The Big 12 Conference handed down suspensions for Kansas and Kansas State players following Tuesday night’s brawl in Lawrence.
The Big 12 made its decision to suspend Silvio De Sousa 12 games and his teammate David McCormack two games. Kansas State’s James Love was suspended for eight games and Antonio Gordon for three.
I am stunned. I am stunned at the light sentences for some of the players involved and the fact that more players were not suspended, like the ones who came off the bench.
I made the argument on this week’s podcast that Silvio De Sousa should not play college basketball again. And if that means the NCAA has to step in, so be it. But the NCAA and the Big 12 cannot risk what happened on Tuesday night happening again and potentially ending with serious injury. De Sousa was fortunate a coach was behind him to rip the folding chair out of his hand before God knows what would have happened.
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It was the kind of scary situation that college basketball never wants to see happen again and a clear message needed to be sent. Instead, only one player received a substantial suspension, and his, De Sousa’s might have been the lightest of them all based on each individual’s actions. The Big 12, in the words of Denny Green, “Let ’em off the hook!”
For KU, David McCormack was stomping away and was not holding back in the thick of it all. His suspension was light. Meanwhile, Devon Dotson and Udoka Azubuike come off the bench and get in the mix. Neither appeared to take swings, but both were far too deep into the action as players who were not on the court at the time.
For Kansas State, Levi Stockard and David Sloan were deep into the fray as well, unnecessarily, and should have received suspensions.
Having watched the video multiple times, I saw at least eight players, not four, who should have received at least a minimal suspension, with De Sousa receiving, by far, the worst punishment of the bunch. What he committed was a half second from a felony in the real world.
It was a chance for the Big 12, and all of college basketball, to make a statement, similar to what the NBA had to do during the Malice at the Palace all those years ago.
But the conference came up short. Maybe now is the time to start the conversation on when a legitimate governing body will oversea college sports. But we can save that conversation for another day down the road.
In the meantime, NCAA, your move. If you want it.
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