Kansas basketball coach Bill Self says he is “optimistic” that freshman forward Billy Preston will be able to play in games for KU during the upcoming Big 12 season.
“The thing about it, from an optimism standpoint, we don’t know how other people will view what we have done,” Self said, ostensibly referring to the NCAA’s opinion of KU’s findings regarding the financial picture surrounding a vehicle the 6-foot-10 Preston has been driving on campus this school year.
Those findings have not yet been delivered to the NCAA, Self stated.
“I think our school has done a great job in creating, getting, all the information that could possibly be pertinent to his situation,” Self said. “The other thing you don’t know … they (NCAA officials) could come back and say, ‘We need more information.’ They could come back and say, ‘OK good to go.’ They could come back and say, ‘No it’s not good to go.’
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“Who knows what the response will be because it will be determined by somebody else. The reality of it is us putting a total package together from every scenario ... we’ve done a good job. Hopefully, whatever information that is given to the deciding parties, it’ll be a quick turnaround ... but we don’t know that yet either.”
As far as eligibility of Silvio De Sousa, a 6-9 senior forward from IMG Academy who is hoping to play for KU during the Big 12 season, Self said, “There are questions, but the answers will probably take place I would say in the next week to 10 days.”
De Sousa has said he will receive his standardized test score on Friday. The test score will be matched with his performance in core high school courses to see if he’s academically eligible for this season.
“That process has already started,” Self said of his materials being examined by the NCAA clearinghouse. “The thing with Silvio that is unique is we are dealing with Angola (his native country). Our ability to either speak French or Portuguese in a way that we have received additional information to basically help him has been somewhat limited.
“We think he is in pretty good shape depending on the test score and semester tests. We think he’s in pretty good shape going into that. But there are still some things that have to be done through his home country that’s still incomplete, so to speak.”
Self added: “We have been working on this a while. We’ve gotten down to the 11th hour, obviously. If a youngster can be eligible, we want him here sooner rather than later. He could be eligible and have him not be cleared until Jan. 10. He could be eligible maybe get cleared before Christmas. That’s what we are working on. The other thing is he could also not make it where he would either not be eligible for competition, or he could possibly stay at IMG.”