A wild brawl erupted at the end of the rivalry game between Kansas and Kansas State on Tuesday.
With time ticking down in the No. 3 Jayhawks’ big 81-60 victory at Allen Fieldhouse, Kansas big man Silvio De Sousa made an emphatic block on K-State’s DaJuan Gordon, who had stripped the Jayhawks’ player near midcourt. De Sousa then stood over the fallen Gordon after the block, which the Wildcats seemingly did not appreciate.
Both teams rushed toward the scene, setting off a wild pushing and shoving match that spilled into the courtside area behind the basket. There were some punches thrown, and at one point De Sousa picked up a stool, though he didn’t appear to really do anything with it thanks to the intervention of KU assistant coach Jerrance Howard.
“Without knowing exactly everything that went down, it was obvious to me that we played a role in what transpired and there will be penalties for that,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “I need to see the film to comment or have any definitive thoughts on exactly why or how it got started, because to be honest with you I don’t have any idea about that.”
Kansas athletics director Jeff Long had stronger comments. “The conduct of a few of our student-athletes at the conclusion of tonight’s game vs. Kansas State was simply unacceptable and not reflective of who we are,” Long said in a statement.
“Coach Self and I will review the incident, along with the Big 12 Conference and Kansas State to determine appropriate consequences. 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, (K-State AD) Gene Taylor, (K-State coach) Bruce Weber and all fans for the lack of sportsmanship from members of our team this evening.”
Beyond De Sousa, the Jayhawks’ Marcus Garrett and David McCormick were the other Kansas players most involved in the scrum. On the Wildcats’ side, James Love and David Sloan – the first K-State player to run to Gordon – appeared to be the most involved.
It took a while for refs to sort out the situation after the players were eventually separated by coaching staffs and security. Five players from each team – the rest of each roster was ejected for leaving the bench area – were summoned from the locker rooms as one-tenth of a second was added to the clock. Kansas State made one of its technical free throws to provide the final margin.
“Well, obviously it’s an embarrassment,” Self said of the brawl. “It’s not something to be proud of. What happened showed zero signs of toughness. It’s a sign of immaturity and selfishness more so than toughness.”
“It should have been avoided,” Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said of the whole incident. “It’s my guys, it’s my fault. They came here wanting to have a game, compete, and we didn’t compete the way we needed to, and probably a little frustration, especially the young guys.”
De Sousa, who will likely be among the players facing discipline for the fight, was the Kansas player who had his name surface in the FBI’s probe into college basketball. The NCAA had found that his guardian, Fenny Falmagne, had received a $2,500 payment from a “university booster and agent” and agreed to an additional $20,000 payment from the same individual and an Adidas employee for securing his commitment to Kansas.
De Sousa was initially ruled ineligible for two seasons, though he missed only the 2018-19 campaign as he was cleared to play this season after appeal.
Contributing: Associated Press