NCAA Basketball

Kansas forward De Sousa gets year of eligibility back

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)


AP Basketball Writer

Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa finally got some good news from the NCAA on Friday.

His education and career had been in limbo after the organization ruled in February that De Sousa was ineligible this past season and next season. But after the school appealed what it considered overly harsh sanctions , De Sousa was granted a reprieve from the NCAA's reinstatement committee.

He is clear to play next season.

"I'm so excited to be able to come back to Kansas," De Sousa said in a statement. "All those days and nights wondering what would happen - this makes it all worth it."

De Sousa's long road toward playing for the Jayhawks again came after his name surfaced last summer in an FBI probe into corruption in college basketball. The NCAA found that his 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.

Kansas decided to withhold De Sousa from competition just before the start of last season after it learned of new details in the corruption investigation. But when the NCAA's decision to suspend him for two full seasons was handed down, it was decried by those across the college basketball landscape.

In an emotional news conference, Kansas athletic director Jeff Long said he was "incensed" by the NCAA's decision. Jayhawks coach Bill Self likewise vowed that he would "fight for Silvio."

"I'm extremely happy for Silvio," said Self, who was on vacation when he got the news. "Silvio has been unbelievably upbeat and patient throughout this process, far more than I could be.

"Silvio is the type of student-athlete that college athletics needs," Self added in a statement. "He wants to be a student and contribute to representing this university on the court. This moment belongs to Silvio and I'm proud to be his coach. I know he'll be more motivated than ever."

Kansas argued in its appeal that De Sousa never knew of any alleged payments, that the school had been proactive in keeping him from competing and that the punishment the 6-foot-9 sophomore received was inconsistent with those handed down by the NCAA in similar cases.

In the meantime, De Sousa declared for the NBA draft under the assumption he would not be allowed to play next season. But he also said he preferred to play another season for the Jayhawks.

"I am thankful that Silvio has the opportunity to continue his academic work and play basketball for Kansas," Long said. "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."

So far, he has barely played half a season for the Jayhawks.

De Sousa committed in August 2017 and enrolled for the second semester, just in time to help Kansas during its Final Four run. He played major minutes in the absence of injured big man Udoka Azubuike throughout the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments, including his best game against powerhouse Duke.

But the native of Angola is still a relatively raw prospect, even though he was able to practice with the Jayhawks last season, and another year of college should help his draft stock significantly.

"I tried to turn the year off into a blessing," De Sousa said. "I got to work on my game and my academics, and now I'm going to make the most of this opportunity."

De Sousa should be able to team with Azubuike to form one of the more intimidating frontcourts in the country. The 7-foot Azubuike briefly considered declaring for the draft, but he missed much of last year after wrist surgery and would have been unable to compete in pre-draft camps.

The school is still waiting to hear whether guards Devon Dotson and Quentin Grimes remain in the draft or return to Kansas next season. Both have until Wednesday to make a decision.

Kansas also is trying to close out its recruiting class by landing a pair of five-star prospects this summer. Small forward Jalen Wilson is considering the Jayhawks after a coaching change led him to seek his release from Michigan, and point guard R.J. Hampton recently reclassified to this year's class.

Both of them are also expected to make decisions in the coming weeks.


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Updated May 24, 2019

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Teams Score Time
NC State   Sat 12:00pm
Boston College  
Duke   Sat 3:30pm
North Carolina   Sat 3:30pm
Virginia Tech  
Carolina 2 F
Los Angeles 0
Carolina   10:30pm
San Jose  
Teams Score Time
Pittsburgh   Fri 7:00pm
Ohio State   Fri 8:30pm
Auburn   Sat 12:00pm
Clemson   Sat 12:00pm
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South Carolina  
Georgia Tech   Sat 12:00pm
NC State   Sat 12:00pm
Boston College  
Purdue   Sat 12:00pm
West Virginia   Sat 12:00pm
Wisconsin   Sat 12:00pm
Duke   Sat 3:30pm
LSU   Sat 3:30pm
Mississippi State  
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North Carolina   Sat 3:30pm
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Oregon   Sat 3:30pm
Temple   Sat 3:30pm
Tulsa   Sat 3:30pm
UL Monroe   Sat 3:30pm
Appalachian State  
Baylor   Sat 4:00pm
Oklahoma State  
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Arizona State   Sat 6:00pm
Kentucky   Sat 6:00pm
Kansas   Sat 7:00pm
Florida State   Sat 7:30pm
Wake Forest  
Michigan   Sat 7:30pm
Penn State  
Tennessee   Sat 9:00pm
Boise State   Sat 10:15pm
Teams Score Time
American League
Houston 4 F
New York 1
Houston   8:08pm
New York  
National League
St. Louis 4 F
Washington 7
Teams Score Time
Boston 118 F
Cleveland 95
Detroit 86 F
Philadelphia 106
Minnesota 119 F
Indiana 111
Detroit   7:00pm
Atlanta   8:00pm
New York  
Memphis   8:00pm
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San Antonio   8:00pm
Portland   9:00pm
Golden State   10:30pm
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Teams Score Time
Kansas City   Thu 8:20pm
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Minnesota 2 F
Toronto 4
Tampa Bay 3 F
Montreal 1
Arizona 4 F
Winnipeg 2
Philadelphia 1 F
Calgary 3
Detroit 1 F
Vancouver 5
Nashville 5 F
Vegas 2
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Los Angeles 0
Colorado   7:00pm
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Toronto   7:00pm
Philadelphia   9:30pm
Buffalo   10:00pm
Carolina   10:30pm
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Pos # Name Start Pos
1 12 Ryan Blaney 9
2 6 Ryan Newman 13
3 11 Denny Hamlin 40
4 10 Aric Almirola 5
5 34 Michael McDowell 22
6 3 Austin Dillon 20
7 32 Corey Lajoie 33
8 9 Chase Elliott 1
9 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr 7
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 00 Cole Custer 3
2 7 Justin Allgaier 8
3 22 Austin Cindric 2
4 11 Justin Haley 11
5 98 Chase Briscoe 1
6 1 Michael Annett 16
7 9 Noah Gragson 7
8 23 John Hunter Nemechek 17
9 8 Zane Smith 10
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 20 Spencer Boyd 25
2 4 Todd Gilliland 6
3 51 Riley Herbst 7
4 24 Brett Moffitt 8
5 52 Stewart Friesen 10
6 16 Austin Hill 13
7 17 Tyler Ankrum 2
8 88 Matt Crafton 1
9 2 Sheldon Creed 5