Kansas sophomore forward Silvio de Sousa will be withheld from competition while his NCAA eligibility is under review, the program announced on Wednesday morning.
The review is related to information revealed in the first part of the FBI trial on corruption and fraud in college basketball recruiting that recently concluded in New York City.
"Information was presented during the current trial in New York—some of which we knew, some of which we didn't," said Kansas coach Bill Self in the program's official statement. "We have decided to withhold Silvio from competition until we can evaluate and understand the new information. We have already discussed trial developments with the NCAA and will continue to work with the NCAA staff moving forward."
Sports Illustrated's Dan Greene was at the trial, where de Sousa and Self came up during the testimony of former Adidas consultant TJ Gassnola. Some snippets:
On the stand, Gassnola described how de Sousa’s guardian needed a five-figure payment to get out of an agreement with Under Armour for de Sousa to attend Maryland.
Gassnola—who reverently addressed Self as “Hall of Famer”—asked for Self to call him when he could be alone, then later told Self via text that he had spoken with de Sousa’s legal guardian, Fenny Falmagne, and that it “was light work” and the “ball is in [Falmagne’s] court now.”
On the stand, Gassnola testified that Falmagne was seeking help purchasing uniforms for the national team of Angola, where de Sousa is from. That conversation was Aug. 9. On Aug. 26, Townsend sent Gassnola a message that he explained was from Falmagne, saying “Coach been on the phone with Angola ... We are good to go ... We will commit tomorrow.”
For his part, Gassnola testified that Self was not aware of the payments he made to Preston and de Sousa with Adidas money, in order to then lure them to Kansas, which Gassnola described as one of the company’s “flagship” programs. But Monday’s evidence showed Self was at least aware of how involved Gassnola—an Adidas employee—was in the recruitment of the 6’ 9” de Sousa.
As a freshman in 2017–18, de Sousa was ruled ineligible for the first semester due to not meeting academic standards at his high school, IMG Academy. He debuted on Jan. 13 and played in 20 games for the Jayhawks before finishing the season with 3.7 points and 4.0 rebounds averaged per game. He became an important frontcourt player down the stretch by scoring 16 points and recording 10 rebounds against West Virginia in the final game of the regular season. He also played double-digit minutes of four of Kansas's five NCAA tournament games.
No. 1 Kansas has an exhibition game against Emporia State on Thursday night which de Sousa will not compete in. The Jayhawks opens their season against No. 10 Michigan State on Nov. 6.