Big 12 suspends 2 KU, 2 K-State players after Sunflower Showdown brawl

Silvio De Sousa
David McCormack, Mark Vital
West Virginia Kansas St Basketball
James Love III, Austin Trice
Posted at 11:45 AM, Jan 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-22 23:43:06-05

KANSAS CITY, MO. — Four players have been suspended by the Big 12 for their role in a brawl Tuesday night at the end of the Kansas State at Kansas men's basketball game at Allen Fieldhouse.

Jayhawks men's basketball coach Bill Self said Wednesday that forward Silvio De Sousa, whose taunting technical foul in the closing seconds touched off the melee, has been suspended indefinitely after the bench-clearing brawl marred a lopsided KU win and drew national headlines.

“I have suspended Silvio De Sousa indefinitely pending the final outcome of the review by KU and the Big 12 Conference," Self said in a statement around noon on Wednesday. "As I said last night, we are disappointed in his actions and there is no place in the game for that behavior.”

De Sousa issued a statement Wednesday night on Twitter apologizing for his actions, which he called "highly unacceptable behavior."

Self said earlier Wednesday that the school has thoroughly examined footage from the brawl and vowed that punishments will be handed out quickly.

Photos: Fight breaks out at end of Sunflower Showdown

Later Wednesday afternoon, the Big 12 announced that two KU and two K-State players would be suspended.

KU Athletics issued a statement Wednesday night in support of the Big 12 decision.

"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," Self said in the statement. "We represent the University of Kansas and will all learn from this experience moving forward.”

De Sousa, a 6-foot-9 junior originally from Angola, has been suspended 12 games and sophomore forward David McCormack, who is averaging 7.5 points and 4.7 rebounds, has been suspended for two games.

Wildcats junior forward James Love III has been suspended eight games, while freshman forward Antonio Gordon received a three-game suspension.

“I’m extremely disappointed in our team’s actions in the aftermath of last night’s game at Kansas,” K-State coach Bruce Weber said in a statement. “They do not reflect what our program is about here at K-State. Our team will live with the consequences of those actions and move forward in a positive manner. Our focus going forward is to help our players learn from this situation and ensure that it never happens again.”

The Wildcats are 8-10 overall and 1-5 in Big 12 play, while the third-ranked Jayhawks are 15-3 overall and 5-1 in conference.

De Sousa, who averages 2.6 points and 2.8 rebounds, will be eligible to return March 7 at Texas Tech, the regular-season finale. A KU spokesman said the conference's 12-game suspension will supersede Self's indefinite suspension.

McCormack will miss Saturday's game in the Big 12/SEC Challenge against Tennessee and Monday's game at Oklahoma State.

Love, who has been sidelined with a foot injury, won't be eligible to return until Feb. 22, a home game against Texas. However, his suspension won't begin until he's medically cleared for competition. It's unclear when that will happen.

Gordon will miss upcoming K-State games Saturday at Alabama in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, versus Oklahoma (Jan. 29) and at West Virginia (Feb. 1).

Gordon is averaging 5.0 points and 3.9 rebounds in 16 games this season, while Love has only played in one game this season.

“We do not condone this type of behavior in any circumstance and fully support (Big 12) Commissioner (Bob) Bowlsby’s decision on this matter,” K-State Athletics Director Gene Taylor said in a statement. “There is no place for this type of conduct in the game of basketball, or any sport, and in particular this great rivalry. In addition, I would like to offer my appreciation to Jeff Long and the University of Kansas administration and event staff for their efforts in resolving the situation.”

The fight broke out in the final seconds of the game, which Kansas won 81-60, when De Sousa blocked the shot of Dejuan Gordon and then stood over him.

De Sousa, who previously was the subject of an excessive NCAA infractions case that left him ineligible last season, was seen picking up a chair amid the brawl.

Players who left the bench were ejected from the game.

KU Director of Athletics Jeff Long said the conduct was "simply unacceptable."

“Coach Self and I will review the incident, along with the Big 12 Conference and Kansas State to determine appropriate consequences," Long said Tuesday night. "There is no place for this conduct in college athletics or here at KU. I would like to apologize to the Big 12 Conference, Kansas State University, Gene Taylor, Bruce Weber and all fans for the lack of sportsmanship from members of our team this evening.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.