Jayhawks coach Bill Self called the decision both "mean-spirited" and "vindictive."

By Emily Caron
February 01, 2019

Kansas sophomore forward Silvio De Sousa must sit out the remainder of this season and the entire 2019-20 season because of his guardian’s involvement with an agent, the NCAA ruled Friday.

The NCAA ruling issued Friday dictated that, "According to the guidelines adopted by the NCAA Division I membership, when a prospective student-athlete allows a third party to involve himself in the recruitment process, the prospective student-athlete is then responsible for the actions of that person, regardless of whether the prospective student-athlete had knowledge or if benefits were received."

It continued: "Membership guidelines state the starting point for these violations is permanent ineligibility, but the NCAA staff recognized mitigation based on the specific circumstances of this case when making its decision."

Jayhawks coach Bill Self responded to the ruling in a statement, per ESPN's Jeff Borzello, calling the decision "mean-spirited" and "vindictive."

"In my 30-plus years of coaching college basketball, I have never witnessed such a mean-spirited and vindictive punishment against a young man who did nothing wrong," Self said.

When asked how surprised he was by the severity of the penalty, Self told The Athletic, "I still wouldn’t say a 10, because nothing surprises me and totally shocks me. I can tell you this is 100 percent unfair, because I know all the details on this one."

The University acknowledged the violation in January to the NCAA so De Sousa could officially be ruled ineligible, which was followed with a request for his immediate reinstatement.

In Kansas's reinstatement request, it was disclosed that De Sousa’s guardian received payment of $2,500 from an agent and booster of the school. He also agreed to accept additional payment of $20,000 from the same individual and an Adidas employee for securing De Sousa’s enrollment at Kansas.

De Sousa has sat out all 16 of the Jayhawks' games so far this season after appearing in 20 contests during the team's Final Four run last year. The decision to withhold the 6'9" forward from competition came in October, after his eligibilty had to be reviewed following the testimony of Adidas consultant T.J. Gassnola during the FBI's investigation into college basketball corruption, which incriminated De Sousa's guardian.

Kansas was in need of frontcourt help from De Sousa after losing starting center Udoka Azubuike for the season in early January. De Sousa had been practicing with the team, sitting on the bench for all games and attending classes while he awaited the NCAA's decision.

The Jayhawks may appeal the decision to the Division I Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee, which is comprised of representatives from NCAA schools.

Kansas sits at 16–5 on the season as it prepares to host No. 16 Texas Tech on Saturday, Feb. 2.

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