On Wednesday, NCAA President Mark Emmert gave an update on the ongoing investigations into the schools mentioned in the Adidas trial this fall.
According to a report by Yahoo Sports, the NCAA will not be delving out punishments to programs until after the end of the 2018-19 season.
The good news? KU, Bill Self, and Kurtis Townsend potentially get a little piece of mind, they can put it out of their minds for the rest of the season, and can really focus on the tasks at hand.
The bad news? This could mean we don’t get an answer on Silvio De Sousa‘s status until April 2019 at the earliest.
Silvio’s guardian allegedly took $2,500 from Adidas consultant, T.J. Gassnola last year.
The report from Yahoo says, “investigations aren’t likely to be resolved during the 2018-19 season.”
Now, this isn’t the same as saying that they won’t be declaring players eligible or ineligible to play, but because De Sousa and his guardian were mentioned in the trial, it could mean that his eligibility is indeed part of that investigation that is ongoing. There are also still two trials to be had: one in February and one in April 2019.
Emmert said that it will be up to individual schools to determine punishment in the meantime.
This leaves Self in an even more difficult position than he already is in because before, it was basically a waiting game – as it has been so many times these past few years – sit back and try to wait patiently for the NCAA to make a decision.
Now, the NCAA has essentially put the ball in Self’s and other coaches’ courts to determine whether or not they should be taking any kind of action while the NCAA takes the rest of the season to determine what action needs to be taken.
But what happens if Self decides Silvio has sat long enough, plays him, and then the NCAA forces KU to vacate wins if he’s deemed ineligible in April or May?
What if Silvio is ruled eligible to play, but not until after the season is over? Then one of KU’s most promising players on one of its most promising teams in years, was held out due to the NCAA taking more than six months to make a decision on his eligibility.
The news is the most disheartening for De Sousa, who just wants to be out on the court with his teammates helping the team win. This puts that potential in even more jeopardy now because he could be forced to sit the entire season before a decision is made by the NCAA.
With no clarity, Silvio has to just sit and wait or make the decision to leave school to train for the draft or to play ball in Europe for a while – which he certainly wouldn’t want to do without a decision from the NCAA.
But if that decision isn’t going to be made until April or later…who knows what he will do.
Self either risks playing De Sousa – which will help the team and help De Sousa improve his professional basketball aspirations – or continues to sit him in the hopes that the NCAA makes a decision on his individual case sometime between now and March.
It’s not a position any coach wants to be in, but in the end, you can be sure that Self is going to do what’s best for the team.
It’s just a shame that the NCAA isn’t doing what’s best for one of their student athletes by not giving him any notice on his eligibility status – one way or the other – so that he can make a decision that’s best for himself, his family, and his future.