LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) _ Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa will be eligible to play next season after the NCAA’s reinstatement committee agreed Friday with an appeal filed by the school.
The NCAA had declared De Sousa ineligible this past season and next season in early February.
The punishment came after De Sousa’s named surfaced last summer in an FBI probe into corruption in college basketball. The NCAA found that De Sousa’s guardian, Fenny Falmagne, had received a $2,500 payment from a “university booster and agent” and agreed to an additional $20,000 payment from the same individual and an Adidas employee for securing his commitment to Kansas.
The school appealed the decision, and the NCAA said it had “determined additional relief was appropriate.”
De Sousa declared for next month’s NBA draft but said he would return to Kansas if he could play next season
The NCAA Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee has determined that Kansas basketball player Silvio De Sousa can play for KU next season.
“Kansas men’s basketball student-athlete Silvio De Sousa is eligible to play the upcoming season after sitting the 2018-19 season due to NCAA rules violations,” the NCAA statement said. “Kansas appealed the NCAA staff decision of a two-season withholding to the Division I Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee, which determined additional relief was appropriate.”
“I’m so excited to be able to come back to Kansas to play and to continue my education,” De Sousa said. “It’s an amazing feeling. I want to thank the NCAA committee for the opportunity to do what I really want to do. All those days and nights wondering what would happen…this makes it all worth it. I also want to thank everyone at Kansas for working so hard to make sure I can follow my dream. Jayhawk Nation, I can’t thank you all enough for the unconditional support and for sticking around throughout this. I tried to turn the year off into a blessing. I got to work on my game and my academics, and now I’m going to make the most of this opportunity.”
De Sousa did not play during the 2018-19 season, but did practice with the Jayhawks.
“I am thrilled by the decision of the NCAA Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee to reinstate Silvio,” Kansas Athletics Director Jeff Long said, “and I am thankful that Silvio has the opportunity to continue his academic work and play basketball for KU. He is an exceptional young man, and I am so happy that he gets to do what he truly wants to do, which is study and play basketball at KU.”
De Sousa joined the Kansas team from IMG Academy in Florida after the fall 2017 semester. He appeared in 20 games in KU’s run to the 2018 Final Four, averaging 4.0 points and 3.7 rebounds per contest. His last game for KU was in the 2018 national semifinals, when he scored seven points and pulled down seven rebounds.
A native of Luanda, Angola, De Sousa posted a career-high 16 points in KU’s 2018 Big 12 Championship title game victory against West Virginia. In the semifinals of that event, De Sousa pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds in KU’s victory against Kansas State.