.

“We’ll accept responsibility for the role in which we played — and obviously we did play a role. I'm not saying that K-State was innocent in this by any stretch, but I am saying I'm only going to comment on on our situation,” Self went on, reiterating he wouldn’t offer any of his thoughts about K-State players who were involved. “I’m not saying they're guilty. I'm just saying I want to comment on our situation, and what I can potentially have influence on, and that would be the actions of our guys. Regardless of what has transpired, always having discipline and keeping a cool head and being responsible and being unselfish. And certainly that did not occur (Tuesday) night within our group.”

K-State coach Bruce Weber, who also fielded questions about the fight during his time slot of the Big 12 teleconference, said he was “very, very saddened” by the scene.

“Obviously there's many people to blame, and I'm the head of our program. So it falls back on me that the incident occurred," Weber said. "It's a shame. It shouldn't have happened."

K-State’s coach said his players told him after the fight that they thought time had run out and the game was over when they left the bench.

Both teams left the floor once the fight was broken up and went to their respective locker rooms before the officiating crew brought them back to the court to play one last second.

No. 3 KU (15-3 overall, 5-1 Big 12) plays host to Tennessee (12-6, 4-2 SEC) for the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.


Barry Weiss 2 years, 10 months ago

well, I think the suspensions for Silvio and David are both excessive for what happened. It does not matter now, we just need to go 4 guards are next two games and see what happens. I'm hopeful that a silver lining in this could bring our players even closer than they were.

Len Shaffer 2 years, 10 months ago

I completely disagree, and Silvio's lucky he has a chance to come back at all.

Drew Doerfler 2 years, 10 months ago

honestly, that seems pretty fair all the way around.....unless the injured player for k-state couldn't play anyway. i would sit him out for the season

Brian Skelly 2 years, 10 months ago

I'd argue this is appropriate action for what happened. In my mind DeSousa's punishment should have been for the rest of the regular season... and this is close. Im also glad McCormick got some punishment. The guy was stomping on the KSU player multiple times and took swings at guys in the melee.

Part of me thinks more KSU guys should have been suspended, but it's obvious DeSousa was going to be the one bearing the brunt of punishment. Well earned I might add.

To me the issue of the fight was bad, but going IN TO THE CROWD elevated it to insanity. KU is lucky no one got hurt. Just think if someone got clocked in the head with the chair? I don't mean a player. A fan. In the handicap section no less. Malice in the Palace in Lawrence, KS.

Greg Bowles 2 years, 10 months ago

So Silvio gets 12 games and McCormick gets 2. Yet an injured player sitting on the bench who threw the first punch is suspended for a few games that he wouldn't be playing anyway. He seemed to be anything but injured as he attacked KU player. Seems like another Grayson Allen debacle who only had one game off for attempting to injure other players purposely.

Was any of this right, no. But to put the lion's share of blame on KU when K-State started the punching, ridiculous. It was their unsportsmanlike conduct that started this entire folly. Weber makes excuses, Self takes ownership.

Matt Gauntt 2 years, 10 months ago

His suspension will start after he is ready to return, not while he is injured. That said, I know that can be a gray area.

Ben Kane 2 years, 10 months ago

i missed this live but my take on it when i heard was to shrug. fights happen. i'm not excusing what happened but i feel like the national media is over-reacting. it's not the first fight and it won't be the last. Silvio wielding the stool is another story though. that cannot be tolerated.

Bryce Landon 2 years, 10 months ago

The loss of Silvio for a dozen games doesn't hurt that much since he's hardly gotten playing time and has not contributed quite a whole lot when he has been on the court. I think we'll be fine without him.

And losing McCormack for two games could definitely hurt us in the two games he is gone, especially at Oklahoma State, where Bill Self's teams mess the bed more often than not; but long-term McCormack's absence won't hurt us that much.

I'd say the Big 12 Conference nailed this suspension perfectly.

Mike Greer 2 years, 10 months ago

There were more than two K State players that were deeply involved in the escalation of the situation, but the cards fall where they fall. There's plenty of blame to go around and it was obvious Silvio was going to get the lion's share. Gordon made a chicken sh!? move down 22 points with seconds left, Silvio made what one could call a face saving move by following him to the basket and blocking the shot, but in the final analysis neither the steal or the block was going to make any difference in the gams's outcome. Then Silvio got stupid and stood over the guy, up until then, it was just basketball and the game was over. So, why didn't the referee at that end of the court step in before the situation escalated?

When did standing over someone become such a threat that teammates like Sloan have to come to the guys defense? A lot of crap happened that just wasn't necessary.

