De Sousa mentioned in testimony from former Adidas 'fixer'

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(WIBW, AP) - The FBI's college basketball corruption trial is in its second week, but more claims continue to be made as testimonies continue.

Kansas's Silvio De Sousa (22) watches his shot during the first half in the semifinals of the Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament against Villanova, Saturday, March 31, 2018, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

On Wednesday, Thomas "T.J." Gassnola, a former consultant for Adidas, or "fixer," testified in federal court to assisting in under-the-table payments to the families of five elite basketball players to attend Adidas-sponsored schools and to sign with Adidas upon entering the NBA.

Gassnola, who plead guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and is a government witness in the trial, told the jury the athletes were current KU forward Silvio De Sousa, former KU forward Billy Preston, former NC State guard Dennis Smith Jr., former Louisville recruit Brian Bowen Jr. and former Arizona forward and 2018 first overall pick Deandre Ayton.

All of the players but Ayton committed to Adidas-sponsored schools.

The Kansas City Star reported it was also revealed that De Sousa had also signed a contract with a professional basketball team in Spain at one point.

KU senior director of compliance Jeff Smith testified on Wednesday and said he was made aware that De Sousa had signed a professional contract at some point.

Smith said that Kansas had looked into the matter.

When asked if he was aware of a $90,000 payment to Preston's family and a $20,000 payment to De Sousa's guardian, Smith said, "I don't know anything about that."

At Kansas basketball's media day on Wednesday, Self said he expects to have De Sousa this season.

"I obviously can't comment on what's ongoing," Self said. "In the past, I've made a statement that we certainly believe, based on the information we had, that this thing would have a positive resolution. Who knows what could happen in the next whatever period of time.

"But I'm taking the approach, as everybody is on our team, that we're going to have Silvio De Sousa."

According to the Kansas City Star, the prosecution later presented an email from Gassnola to former Adidas employee Chris Rivers in March of 2015 that highlighted "touch points" where Gassnola would communicate in some form with either college coaches, high school players or their families.

Gassnola said he attended "Late Night in the Phog" in 2014 and that he met with head coach Bill Self where they "talked recruiting targets" and Gassnola "assured (him) we are here to help."

In response to this, Self told print reporters following the conclusion of media day that Kansas will comment when the time is appropriate and its stance on the investigation remains the same.

The defendants in the FBI's corruption trial are Jim Gatto, a former Adidas executive, Merl Code, a former Adidas consultant, and Christian Dawkins, a former Adidas consultant and sports marketing professional. They were each charged separately, including various counts of bribery and wire fraud.