We don't claim to fully understand the NCAA’s case against Kansas and Silvio DeSousa, but we think we understand this part correctly: Silvio DeSousa came to the US from Angola and lived with a guardian, one Fenny Falmagne, who by the way is furious about all of this.
His story: he asked KU for used gear he could donate to teams in Angola. Seems reasonable but guess what? It’s against the NCAA rules.
He says he asked Nike and Nike said they don't really have used gear which is probably true. He says he also asked former Adidas representative T.J. Gassnola for used gear and instead Gassnola sent him $2,500 in an envelope in a magazine with a receipt for car repair, which obviously sounds kind of shady. But Falmagne says he donated it to a church and that he has given the NCAA documentation to prove that. He also points out that the FBI has not contacted him about the Adidas investigation.
If we understand correctly, DeSousa had no knowledge of any of the corruption and did not benefit from it.
If that’s true, and we emphasize we don’t understand everything here, but if the kid didn’t know and didn’t benefit, why is he the one paying the price?
And may we repeat again, just this week, Mizzou went to NCAA jail for a fraction of what UNC got away with when it came to academic fraud.
We mention that because none of it makes sense. We’re not necessarily big fans of Kansas coach Bill Self. We think his ethics are suspect frankly and Falmagne says he thinks the NCAA believes KU is slimy and that’s why they hit DeSousa hard:
“The bottom line is they have a problem with KU. The way they did things in the past … whatever has happened, they are trying to take it out on the poor kid that has nothing to do with it. He can’t be punished for anything that’s happened in the past or for whatever reason the NCAA is trying to punish them (KU). That is what’s going on here. They are trying to get back to KU and taking it out on this kid. It shouldn’t be like that. The kid has nothing to do with it.”
The bottom line here is that if DeSousa did nothing wrong, there’s absolutely no reason for him to bear the punishment for what greedy grown men did to exploit him.
If the NCAA was smart (fat chance), they’d just scrap the rulebook, invite some really smart people in to rewrite it, simplify and streamline it, and most of all make it fair and predictable.
At an absolute minimum, if they believe Kansas is a dirty program, let the kid transfer somewhere else in the fall.