The NCAA has decided the actions of an adult, likely without the knowledge of the student-athlete under the microscope, should result in a near eternal ban for Kansas Jayhawks talent Silvio De Sousa.
“University of Kansas men’s basketball student-athlete Silvio De Sousa must sit out the remainder of the 2018-19 season and the 2019-20 season because his guardian received payment from a university booster and agent and agreed to receive additional funds from the same person.”
A lengthy dive into the absurdity of this situation is unneeded. While backlash to disciplining a student-athlete for the actions of an adult is warranted, it’s a redundant feel to the forever moving inept wheels the governing body of college sports prefers to keep in motion.
The suspension comes with some interesting tidbits, however. From Bill Self’s reaction, to the NCAA ruling itself, all the way to how players have been dealt far worse hands from Mark Emmert than the adult coaches who should be held most accountable.
“We are shocked and incensed by today’s decision, and we will immediately appeal as this was clearly an unfair and punitive ruling for a young man who had no knowledge of any NCAA violation, nor did Silvio personally benefit from the violation,” KU athletic director Jeff Long said. “While we will continue to work with the NCAA on the broader matter, we have an obligation and a desire to advocate for our student-athletes, and will continue to do that for an outstanding young man.”
Appealing is near worthless; though, something the university has to do. When the judge, jury and executioner is inherently the same entity, there’s little chance of a progressive next step. Unfortunately, better steps should have been taken by the NCAA, even if those measures had to be forcibly creative, allowing for the organization to continue to push the pretense and ideal of amateurism they hold so dear to their pocketbooks.
“In my 30-plus years of coaching college basketball, I have never witnessed such a mean-spirited and vindictive punishment against a young man who did nothing wrong,” Self said in his statement. “To take away his opportunity to play college basketball is shameful and a failure of the NCAA. Silvio is a tremendous young man who absolutely deserves to be on the court with his teammates in a Jayhawk uniform. This process took way too long to address these issues. We will support Silvio as he considers his options.”
Silvio De Sousa is the latest victim in how this endless charade operates. A measured approach by the NCAA, if only to protect its own from future ideas of having to pay the labor, to block any notion of a different tomorrow on behalf of making sure today appears to have some form of integrity.
There’s no integrity in this decision. In punishing what college basketball coaches love to call “a kid” for the actions of someone else who was meant to guide him through an important transitional cycle of their life.
Alas, none of this will matter.
Like every NCAA decision before this, the outrage will blow over. March is looming, after all. The FBI scandal last season, trumpeted in real-time as the first earnest action in the death of how money college sports function, didn’t prevent millions upon millions of people enjoying the unpaid labor providing them entertainment come the NCAA Tournament.
It’s 2019. Agree with the ideals of amateurism or not, hold closely to the supposed beliefs of the NCAA or want to hurl them in the trash, there has to be a better way. Essentially ending a student-athlete’s career because of someone else’s mistake should be a non-starter.
And yet, here we are, doing the same song and dance, looking to yell at the NCAA for something we’ll all move on from within a week or two. Sad, but the cruel reality of college basketball is that we’ve been conditioned this way. To get frustrated and outraged over each absurd ruling, moving on from it as quickly as we got involved in the first place.
Silvio De Sousa is merely our latest causality in our quest for endless entertainment.
Joseph Nardone has covered college basketball for nearly a decade at various outlets. You can follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone.
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