KU's Silvio De Sousa mentioned in FBI subpoena sent to Maryland basketball

By Jesse Newell jnewell@kcstar.com

The University of Maryland has received a subpoena from the FBI requesting information about the school's recruitment of Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa, according to a report Friday from Yahoo Sports.

De Sousa, who averaged 4.0 points in 20 games for KU last season, has been mentioned in the FBI's investigation into college basketball previously. According to an indictment filed by the FBI in April, De Sousa's guardian was said to have benefited from illegal payments, which were made without the knowledge of KU.

Fenny Falmagne, who serves as De Sousa's guardian, denied that allegation to The Star on April 11, saying, "He did not take any money. We did not take any money."

According to the FBI's court documents from April, Adidas representative Jim Gatto agreed to make payments to the legal guardian of a top-rated prospect. The guardian told an associate of Gatto's in August 2017 that he had been paid to steer the prospect to a university sponsored by a rival company of Adidas, and would need to make repayment in order for the player to attend KU, where the player was more interested in playing.

On Aug. 30, 2017, the same day De Sousa announced he would play at KU, court documents say, the unnamed prospect announced, in a "surprise" decision, that he would enroll at Kansas over the school sponsored by the Adidas rival.

A story by the Baltimore Sun indicated that Maryland, sponsored by Under Armour and coached by former KU player Mark Turgeon, was considered the favorite for De Sousa and used the word "surprise" in the story's headline. Falmagne is also the guardian of Bruno Fernando, a childhood friend of De Sousa's from Angola who played for Maryland last season.

The Sun reported Friday that the FBI's subpoena to Maryland relating to De Sousa asked for any information or communication from the school "relating to the recruitment, eligibility and/or (his) amateur status."

In the last month, both De Sousa and KU coach Bill Self have reiterated their confidence that the forward will be eligible to play next season.

De Sousa was asked about the FBI probe on June 12 after working at Washburn coach Brett Ballard's basketball camp.

"I am not really worried about it," he said. "I know I didn’t do anything so I don’t need to worry about it."

Self commented on De Sousa's eligibility status on June 19.

"I haven’t heard one thing contrary (regarding eligibility) with any of our guys. That doesn’t mean that can’t happen,” Self said. “All our guys were cleared by the NCAA. They were all eligible last year. We haven’t heard anything that that was not the case still. What we have read is the same thing everybody else has read to the extent of how that translates to eligibility. We haven’t been told anything on that. I’m confident on it.

"I know Silvio is very confident on it. That’s something we don’t have access to everything. Based on what we’ve been told right now is we’re in a good place.”


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