The University of Kansas released an official statement after Wednesday’s guilty verdicts were passed down during the college basketball corruption trial in New York. During the trial, Kansas men’s basketball, including head coach Bill Self, assistant coach Kurtis Townsend and current and former Jayhawks, were brought up in testimony.
Earlier on Wednesday, the school announced that sophomore Silvio de Sousa will be held out of competition due to eligibility concerns after being a key part of the trial.
De Sousa was connected when former Adidas AAU coach and bag man T.J. Gassnola testified that he agreed to pay De Sousa’s guardian, Fenny Falmagne, $20,000, so Falmagne could reimburse a Maryland booster that had already paid him.
Texts and transcripts revealed during the trial between Kansas staff and Gassnola appear to make the school at least aware that Gassnola was speaking with Falmagne. Adidas and Kansas had recently agreed to a 12-year, $191 million apparel contract.
Since this college basketball corruption trial is only the first in a series of three major trials, the Kansas statement from Chancellor Douglas A. Girod and Director of Athletics Jeffrey P. Long isn’t saying much with regard to how Kansas will handle the future. The statement does mention that the Adidas and Kansas sponsorship deal remains intact despite Adidas representatives being on trial throughout this process.
Most importantly, Kansas is still supporting everyone involved in the trial, as it doesn’t appear anyone is in any kind of trouble quite yet.
From the Kansas statement:
While that work continues, we remain fully supportive of our student-athletes, our coaches and our men’s basketball program. Coach Self and Kansas Athletics are committed to maintaining a culture of compliance, and we will continue these efforts. Kansas Athletics has been, and will continue to be, committed to excellence and integrity.
The Kansas statement is likely to be a model for how many other schools will follow these trials. There are still two more cases to play out in 2019. The NCAA hasn’t even gotten involved with anything yet.
So we’re still a long time away from any potential issues for these schools from a penalty standpoint. With new information likely to come out in those two cases as well, we still have to wait to sift through all of this to figure out the final ramifications.
For now, De Sousa is being held out of competition, and it is unclear when, or how, he might clear his name to return.