University of Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa was suspended for 12 games, the harshest punishment of four players, for his part in a fight between his basketball team and Kansas State.
On Tuesday, the Big 12 came down hard on De Sousa, but also penalized the Jayhawks’ David McCormack for two games, Kansas State’s Antonio Gordon for three games and slapped an eight-game penalty on James Love, according to ESPN. De Sousa picked up a chair during the fight, however, he didn’t throw it.
During the waning seconds of the game, De Sousa stood over Kansas State’s DaJuan Gordon and taunted him after he blocked his layup attempt. When tempers flared, Antonio Gordon pushed De Sousa which made him trip over someone on the floor before he grabbed a chair as if to throw it, reported Yahoo.
“This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated and these suspensions reflect the severity of last evening’s events,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a statement sent to ESPN. “I am appreciative of the cooperation of both institutions in resolving this matter.”
Kansas and Kansas State were also punished by the conference because players left the bench during the melee, a violation of the Big 12’s sportsmanship rules.
But before the conference could announce its suspension on Wednesday, Kansas coach Bill Self had already suspended De Sousa indefinitely from the Kansas program, saying he was “disappointed and embarrassed” by his behavior.
“Like I said last night, I am disappointed and embarrassed by what transpired because there is no place for that type of behavior in any competition,” Self said in a statement to ESPN. “After meeting with my team and discussing the incident in detail, it is evident that everyone fully understands the magnitude of their actions and all are remorseful for what occurred. We represent the University of Kansas and will all learn from this experience moving forward.”
On Twitter, De Sousa said he was deeply remorseful for his behavior.
“I’m sorry for my actions. Please read this:” De Sousa wrote on Twitter and attached a statement further apologizing.
I’m sorry for my actions last night, please read this: pic.twitter.com/cmkEO0I5Ax
— Silvio De Sousa ™ (@SilvioDeSousa5) January 23, 2020
“Yesterday, during the Kansas State game, I displayed highly unacceptable behavior that was a poor representation of my team as well as my own character. There is no excuse for my behavior, and I cannot justify the unreasonable choices that I made yesterday on the court. I not only showed a lack of sportsmanship, but I put myself, my teammates and the fans in danger,” De Sousa wrote in the one-page statement, in which he ended: “I messed up and I am sorry.”
Others had a lot to say about the fracas.
“Expelled from the university? Because that’s what would happen if a student walked into a classroom and tried to hit someone with a chair. Hold every student to the same level of accountability,” tweeted Uncle Luke.
Expelled from the university? Because that’s what would happen if a student walked into a classroom and tried to hit someone with a chair. Hold every student to the same level of accountability.
— Uncle Luke (@luka_duke5) January 22, 2020
“How can you practically throw everything you worked hard to get you where you are down the drain with a fight and a chair lol esp if your team is winning a heated moment in a game should never cost you your future, I hope things work out for him,” wrote Dedrick Rowson.
How can you practically throw everything you worked hard to get you where you are down the drain with a fight and a chair lol esp if your team is winning a heated moment in a game should never cost you , your future, i hope things work out for him
— Dedrick Rowson (@DedrickRowson) January 22, 2020