With 15 seconds left in a relatively expected blowout in Allen Fieldhouse, I was not expecting to write this article. But here we are, so let’s go.
With roughly that 15 seconds left (might have been 10, might have been 6), with K-State down twenty-ish or whatever, DaJuan Gordon steals the ball from KU’s Silvio De Sousa about halfcourt, took it to the basket, and gets absolutely swatted by De Sousa from behind.
Yes, that Silvio De Sousa. The one that has been prohibited from playing by the NCAA already once for pay-to-play schemes surrounding the joke of a program hiding behind the facade of “class” and “tradition” down the river.
De Sousa, then, because of the paid mercenary he is, stood straddled over the top of the freshman Gordon, talking down to him. No idea what was said. Frankly, doesn’t matter.
What actually matters at this point is his egregious, completely unnecessary show of dominance - standing over another player solely intended to demean and belittle - brought K-State players to DaJuan’s defense, which then brought KU players to the fray as well. Both benches clear. The fight spills into the seats on the baseline.
I don’t say defense in terms of De Sousa, because his actions after that are inexcusable, unjustifiable, and honestly, require a permanent ban from collegiate athletics. What he did was indefensible - what he did was go on the offense.
After some mass-fracas pushing-and-shoving, Silvio comes firing back into the fray throwing punches. Not those “kinda push you in the face” punches. Full-on haymakers. After he threw a handful of shots like that, he PICKS UP A CHAIR in the attempt to hit a K-State player with it.
Thankfully, someone behind him had the sense to pull it out of his hands before he actually swung it.
But in case you’re skeptical, here it is :
De Sousa with a chair and three more Jayhawks attacking one Wildcat. pic.twitter.com/R13opR5HM7— Matt Hall (@Matthew_D_Hall) January 22, 2020
Let me repeat that slowly, to let it sink in.
Silvio De Sousa picked up a chair.
And tried to hit a K-State player with it.
And why, in case you forgot from just a moment ago?
Because a freshman with a bright future was playing to the final horn. That’s why. Because at the University of Kansas, if you’re up by 20, apparently a basketball game is only 39:54 long, not 40:00.
So we’re clear, James Love (injured, but not too injured to come to his teammates’ aid) appears to have thrown a punch himself. And if so, he should be commensurately reprimanded. With being hampered and unable to play in any significant fashion, his K-State career is probably finished.
But, I’ll remind you again:
Silvio De Sousa picked up a chair to hit a K-State player with it.
That is absolutely unjustifiable.
End of sentence.
But hey, it hasn’t stopped those “classy” folks from downriver from trying!
Preemptive apologies for language contained herein
It doesn’t excuse anything Silvio did in any way but seriously fuck Bruce Weber for pressing down 20 with a minute left. What a fucking joke he is.— Chet Manley (@WWSwagger) January 22, 2020
Oh, let’s double-down on it while we’re at it!
This. De Sousa and McCormack gonna be deservedly suspended, but Weber and the dude who came off of KState’s bench and started swinging also deserve equal blame in this nonsense. https://t.co/BzcQ5kQRkJ— Böyce (@samuraihawk) January 22, 2020
While we’re getting the pulse of the common-man, let’s see what an “award-winning sportswriter” has to say about it:
That brawl never happens if the K-State kid doesn’t make that bush league steal as KU is dribbling out the clock. De Sousa shouldn’t have hovered over him Iike that after the block (which ignited the fight) but he had every reason to be pissed.— Jason King (@JasonKingBR) January 22, 2020
Nothing excuses it.
Nothing justifies it.
Give your award back, whatever the hell it was for.
That brawl never happens if De Sousa doesn’t act like a damned hooligan.
Let’s be crystal about a couple of things:
First, it might sound trite or altruistic at this point, but let’s pretend for a second that something like this happened, and a K-State player picked up a chair in a fight like this. I would be the first person on the train to wish him out of the program.
No ifs, no ands, no buts.
People throwing punches? Yeah, sit a couple of games. But picking up a chair? See ya later. There’s no room for that in sport, even if you try to squeeeeeeze it in there.
Second, late game plays in a blowout are always a subject of debate. However, the nuance that is being missed here is that the debate is about the leading team scoring unnecessary points, not the losing team continuing to play hard. Why is that? Because there’s nothing demeaning about a team down by 20 losing a game by 18 because they kept playing hard to the end. But going in for a dunk UP 20 is a much different situation. That shows a lack of grace and mercy. It could be considered unsportsmanlike. Admitting you’ve won can happen before the buzzer. Accepting defeat should not.
Finally, even if it had been the other way around, and KU had a steal and a dunk while up twenty-plus (a la Brannen Greene several years ago), players can be upset. Fans can be up in arms. And absolutely nothing would justify a damned fight over it.
Silvio De Sousa picked up a chair and tried to hit a K-State player with it.
Enough about the players though.
From a broader perspective, this is an indictment on Bill Self, and the reeking-of-filth program he’s running in Lawrence. This is a systemic result. This is arrogance and elitism personified, filtered through the actions of 19-, 20-, 21-year-old athletes that have no self-control.
Its no wonder the university and the program is under investigation by the NCAA. Self’s reaction to this event - not just in today’s presser, but down the road when inevitable penalties are handed out - will tell us just how dirty he is. How skewed his perspective is when it comes to wins versus sportsmanship.
This is what happens when character is not anywhere on the list in recruiting analysis, really. Let’s not just focus on De Sousa. Let’s also remember the tribulations of former players Carlton Bragg (implicated in domestic violence), Devonte Graham (arrested for municipal matters), and LaGerald Vick (implicated in domestic violence). That’s just part of what we know about in the past three years - and doesn’t include what hasn’t been swept under the rug through the obfuscation and illusion created by a powerful basketball coach.
This is what happens when you fail as a mentor to these kids. When you fail as a coach in a greater sense of the word to these kids. When you aren’t held accountable to anything other then winning more basketball games than your peers.
Silvio De Sousa has been under Self’s tutelage for two and a half seasons now. This fight may have broken out because of DeSousa acting like a hooligan. But it actually started a while ago, and it started at the top.
Silvio De Sousa picked up a chair and tried to hit a K-State player with it, because a K-State player was trying to make a basket at the end of a basketball game.
And the hypocritical KU fans are trying to justify it.
So enough with hearing about how “classy” KU basketball and KU fans are.
And enough with hearing from them how “unclassy” other fanbases might be.
It just rings hollow.