Block, Sock Jayhawks…PU!

Intrastate college basketball rivals Kansas State and the University of Kansas squared off in a conference men’s basketball game Tuesday night at KU’s legendary Phog Allen Fieldhouse.

By the game’s end, they literally squared-off!

Kansas fans were happy that their home court Jayhawks (now 15-3 on the season) were about to dispatch their in-state rival, Kansas State, 81-60. 

With less than ten seconds left in the game, a Kansas State player stole the ball at midcourt and was heading for a relatively meaningless last second “garbage time” basket right before the closing buzzer.  Kansas already led by 20 points, so this game was effectively over.

Then, Kansas junior forward, Silvio De Sousa, came flying down the court and attempted to block that last second shot by rival Kansas State.  After he blocked the shot, De Sousa then taunted the opposing player by standing over him and shouting something (use your imagination).    

The Kansas State bench (closer to this action) bolted to the rescue on behalf of their downed teammate. 

You can guess what happened.   A massive basket-brawl ensued for over a minute afterwards.    

For Silvio De Sousa, it was bad enough that he violently attacked an opposing player with just seconds remaining in a blow-out win for his team.   Once the fight broke out, the instigator of this ugly incident went full-fledged WWE.

De Sousa actually grabbed a folding chair and had it raised and ready to strike someone!

Fortunately, someone else pulled it out of his hands as the brawl started to simmer down.

It may have been late January, but a totally different type of March Madness was on display in Lawrence, Kansas last night. 

Today, Silvio De Sousa was indefinitely suspended from the Kansas Jayhawks men’s basketball team.  The player was averaging just over two points and eight minutes per game, so it’s unlikely that he will be missed from the court for the third-ranked Jayhawks. 

Kansas hoops coach Bill Self said today:  “I have suspended Silvio De Sousa indefinitely pending the final outcome of the review by KU and the Big 12 Conference. As I said last night, we are disappointed in his actions and there is no place in the game for that behavior.”

As for me, I can somehow picture Silvio De Sousa back in uniform and on the court for the Jayhawks before NCAA tournament time rolls around in several weeks. 

This isn’t the first problem which Silvio DeSousa has been involved in at Kansas.  Two years ago, the young man was handed a two-year ban by the NCAA after an Adidas representative testified in an FBI trial involving college basketball that he had paid $2,500 to De Sousa’s guardian during De Sousa’s recruitment into college.  

After the two year ban was announced, Kansas basketball coach Bill Self angrily complained about the NCAA’s decision to ban De Sousa. 

Self said, “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”.

He added, “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”. 

I wonder if Kansas coach Bill Self still feels the same way about this young man after last night’s ugly, dangerous, and totally unnecessary actions at the end of the game?

After an appeal, Silvio De Sousa’s two-year ban was later cut in half by the NCAA. De Sousa was reinstated to the KU basketball team beginning this season.

Then last night’s events happened.

To summarize, this Kansas student athlete who plays basketball at a high-profile program has been involved in a financial enticement to come play basketball for KU and, last night, showed extremely poor judgement and loss of control on and after the last play of the basketball game against Kansas State.

Silvio De Sousa should be dismissed from the team – period

Any player who picks-up a folding chair with intent to use it is too immature to be playing basketball for a state university. 

Coach Bill Self, who makes more than $7 million per season to coach basketball at KU, is no saint himself.   

In September, 2019, the NCAA served a “Notice of Allegations” against Bill Self’s Kansas basketball program for several “Level 1” violations, a lack of institutional control, and a personal charge against Self for a lack of responsibility”. 

The NCAA’s case will revolve around Kansas’ relationship with corporate sponsor Adidas.  The athletic shoe and garment company paid a so-called “grassroots consultant” (translated:  “bag man”) to arrange for payments to key people (coaches, family members, and players) in an effort to steer highly-recruited players toward the university’s basketball program. 

That’s right!  Silvio De Sousa and the mysterious $2,500 which was paid to his guardian might be a good place to start.

Kansas coach Bill Self was already in hot water prior to Silvio De Sousa’s late-game antics Tuesday night. 

This unnecessary and dangerous event will place a renewed focus back onto the school and the legitimate questions being asked about Coach Self and how players, like De Sousa, are being recruited to play for the University of Kansas. 

Block, Sock, Jayhawks!  PU, indeed.


*Update – After publishing this story earlier today, I learned tonight (January 22, 2020) that the Big 12 Conference handed down its suspensions to four players (two with Kansas and two with Kansas State) involved in the incident. Kansas big man Silvio De Sousa received the harshest punishment with a 12-game suspension. Given the length of the suspension, De Sousa won’t be eligible to return to action until the team’s regular-season finale against Texas Tech on March 7.

That’s right! Just in time for De Sousa to participate in the Big 12 tournament and the NCAA tournament! Good grief.