When Tennessee Men’s Basketball faces Kansas this weekend, the Jayhawks will be without two players, Silvio De Sousa and David McCormack. The two players were suspended following their involvement in a fight in the waning seconds of the Kansas-Kansas State game, that emptied both benches and made its way into the crowd.
The incident started when, while the Jayhawks was just dribbling out the clock, the Wildcats’ DaJuan Gordon stole the basketball, and attempted an open layup. De Sousa blocked the shot and then proceeded to stand over and taunt Gordon, providing a catalyst for the fight.
De Sousa, who is suspended for 12 games, was the most prominent player in the fight. He went viral on social media following his decision to pick up a chair and attempt to use it as a weapon. Luckily for everyone, a quick-thinking assistant coach was able to grab the chair as De Souse was in the midst of singing it downward.
De Sousa came to Kansas for the 2018 spring semester and was a critical member of the 2018 Final Four run for the Jayhawks. Unfortunately, he did not play during the 2018-19 season due to be ruled ineligible for that season by the NCAA. Since being cleared to play in May 2019, De Sousa has had a disappointing run, culminating in Tuesday nights’ melee.
De Sousa, who has played in every game this season, has averaged only 2.6 points and 2.8 rebounds a game. McCormack, who has also played in every game, was suspended for only two games. He has averaged 7.5 points and 4.7 rebounds a game this season.
Kansas State also had two players suspended, James Love for eight games and Antonio Gordon for three games. The Big 12 also issued a reprimand to both teams for their players leaving the bench area during the fight. Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby expressed his disappointment in the situation, but also acknowledged the cooperation of the schools in the aftermath when he announced the punishments.
“This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated, and these suspensions reflect the severity of last evening’s events,” Bowlsby said. “I am appreciative of the cooperation of both institutions in resolving this matter.”
Kansas head coach Bill Self issued the following statement after the suspensions were announced.
“Chancellor Girod, Jeff Long and I fully support the decision by the Big 12 Conference and appreciate their commitment to working through this situation with us. 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,” said Self. “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.”
The Vols and the Jayhawks tipoff Saturday at 4:00 p.m. ET, 3:00 p.m. local, and the game will be broadcast via ESPN and the Vol Network.