NCAA rules Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa ineligible through 2019-20 season

USATSI

Kansas power forward Silvio De Sousa has likely played his last game with the Jayhawks, with the announcement coming down from the NCAA on Friday that he must sit the entirety of the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons.

The ruling handed down stems from a reinstatement request from Kansas seeking approval to play him, but "because his guardian received payment from a university booster and agent and agreed to receive additional funds from the same person," the NCAA denied KU's appeal.

"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," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "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 in a Jayhawk uniform. This process took way too long to address these issues. We will support Silvio as he considers his options."

De Sousa was a key cog in KU's run to the Final Four last season, but new information brought to light about De Sousa's involvement in the college basketball corruption trial last fall led KU to withhold him from competition pending an eligibility review -- one that culminated with Friday's bombshell. 

The information in the trial came from testimony from former Adidas consultant T.J. Gassnola in the college basketball federal trial, alleging that De Sousa's guardian was paid $60,000 by a booster to attend Maryland. Gassnola also alleged De Sousa's guardian was paid in the amount of $2,500 for books to attend online classes to attain eligibility at KU.

With the Jayhawks in 20 games, De Sousa averaged 4.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 8.8 minutes per game last season. His return to the court would have been a boon for a KU team reeling with the recent loss of big man Udoka Azubuike, but now it appears the shorthanded Jayhawks are only going to be shorter with Friday's final ruling.

"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," KU athletic director Jeff Long said. "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."

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