Kansas won't play Silvio De Sousa in midst of pay-for-play accusations

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Nick Bromberg
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Silvio De Sousa played in 20 games in 2017-18. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
Silvio De Sousa played in 20 games in 2017-18. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

Kansas sophomore forward Silvio De Sousa won’t play for the Jayhawks as the school says it will “evaluate and understand” what it learned during the first federal trial into corruption in college basketball.

De Sousa originally committed to Maryland before he came to Kansas. During the trial involving Adidas executives and a basketball middleman, the defense attorney for Adidas’ Jim Gatto said that Kansas knew that payments were being made to De Sousa’s guardian.

“Information was presented during the current trial in New York — some of which we knew, some of which we didn’t,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “We have decided to withhold Silvio from competition until we can evaluate and understand the new information. We have already discussed trial developments with the NCAA and will continue to work with NCAA staff moving forward.”

Adidas staffer TJ Gassnola testified that he paid De Sousa’s guardian Fenny Falmagne $2,500 and had promised $20,000 to help pay back a $60,000 payment that Falmagne had received from a Maryland booster for De Sousa to commit to the Terrapins.

The $20,000 payment, Gassnola said, never happened. And he said that he had tried to hide the payments from Kansas’ coaching staff. Maryland’s apparel contract is with Under Armour while Kansas’ is with Adidas.

Gatto’s attorney said Gassnola told Merl Code, another defendant in the case, “I have been going around dropping bags to that idiot Fenny in order to get Kansas to re-sign with Adidas.”

“I am trying to demonstrate to the jury that [Gassnola] did not conceal this from the University of Kansas coaching staff,” attorney Michael Schachter said in a sidebar discussion during the trial. “We submit that these documents show that he paid this money to Fenny at the direction, at the request, and in coordination with the University of Kansas.”

Texts between Gassnola, Kansas coach Bill Self and assistant coach Kurtis Townsend were entered as evidence on a limited basis. Self has previously publicly declined comment on the trial until its conclusion. Wednesday is the third day of jury deliberations.

The 6-9 De Sousa played in 20 games in 2017-18 and averaged four points and 3.7 rebounds in just under nine minutes per game.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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