University of Kansas

NCAA decision on Silvio De Sousa expected before NBA Draft deadline, KU AD says

Kansas athletic director Jeff Long gave an update on basketball player Silvio De Sousa’s NCAA appeal on Monday, saying he expected a ruling from the organization “in the very near future.”

The NCAA initially ruled on Feb. 1 that De Sousa must sit out the remainder of the 2018-19 basketball season and all of 2019-20 “because his guardian received payment from a university booster and agent and agreed to receive additional funds from the same person.” KU appealed the matter on April 18.

“These processes are just that — a process,” Long said on his HawkTalk radio show Monday night. “So even though we submitted it April 18, there were things the NCAA came back with and wanted us to define and further flush out. So we did that. But now everything is in.”

De Sousa, who has declared for the NBA Draft, has stated publicly that if his suspension is lifted by the NCAA’s Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement, he will opt to return to KU for his junior season next year. De Sousa has until May 29 to take his name out of the NBA Draft.

Long was asked during his radio show Monday if that May 29 deadline would cause the NCAA to accelerate a decision with De Sousa’s case.

“Typically, that’s not going to cause them to speed up their process, but they’re fully aware — we’ve made them fully aware that that really is a drop-dead date for us,” Long said. “So I feel fairly certain we will know something prior to that date, in all fairness to Silvio.”

Long reiterated that he believed a resolution was coming soon.

“I’ve said that now for several months, but I do think we’ll know here soon because Silvio has to make a decision here by the end of the month too about his future,” Long said. “But why we’re fighting so hard is because Silvio has said he wants to be here — he wants to be here. He wants to work toward his degree. He wants to be coached by Bill Self. He wants to play for the Jayhawks.

“So we’re doing everything we can to try to make that happen, and I’m hopeful and remain hopeful that a decision will be made and allow him to do that.”

In February, the NCAA stated in a release that “according to the facts provided for purposes of the reinstatement request, De Sousa’s guardian received payment of $2,500 from an agent and booster of the school. He agreed to accept additional payment of $20,000 from the same individual and an Adidas employee for securing De Sousa’s enrollment at Kansas.” KU Athletics has an apparel sponsorship contract with Adidas.

During a federal trial regarding corruption into college basketball last fall, former Adidas representative T.J. Gassnola testified that sometime before January 2018, he overnighted a $2,500 payment to De Sousa’s legal guardian, Fenny Falmagne. Gassnola said he sent the money in an envelope inside a magazine, so De Sousa could pay for online classes.

Gassnola testified that he also originally offered Falmagne $20,000 to help him get out of a previous arrangement with a Maryland booster, who was paying Falmagne $60,000 with the expectation being that De Sousa would attend Maryland. Gassnola testified that he had discussed previous payments with then-Adidas executive Jim Gatto before making them.

Falmagne told The Star he did receive $2,500 in cash in the mail. He told The Star it was not apparent who sent the money. He told The Star he gave the money to charity — a church in Florida. Falmagne said the NCAA was aware of this and has receipts of the transaction that he provided to the organization.

He said it was not true that he agreed to accept $20,000 for securing De Sousa’s enrollment at Kansas.

“That did not happen. There’s nothing there,” Falmagne told The Star.

De Sousa appeared in 20 of 23 games in 2017-18, when KU made the Final Four, before sitting out last season.

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Jesse Newell — he’s won an EPPY for best sports blog and previously has been named top beat writer in his circulation by AP’s Sports Editors — has covered KU sports since 2008. His interest in sports analytics comes from his math teacher father, who handed out rulers to Trick-or-Treaters each year.