University of Kansas men’s basketball student-athlete Silvio De Sousa must sit out the remainder of the 2018-19 season and the 2019-20 season because his guardian received payment from a university booster and agent and agreed to receive additional funds from the same person.
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.
According to the guidelines adopted by the NCAA Division I membership, when a prospective student-athlete allows a third party to involve himself in the recruitment process, the prospective student-athlete is then responsible for the actions of that person, regardless of whether the prospective student-athlete had knowledge or if benefits were received. Membership guidelines state the starting point for these violations is permanent ineligibility, but the NCAA staff recognized mitigation based on the specific circumstances of this case when making its decision.
When a school discovers an NCAA rules violation has occurred, it must declare the student-athlete ineligible and may request the student-athlete’s eligibility be reinstated. The NCAA staff reviews each student-athlete reinstatement request individually based on its own specific facts. This decision may be appealed to the Division I Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee, which is comprised of representatives from NCAA schools.
Statement from Director of Athletics Jeff Long: “We are shocked and incensed by today’s decision, and we will immediately appeal as this was clearly an unfair and punitive ruling for a young man who had no knowledge of any NCAA violation, nor did Silvio personally benefit from the violation. While we will continue to work with the NCAA on the broader matter, we have an obligation and a desire to advocate for our student-athletes, and will continue to do that for an outstanding young man.”
Statement from Head Basketball Coach Bill Self: “In my 30-plus years of coaching college basketball, I have never witnessed such a mean-spirited and vindictive punishment against a young man who did nothing wrong. To take away his opportunity to play college basketball is shameful and a failure of the NCAA. Silvio is a tremendous young man who absolutely deserves to be on the court with his teammates. This process took way too long to address these issues. We will support Silvio as he considers his options.”