• Silvio De Sousa's attorney: NCAA should 'immediately reinstate' KU basketball sophomore

    • email print
  • »  RELATED CONTENT
  • LAWRENCE — Silvio De Sousa appears to have grown tired of waiting. That much is at least true of his attorney.
    The Kansas basketball sophomore, indefinitely withheld as the NCAA and KU investigate alleged payments a guardian received during the forward's recruiting process, "has cooperated fully and completely" with the NCAA's investigation, De Sousa's attorney Scott Tompsett said in a Thursday news release. "It's time for the NCAA to be fair to Silvio and immediately reinstate his eligibility," Tompsett added.
    Tompsett is an NCAA infractions and compliance specialist with Kansas City, Mo.-based Tompsett Collegiate Sports Law.
    "Silvio came to the United States from Angola at the age of 15, and he did everything he was asked to do to become an eligible student-athlete at the University of Kansas," Tompsett said. "Silvio followed the rules. He did nothing wrong."
    De Sousa, a former five-star recruit who joined KU at midseason last year and helped the team in its run to a Final Four, hasn't played this season amid the eligibility concerns. He appeared in 20 games as a freshman, averaging four points and 3.7 rebounds across 8.8 minutes per contest.
    De Sousa's guardian, Fenny Falmagne, was alleged to have received illicit, under-the-table payments to steer De Sousa's recruitment in testimony and documents at the trial last October of three former Adidas officials in the federal government's probe into college basketball corruption. Former Adidas fixer T.J. Gassnola acknowledged overnighting a $2,500 payment to Falmagne to pay for classes for De Sousa, and Falmagne is also alleged to have received $60,000 from a Maryland booster to secure the forward's commitment to the Under Armour program, which ultimately didn't happen.
    Falmagne has denied the allegations, which also include a $20,000 payment from Gassnola to help repay the debt to the Maryland booster. Gassnola testified that payment never occurred.
    "If adults did something illicit or against the rules, they did it without Silvio's knowledge or involvement," Tompsett said. "Their actions and conduct can be dealt with through the courts and/or the NCAA major infractions process."
    Prior to the release of Tompsett's statement, KU coach Bill Self said Thursday that he had no update to provide on De Sousa's situation. On Monday, Seth Davis of The Athletic reported KU is prepared to acknowledge a violation occurred in the recruiting process of De Sousa so he can officially be ruled ineligible, a move necessary for De Sousa to then be ruled immediately eligible given time already served.
    By asking for De Sousa's reinstatement, it appears Tompsett is acknowledging his client has indeed been ruled ineligible.
    Page 2 of 2 - Tompsett declined to comment further when contacted Thursday.
    "He's been very patient and been a stud," Self said of De Sousa following Monday's 80-78 home victory over Texas. "Us as a team, we need to know too. I'm certainly hopeful we'll get something sooner rather than later, but I don't have a time frame."
    Self said De Sousa has shown patience throughout the process, though it’s clear it has worn on the 6-foot-9, 245-pounder out of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
    “I think he knows that there is definitely an effort to try to assist the process,” said Self, whose seventh-ranked Jayhawks (14-2, 4-1 Big 12) take on West Virginia at 1 p.m. Saturday in Morgantown, W.Va. “The one thing that he has been very mature about is he’s seeing big picture because I think the school has done a good job educating him on the dynamics and why things maybe aren’t quite moving as quick as we want them to.
    “So yeah, he’s handled it like a stud. And you know he’s crushed. We’re hopeful. Certainly not putting all our eggs in that basket, but certainly we’re very hopeful.”
    KU athletic director Jeff Long on Thursday night issued a statement essentially echoing Self's praise of De Sousa while restating the university's commitment to the investigation.
    “The University of Kansas continues to work with the NCAA staff to resolve issues concerning Silvio’s eligibility," Long said. "The process is ongoing and we will continue to work closely with the NCAA staff. Our commitment to integrity and to the process is unwavering.
    "While the past several months have been difficult for this young man, Silvio continues to work hard in the classroom and in practice and he has been an exemplary teammate. His patience and cooperation throughout this process have been admirable and we look forward to a resolution.”
    Discussing his uncertain eligibility with reporters last October, De Sousa spoke with confidence.
    "I know," he said, "I'm going to play this year."
  • Comment or view comments  
    Terms of Service