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No. 1 Kansas withholding Silvio De Sousa from competition due to eligibility concerns

The season hasn’t even started, and No. 1 Kansas may already have lost one of its best player.

Big 12 Basketball Tournament - Championship Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The preseason No. 1 team just took a big hit.

On Wednesday, the Kansas Jayhawks announced that sophomore forward Silvio De Sousa will be withheld from basketball competition pending a review into his eligibility. De Sousa will not participate in Thursday’s exhibition game vs. Emporia State and will be out indefinitely pending the outcome of an eligibility review.

Information was presented during the current trial in New York - some of which we knew, some of which we didn’t,” head coach Bill Self said in a press release. “We have decided to withhold Silvio from competition until we can evaluate and understand the new information. We have already discussed trial developments with the NCAA and will continue to work with NCAA staff moving forward.”

De Sousa is one of many current and former college players being dragged into the investigation, as he (or someone around him) may have received payments during his high school recruitment. It also looks like Self may have known what was going on.

De Sousa, who played a big role in helping Kansas make the Final Four this past season, averaged four points and 3.7 rebounds in 20 games with the Jayhawks as a midseason enrollee. However, he played a bigger role down the stretch, including a 16-point, 10-rebound performance vs. West Virginia in the Big 12 Championship Game.

Losing De Sousa would be a major loss for a team ranked No. 1 in the first AP Top 25 Poll. Most experts view Kansas and Kentucky as the favorites to win it all next season, and they’ll face off in Rupp Arena for the annual Big 12/SEC Challenge.