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NCAA reinstates Silvio De Sousa after appeal; KU forward ensnared in bribery scandal

The NCAA announced on Friday that Silvio De Sousa will be eligible to play next season.

The Kansas forward was handed a two-year ban in February after Adidas representative TJ Gassnola testified he gave $2,500 to his guardian Fenny Falmagne during the college basketball corruption trial.

NCAA reinstates De Sousa

Kansas appealed the decision at a hearing on Friday. The NCAA announced shortly after the hearing that De Sousa will be eligible in the fall.

Bill Self was furious with ban

Kansas coach Bill Self blasted the NCAA’s initial decision to ban De Sousa.

“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,” Self said in a statement. “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. This process took way too long to address these issues. We will support Silvio as he considers his options.”

Silvio De Sousa regained his eligibility in an appeal to the NCAA. (AP)

De Sousa had declared for NBA draft

De Sousa declared for the NBA draft after the suspension, but had planned to return to Kansas if his eligibility was reinstated.

In its initial ruling, the NCAA stated De Sousa was responsible for an invited third party’s actions in his recruiting process regardless of what he’s aware of.

“According to the guidelines adopted by the NCAA Division I membership, when a prospective student-athlete allows a third party to involve himself in the recruitment process, the prospective student-athlete is then responsible for the actions of that person, regardless of whether the prospective student-athlete had knowledge or if benefits were received,” the NCAA said in its announcement.

De Sousa sat all of last season

De Sousa did not play last year during his sophomore season as Kansas waited to “evaluate and understand” the ramifications of the college basketball corruption scandal and trials.

A defense attorney for Adidas representative Jim Gatto argued in court that Kansas was aware of the alleged payments being made to De Sousa’s guardian. Gatto was sentenced to nine months in prison in March for his role in the federal fraud scandal.

A five-star recruit, De Sousa enrolled in Kansas during the spring semester in 2018 and averaged four points and 3.7 rebounds in limited playing time. He’s expected to play a significant role in the rotation moving forward.

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