Jeff Kallmeyer 2 years, 10 months ago

I believe you're getting the two KSU players mixed up. It was Sloan who made the bonehead steal with seconds remaining and Gordon who was the first player to get physical with his shove.

Andy Smith 2 years, 10 months ago

Wrong. There are 2 players on roster named Gordon.

Layne Pierce 2 years, 10 months ago

Silvio should have got ten. In fact he should have gotten a double tech and ejection, but that was before ksu charged off their bench. Let's face it ksu is the one who turned it into a brawl Obviously Weber has lost control of his team.!!!! Rcjh

Joe Joseph 2 years, 10 months ago

How many games did the chair get SDS? 4? 6?

Robert Brown 2 years, 10 months ago

I was thinking if not for the stool, the penalty would have been half of what it was.

Barry Weiss 2 years, 10 months ago

I'm sure you are right. The optics of that chair in the air is just a crusher.

Robert G Heckler 2 years, 10 months ago

As I saw it, Silvio had three K State players coming at him, two of them throwing fists. A chair grabbing may just be an instinctive way to protect yourself in that situation. He also nearly immediately put it down when he saw others coming to his aid.

Blake Brown 2 years, 10 months ago

and DeJuan Gordon gets zero discipline? None of this happens if he doesn't pull an unsportsman like action to steal the ball and then go for a basket. Fortunately, Garrett avoided being sanctioned. MaCormack is a big loss and that will result in a smaller lineup and we will see more of Braun and Moss, perhaps a good thing. I felt terrible that this happened after feeling so good about playing well and putting a beatdown on K-State. My dry sense of humor says that De Sousa was picking up the chair while saying" you might steal the ball from me, but you're not going to get this chair". Rock Chalk!

Ross Cargo 2 years, 10 months ago

Stealing the ball was not "unsportsmanlikelike", neither was blocking the shot. Standing over the guy and woofing was. That started it. SDS is to blame. He punched his ticket, with that, throwing punches, and prepping to bean someone upside the head with a chair. Awful. I'm fine with it if Self kicks him off the team.

That KSU should have had more guys suspended? Maybe, but I don't care and am not concerned about them. Maybe we should have had more players suspended too. I'm feeling grateful that DM only got 2 games. That could have been worse.

I'm tired of the modern day crap players bring to sport these days. Old days would have had the player giving the smack down on the shot and walking away like "no big deal." Or even extending a hand to help him up.

Take the medicine. On to Tennessee.

Matt Lindaman 2 years, 10 months ago

You mean the Kermit Washington/Rudy T. "Old Days?"

Brett McCabe 2 years, 10 months ago

Suspend the KU coach for 12 games for being a chicken sh*t. Basketball play by KSU with unsportsmanlike intent. Better basketball play with unsportsmanlike afterword from KU. No harm. Maybe a technical foul. And then, and then, and then a purple pussycat comes off the bench and starts it all. Sorry Silvio, your coach is a coward. You my friend, are not. Thanks for standing up for your team. Run some film for your coach and see if he can learn how to do it.

Kit Duncan 2 years, 10 months ago

What DaJuan Gordon did was not unsportsmanlike. Uncalled for? Yes. What Silvio did "after" he blocked the shot was unsportsmanlike. Did he deserve a technical and possibly ejection from the game? Yes. The melee that occurred could have been worse, but it could have been a whole lot better if both benches hadn't cleared. Both schools are fortunate to only have two players suspended. Silvio got what he deserves, not for the unsportsmanlike taunting, but for retaliating and possible battery with a weapon (stool). Be thankful Coach Howard and a fan were apparently able to coax him into dropping the stool before he struck anybody. His teammates being in the way of any attack on Love III are contributory to his thinking better of holding onto the stool.

Brian Mellor 2 years, 10 months ago

Seriously, how are you so consistently wrong on literally everything? I figure either it's intentional and you're a genius, or it's natural and you're a complete idiot. I'm leaning towards the latter . . . .

Bryce Landon 2 years, 10 months ago

His goal is to replace me as the most hated guy on these comment threads.

Kit Duncan 2 years, 10 months ago

Silvio is (unwittingly) taking one for the team. The conference could have sanctioned Garrett and possibly Ochai for getting involved, though neither appeared to throw a punch. A fan grabbed Garrett'e shoulder as he started to lean over Love, and that may be what saved Kansas Basketball a serious blow. McCormack didn't stomp anybody. He did stomp into the area where Love was laying on the ground, and reached over as if to hit or grab him. Fortunately, Coach Self grabbed DMac about that time and pulled him back. The fact that DMac waded through a number of people and made a threatening move at Love is probably what got him the two game suspension.

