NCAA: KU's De Sousa out for this season, next season

Kansas' Silvio De Sousa (22) celebrates during the second half of the NCAA college basketball championship game against West Virginia in the Big 12 men's tournament Saturday, March 10, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. Kansas won 81-70. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
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LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW) -- Kansas sophomore forward Silvio De Sousa must sit out the remainder of the 2018-19 season and the entire 2019-20 season, according to the NCAA, due to improper benefits received during recruiting.

The University responded quickly to the punishment, issuing a pair of statements from Head Coach Bill Self and Athletic Director Jeff Long blasting the decision.

"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," head coach Bill Self said in a press release.

The NCAA's statement cites a $2,500 payment to De Sousa's guardian from an agent and booster of the school as well as the guardian's agreement to accept an additional payment of $20,000 from the same individual and an Adidas employee to secure De Sousa's enrollment at Kansas.

"To take away his opportunity to play college basketball is shameful and a failure of the NCAA," Self said. "Silvio is a tremendous young man who absolutely deserves to be on the court with his teammates in a Jayhawk uniform."

Though the actions were De Sousa's guardians', the NCAA said its adopted guidelines still hold the student-athlete responsible because of their decision to involve a third party in their recruitment process, regardless of whether the prospective student-athlete had knowledge or if benefits were received.

According to KU Athletics Director Jeff Long, the department will immediately appeal.

"We are shocked and incensed by today's decision," Long said. "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."

Self's statement also said the process "took way too long to address these issues," and that the team will support De Sousa as he considers his options.