Stunned students express concern after wild KU and K-State brawl, suspensions issued


LAWRENCE, Kan. — Punishment for four college basketball players has been delivered by the Big 12 Conference.

A bench-clearing brawl marred the end of Tuesday’s Sunflower Showdown between No. 3 Kansas and Kansas State.

Jayhawks forward Silvio De Sousa, who played a visible role in that fracas, was suspended for 12 games by Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. Video clips from Tuesday’s fight show De Sousa taunting a Kansas State player, and then raising a stool over his head, as if he’d planned to hit someone with it.

In addition to De Sousa’s suspension, Kansas reserve center David McCormack, one of several players who participated in the fight, was suspended for two games.

Kansas State players James Love, who was suspended for eight games, and Antonio Gordon, who was sanctioned with a three-game suspension, were also disciplined by the Big 12.

It was a stunning moment for a passionate basketball audience at Allen Fieldhouse.

Cameron Collins, a junior in attendance at the game, said the arena was momentarily stunned during the incident, which was captured by multiple cell phone cameras, including Collins’.

“It was like, ‘What’s going on?'” Collins said. “They had fans behind their bench. They were bickering back and forth with our student section, which ultimately, set the tone for the night.”

The Jayhawks (15-3) were leading their in-state rival Wildcats (8-10) by 22 points at the time the fight broke out. De Sousa committed a hard foul against K-State guard DuJuan Gordon, who’d just stolen the ball from De Sousa.

The foul resulted in a wild brawl, one that made headlines across the globe.

Collins posted her clip to her Twitter account, and it’s resulted in dozens of requests from media outlets to use it.

“You just don’t do that. I know it’s the heat of the moment, and sometimes, you do things you don’t think about. You just do it, but that’s whole another level,” Collins said.

Nichola McDowell, editor-in-chief of the University Daily Kansan, joked that she enrolled at KU because she’s an avid basketball fan. The senior from Atlanta said she’s alarmed by the incident.

In October, NCAA leaders announced an investigation into University of Kansas men’s basketball, charging the Jayhawks with five major rules violations. McDowell said the two instances are a matter of concern to her and other students.

“It’s scary because of the whole NCAA thing. We just got back on. That was a huge deal at the beginning of the season. It was a Fieldhouse fracas, I guess,” McDowell said.

De Sousa shared a statement Wednesday night on Twitter, saying in part, “There is no excuse for my behavior, and I cannot justify the unreasonable choices that I made yesterday on the court. I not only showed a lack of sportsmanship, but I put myself, my teammates and the fans in danger.”

Kansas’ next game is a home meeting with Tennessee on Saturday. Kansas State, which has lost five of its last six games, travels to Alabama.

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