Beside the cheap steal by DaJuan Gordon and the athletic block by DeSousa, then Silvio's stupid move to rub it in, the whole thing started when KSU's Antonio Gordon ran over and started shoving DeSousa. Gordon deserves time off. Love III deserves time off for first getting involved, then taking a swing at DeSousa. The worst part was Silvio letting his rage get the better of him and picking up the stool. If he had only held the stool in front of himself as a lion tamer does, Silvio might be excused for thinking the Mildcat players were actually dangerous animals. Who KU needed last night was Joel Embiid, who once claimed to have killed a lion with his bare hands.

Jeff Kallmeyer 2 years, 10 months ago

I believe you're getting the two KSU players mixed up. It was Sloan who made the bonehead steal with seconds remaining and Antonio Gordon who was the first player to get physical with his shove.

Robert G Heckler 2 years, 10 months ago

KU, K-State Basketball Fracas.

I personally don't agree with this outcome. Here is why.

Gordon engaged in unsportsmanlike conduct by stealing the ball in the stand down final seconds. That is allowed. Then De Sousa blocked Gordon's shot. Unsportsmanlike, but allowed. Then De Sousa stood over Gordon. That is a technical foul for taunting. If it ended there, Gordon takes two shots and they all go home. Gordon, instead, chose to push De Sousa to the floor. De Sousa comes up looking at three K State players coming at him. He comes up swinging. K-State players, Gordon and Love, start throwing fists. De Sousa, being in fight/fight mode picks up a chair and then he thought better of it and put it down. By that time, security and coaches have blocked players from fighting. Yes, the fences emptied, but none of those boys really got into the fray.

Gordon is the first instigator. Love is the first to start throwing punches. McCormack never threw a punch. He stepped in to keep players apart.

Now it looks to me like the players who should have the greatest consequences are the ones who started and escalated the fight, Gordon and Love. McCormack was trying to prevent harm to his fellow players. Someone said McCormack stomped on players, but I did not see that. De Sousa, while acting wrongly and drawing the foul, did not start the fight, but had three players coming at him and had to instinctively defend himself. He did pick up a chair, but he also put it back down.

In looking at the suspensions, it looks very unfair. We may hear more about this that sheds additional light, but for now, this looks like a decision that was not well thought out.

(Heckler in the Real Grassroots (UNPAID) Crowd)

"The Big 12 Conference announced Wednesday that it has suspended four players after a brawl broke out Tuesday night in the closing seconds of the KU and K-State basketball game.

Kansas Silvio De Sousa – 12 games David McCormack – 2 games

Kansas State James Love – 8 games Antonio Gordon – 3 games

In addition, the Big 12 said that both programs were reprimanded for violations of the Big 12 Sportsmanship Policies as a result of players leaving the bench area during the incident.

“This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated and these suspensions reflect the severity of last evening’s events,” Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. “I am appreciative of the cooperation of both institutions in resolving this matter.”

Stuart Corder 2 years, 10 months ago

Silvio was going to be made an example of, no matter what because of the stool.

What I find revealing about the whole situation is the difference in KU and KState’s responses.

HCBS held himself accountable while making no excuses and taking immediate action, and following up with fans via official statements and social media AS they waited for penalties from conference officials.

Bruce Weber said that he was saddened by the whole thing, while claiming responsibility due to his position and making excuses that his players didn’t listen to him (in case we didn’t know).

The KState players were the players that left the bench and started the fight in the crowd.

The University of Kansas embraced responsibility and took immediate action.

Bill Self leads, while Bruce Weber follows.

...which entity “lacks institutional control”?

Dane Pratt 2 years, 10 months ago

I'm okay with Silvio's 12 game suspension but someone from K-State should have also received at least a 12 game suspension or worse for throwing the first punch and it was the K-State bench that rushed the scene. Standing over a player is not a violent act. It was a sign of disrespect just like stealing the ball when we are trying to run out the clock.

Robert G Heckler 2 years, 10 months ago

I think Silvio should be able to work off some of the suspensions by taking an emotions management class. The poor fellow has been waiting a long time to be playing and he didn't ask those three guys to rush him throwing fists.

Mallory Briggans 2 years, 10 months ago

Brett to call Self a coward was not true. It took a lot of courage to get in that melee trusting your toupee to stay in place that takes courage ......

