Kansas' Silvio de Sousa opts out of season, cites 'personal issues'

Kansas basketball will play the 2020-21 season without Silvio De Sousa.

The senior forward announced that he will opt out of the season to focus on “personal issues.” De Sousa did not say what his future plans are, only that he needs to step away from basketball.

Kansas head coach Bill Self said in a statement that De Sousa informed him of the decision on Friday. From USA Today:

“Knowing Silvio, it was clear he had been distracted and not fully focused during workouts as of late,” Self said in a statement. “After he and I sat down and talked about that, it was clear this was the best decision for him, and Kansas basketball, to leave the program. At some point in the future, Silvio will decide what his next steps will be and where that will take him.”

If this is the end of the road for De Sousa as far as basketball is concerned, it’s the final chapter of a career that has made more headlines than you’d think possible of a player who has averaged 3.3 points per game in his career.

Silvio de Sousa’s tumultuous Kansas career

Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa runs up court during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Iowa State, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, in Ames, Iowa. Kansas won 79-53. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Silvio de Sousa's Kansas tenure has featured scandal and brawls. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

De Sousa missed his entire sophomore season amid an FBI investigation and corruption trial over an alleged pay-for-play scheme involving him. Former Adidas representative TJ Gassnola testified that he paid De Sousa’s guardian Fenny Falmagne $2,500 with a promise of $20,000 more to help pay back a $60,000 payment Falmagne had received from a Maryland booster in exchange for De Sousa’s commitment to the Terrapins.

The NCAA eventually hit De Sousa with a two-year suspension, leading to the player declaring for the NBA draft. He pulled that declaration back after the NCAA reinstated him on appeal.

De Sousa entered basketball infamy in his junior season during a brawl with rival Kansas State, in which he was seen picking up a chair and preparing to wield it as a weapon. Someone thankfully stopped De Sousa from doing something truly awful, but he was still suspended for the rest of the season.

That awful chair moment now stands as potentially the final moment of De Sousa’s college basketball career, unless he decides to return — to Kansas or elsewhere — next year.

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