‘I know I’m going to play this year:’ KU’s De Sousa says as Adidas trial continues

By Gary Bedore gbedore@kcstar.com

In Silvio De Sousa’s mind, he will be eligible to play basketball during this, his sophomore season, at the University of Kansas.

“Well, I know I’m going to play this year,” De Sousa, a 6-foot-9, 235-pound forward from Angola said Wednesday at Kansas basketball media day at Allen Fieldhouse.

“Right now it’s time to focus on what I have to do, no matter what, just work on my game, keep working,” De Sousa stated.

De Sousa did not answer a handful of questions about specifics of the court case in which former Adidas consultant T.J. Gassnola said Wednesday in federal court he paid families of five players on behalf of Adidas: De Sousa, Billy Preston, Dennis Smith, Deandre Ayton and Brian Bowen.

“Today is all about Kansas media day. I don’t have much information to give. I am not focusing on that. I might have to talk about it (publicly) once the situation is over with,” De Sousa said.

KU coach Bill Self said, “I’m taking the approach as everybody is on our team that we’re going to have Silvio De Sousa playing for us this year.”

Self noted: “I obviously can’t really comment on what is ongoing. I can say this … in the past I made a statement we certainly believe based on information we had that this thing would have a positive resolution. But that was also based on the information we had. Who knows what could potentially happen in the next whatever period of time?”

Self spoke with a small group of reporters after KU’s media day had concluded.

He was asked specifically about Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel reporting Wednesday from federal court in New York that: “A report Gassnola wrote did include that he ‘met with Coach Self and his staff ... talked recruiting targets ... assured them we are here to help.’’’

Self said: “No I don’t have any response. I can’t talk about that. I’m not meaning to be opaque about this at all. I just feel like … our stance is still the same. We’ll comment when the time is appropriate. The appropriate time is when this is done and that’ll certainly be the case. I’m not going to make comments day to day on what has been said because we’ll know obviously in the next couple weeks what actually this is all about.”

Asked specifically if Gassnola’s assertion that he paid De Sousa’s family on behalf of Adidas would affect KU’s decision to play De Sousa, Self said … “Our decision to play will be based on the facts that come out in correspondence with the NCAA. It’s not going to be what does Kansas do? It’s going to be what we think is the right approach to obviously try to get to the facts to determine what the situation really is, because there’s… well that’s it. There’s no reason to comment more than that. How can you make a decision on something (when) you don’t know exactly what’s been done?”

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