Silvio De Sousa has not played in a game for Kansas this season, but the Jayhawks are reportedly hoping that will change soon.
According to The Athletic's Seth Davis, Kansas is preparing to admit an NCAA violation in the recruitment of De Sousa and declare him ineligible. Once that happens, the plan is to petition the NCAA to reinstate the sophomore big man.
De Sousa has been held out of action this season after Adidas consultant T.J. Gassnola testified during the October federal trial that he gave $2,500 to De Sousa’s guardian. If Kansas follows through with this plan, it will be the first time they admitted any impropriety regarding De Sousa.
There is no guarantee the NCAA will go along and reinstate the former four-star recruit, but Kansas is hoping for time served.
According to the NCAA’s matrix regarding infractions, an improper payment of $2,500 most likely would yield a penalty that the player is suspended for 30 percent of the team’s season. Kansas has played 16 games, which means De Sousa has already exceeded that timeline. The school’s request for his immediate reinstatement will be based on the fact that De Sousa has already served the required suspension and then some.
One potential side effect of going through with this involves last season's Final Four berth. Since the alleged payment was made before De Sousa enrolled at Kansas, the NCAA could make KU forfeit any games in which he participated.
De Sousa played in 20 games for the Jayhawks last season, when the program reached the Final Four before losing to eventual champion Villanova.
All in all, this seems like a risk Kansas is willing to take. Right now, the Jayhawks are 14-2 but they will be without star center Udoka Azubuike for the rest of the season.
Getting De Sousa back would help mitigate that loss.