Tom Keegan: Count on Silvio De Sousa rebounding from scandal

photo by: Nick Krug

Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa (22) laughs on the bench with his teammates during the second half, Thursday, March 8, 2018 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Silvio De Sousa remains a member of the Kansas basketball program, but will he ever play another game for the Jayhawks? Probably not.

To believe otherwise would be to believe that the NCAA would ignore all the FBI-generated evidence in the federal indictment pointing to De Sousa’s guardian taking money from Adidas to attend Kansas, after he used other Adidas money to repay another unnamed shoe company (Under Armour), which had steered De Sousa to attend an unnamed university (Maryland).

Next, if the guardian is proven to have taken money from Adidas, the NCAA would have to do for De Sousa what it did for Cam Newton, which is allow him to play based on the belief that he was ignorant to the misdeeds of someone shopping him.

Not so fast.

This from an Associated Press story released Jan. 11, 2012: “The Division I Amateurism Cabinet sponsored legislation that would include family members and other third parties who shop an athlete’s services to schools for financial gain. The Division I Legislative Council passed the proposal Wednesday.”

That slammed shut the loophole that enabled Cam Newton to play for Auburn in the SEC and national championship games after the NCAA found that his father had shopped him for $200,000, but did not find that either Auburn or Newton knew anything about the arrangement.

De Sousa’s guardian denied to the Journal-World and other media outlets that he received payments. Why wouldn’t he? He wasn’t under oath. Why cop to something before it has been proven?

For what reason would the Adidas associates invent payments to a guardian out of thin air? How could that possibly benefit them?

Let’s say that the allegations in the indictment are true about multiple shoe companies cutting deals with the guardian and let’s also assume De Sousa knew nothing about it.

In that case, the only one to feel sorry for in this mess is De Sousa, who came from Angola to the United States to attend three-and-a-half years of high school with the goal of eventually becoming a professional basketball player.

That’s not to say De Sousa’s dream is dead, even if he doesn’t get to play another college basketball game. He’s smart, driven and talented. His body and game are developed enough that he could earn G League playing time as soon as next year and eventually work his way into an NBA playing career. He has all the qualities of a great rebounder, which makes me believe he’ll rebound from this mess and go onto a lucrative career.