The NCAA announced Friday that Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa will be eligible to play in 2019-20 after sitting out all of 2018-19 due to NCAA rules violations.
De Sousa posted the following video on Twitter to thank those who supported him during the appeals process:
In February, the NCAA released a statement saying that De Sousa would have to sit both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons after it was determined his guardian accepted a $2,500 payment from an agent and Kansas booster.
Additionally, De Sousa's guardian allegedly accepted a future payment of $20,000 from an Adidas employee in exchange for De Sousa committing to Kansas.
De Sousa and Kansas University went on to appeal the decision, which resulted in his punishment getting limited to a one-season ban.
While the NCAA found no evidence that De Sousa had any knowledge of his guardian receiving payment, NCAA rules state that student-athletes are responsible for the actions of any representatives included in the recruiting process regardless of whether they are aware of improper conduct.
After the NCAA announced that De Sousa would be ineligible for two seasons, Kansas head coach Bill Self spoke out against the ruling, per Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports:
"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. 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."
As a freshman in 2017-18, De Sousa appeared in 20 games and averaged 4.0 points and 3.7 rebounds while shooting 68.1 percent from the field.
Although he played just 8.8 minutes per game, he was a major factor in the Jayhawks' Big 12 tournament final win over West Virginia, as he finished with a career-high 16 points to go along with 10 rebounds.
With De Sousa ineligible and center Udoka Azubuike missing most of the season due to injury, Kansas lacked quality depth inside last season, and it only managed to reach the second round of the NCAA tournament after failing to win the Big 12 regular-season or conference tournament titles.
Azubuike will be back in the fold next season, but with Dedric Lawson making the leap to the NBA, De Sousa figures to be a key part of Kansas' inside rotation during the 2019-20 campaign.