The University of Kansas officially submitted its appeal of the two-year suspension levied against sophomore forward Silvio de Sousa by the NCAA, saying that he was unaware of payment to his guardian and didn’t benefit from it.
That’s an important step. And now, we continue to wait.
Jesse Newell of the Kansas City Star wrote that, depending on interpretation of the NCAA’s rules, the hearing for the appeal could take somewhere between seven business days and three weeks. But, as Matt Tait of the Lawrence Journal-World points out, that doesn’t mean a decision will follow instantaneously. For the sake of the column and the sake of not driving ourselves insane, let’s assume three-ish weeks is a reasonable time frame. For the team’s sake, at least that means it should know whether or not it will have this particular key cog going forward or not relatively soon.
For the player, the most important entity in this whole charade, it means he’s got a big choice to make in the immediate future.
The deadline to declare early for the NBA draft is April 21, a.k.a. this coming Sunday. If you declare, you can go through the whole process of meeting with teams, going through workouts, going to the scouting combine (if you’re invited) and everything else that comes with the pre-draft process. If you don’t declare, you’re stuck without any of those NBA options.
With all of that in mind, the decision seems like it should be obvious for de Sousa. He has made it clear that not only does he love being at KU, but that he feels he’s done nothing wrong. However, while that certainly plays a factor for him, declaring for the draft would give him some protection in case his appeal fails. If he declares and his penalty is reduced or reversed entirely, he can pull his name out of the draft and return to KU (something coach Bill Self said would be good for him since he has so little tape). If he declares and his appeal fails, at least he can keep working out for teams and try his luck at catching on with one, or at least going to the G-League.
Both of those options seem to be far more appealing than not declaring, potentially losing the appeal and then being stuck on the bench for another year.
We’ll know de Sousa’s decision by the weekend. As for his ability to play at Kansas again, we’ll wait slightly longer than that. It’s not like that’s anything new, though. We’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting throughout this entire process. Waiting for a punishment from the NCAA. Waiting on a response from KU. Waiting on any sort of new information during the season. Waiting on the appeal. It’s been a never-ending slog through this entire debacle.
Guessing what the result of this appeal will be is a fool’s errand. It seems like it could be a good thing that NCAA employees aren’t part of the appeals panel, but if we’ve learned anything over the course of this ordeal it’s that we really can’t make an accurate guess. Anything realistically could happen.
So we’ll just keep waiting for some reason.