Martin Rosenblum 2 years, 10 months ago

As usual, the media is putting KU in the forefront of this situation without even a mention of the K-State players being the aggressors. The reason, I'm convinced, is that KU has run a clean program and has had so few incidents that are controversial over the last decade or so when so much has happened at numerous other schools that the (the media) is looking for some fresh meat to chew on. It's good journalism in their minds, however damaging to the reputation and credibility of the KU program. K-State is not "meaty" enough for the news media to be interested in and therefore, they aren't "headline-worthy". Look at the Jayhawks in the NBA who are doing very well with their careers. Most NBA fans don't even realize how many there are and their contributions as former Jayhawk players. We're always going to be the red-headed stepchild of the NCAA. Now, a single photo of a bench player holding a stool over his head is going to worsen our status as one of the elite programs, even if we go through the tournament and fortunate enough to cut down the nets in Atlanta. While K-State continues to be a known program that bullies other teams and whose fans are some of the most obnoxious in the Big 12 and the NCAA.

Joe Baker 2 years, 10 months ago

The punishment is worse than the fight itself. This is all wrong.

Micky Baker 2 years, 10 months ago

I have to disagree with people saying what Gordon did was not unsportsmanlike. It was unsportsmanlike. When you're beat, you lose with grace. I have never seen anyone do that, thought it may have happened at other times. It would have pissed me off and it did piss Bruce Weber off and should have. Silvio was just trying to dribble the clock out, not get a cheap shot when the game was already decided. But Silvio was in the wrong in a big way to taunt him. Block the shot, Let K-State inbound the ball from there and let it play out. Silvio deserves the punishment and I'm surprised it wasn't more than just a 12 game suspension for picking up the chair. It wasn't an athletic play by Gordon to steal the ball in that situation, it wasn't sportsmanlike, but Silvio overreacted. It's one thing to just turn and look at Gordon after he blocked the shot, then turn around and get ready for an inbound play. What Silvio did was an embarrassment.

Barry Weiss 2 years, 10 months ago

I agree that K-State stealing the ball was uncalled for. This now makes the second time this year some punk whose team has been throttled wants his 20 seconds of fame and try to go down and dunk on us. Maybe coach needs to instruct our team to dunk on an opponent when we are up 20 with 10 seconds left? Probably that would be unsportsmanlike. It goes both ways.

Jeff Kallmeyer 2 years, 10 months ago

Gordon did not steal the ball, it was Sloan.

Titus Canby 2 years, 10 months ago

There was still time left on the clock when the K-State kid stole the ball. It's a hustle play. Just not very sportsmanlike. Silvio's block was also a hustle play.

The rest, starting with Silvio's taunting, were punk moves. None of this would have happened if Silvio blocks the ball and walk away. Picking up the chair was more than punk. If he had used it, it's potentially a felony. I feel the punishment is appropriate.

Kevin Jenkins 2 years, 10 months ago

Agree or disagree .. I am a hard core KU fan.. Silvio's punishment was less than I figured. And I actually thought McCormick would also get more. KU basketball is already under the microscope and this happens. I didn't see the game, but caught the replay. Plus I have 2 old Army buddies that both called and said What's next for your basketball program.... With all the talk from other Sports news cast and x coaches. I assumed the Big 12 would give Silvio a death sentence...

Bj Cassady 2 years, 10 months ago

What we are not talking about is this happened in a handicapped area. Some disabled people could have gotten hurt, lawsuits and the like. This could have been a huge deal. Also this is becoming a disturbing trend. I admired the likes of Haas, Vaughn, our 4.0 players. Under Roy Williams we did not have thugs. Time to clean house, if it starts at the top so be it. We are better than this.

Phil Leister 2 years, 10 months ago

Yes, fire the entire staff, get rid of all the players, admins, etc. Start over! That's definitely the most logical response to all of this! Bravo!

Bryce Landon 2 years, 10 months ago

Under Roy Williams, we also did not have national championships. Bill Self at least got us that one 12 years ago.

Joseph Leon 2 years, 10 months ago

How about we just keep running offense until the buzzer sounds. If there's 10 seconds left in a blowout, still try to run offense and get a shot.

Layne Pierce 2 years, 10 months ago

No Kstate bench attack, no melee. It's just that simple. SDS should have got double tech and an ejection. Load the bus and go back to Manhattan. I can't recall but what was the penalty when Bill Self was attacked by KState fans in Manhattan.

And I think Joseph has it right. Just run the other team into the ground, even if were up by 50.

Sad part is announcers are gunning to hurt us with this, and they are really after coach Self, who actually wanted to do the sportsmanlike thing. Sadly, it is wasted on KState.

I hope the penalties are dished out in a more equitable way after the brawl in Manhattan. Actually every player on KState's team that left the bench should have at least a 1 game suspension. Maybe that should actually be the penalty. That would stop it.


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