Silvio De Sousa won't play as Kansas reviews claims made during NCAA trial
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa will not play Thursday in the No. 1-ranked Jayhawks' exhibition basketball opener after the attorney for an Adidas executive last week in federal court said coach Bill Self requested a $20,000 payment to De Sousa's guardian through a consultant for the shoe company.
"Information was presented during the current trial in New York -- some of which we knew, some which we didn't," Self said Wednesday in a statement released by Kansas. "We have decided to withhold Silvio from competition until we can evaluate and understand the new information."
Self also said in the statement that Kansas has discussed the trial developments with the NCAA.
The statement Wednesday was the first by Kansas or Self regarding the trial since it began. Testimony in New York also connected Adidas executive James Gatto and consultant T.J. Gassnola with an alleged $90,000 payment to the mother of former Kansas player Billy Preston.
In closing arguments Friday, Michael Schachter, an attorney for Gatto, said the alleged KU-requested payment to De Sousa's guardian, Fenny Falmagne, came as an attempt to help De Sousa "get out from under" a pay-for-play scheme to attend Maryland.
"Due to the trial in New York being ongoing, I will refrain from any comment that is directly related to the trial," Self said later Wednesday at Big 12 media day. "That has been a mandate given to me."
Self also reiterated what he said in his statement about De Sousa.
"We will wait for an eligibility review to be done jointly by our university and the NCAA," he said. "And timetable on that is unknown, due to, obviously, the ongoing trial, and also when all parties can actually complete that review."
Later, Self added, "I don't see a scenario where I won't coach [De Sousa] again."
The 6-foot-9 De Sousa, originally from Angola, graduated from IMG Academy in Florida last December and joined the Jayhawks immediately. He was held out of action to address eligibility concerns before playing in 20 games.
His emergence late in the season helped Kansas win the Big 12 tournament and earn a trip to the Final Four.
Forward Dedric Lawson said De Sousa has not missed any practice time in the preseason.
The Jayhawks will host Division II school Emporia State on Thursday at Allen Fieldhouse. The 14-time defending Big 12 champions open the regular season Nov. 6 against Michigan State.