The Big 12 Conference issued its formal reprimands in response to Tuesday night's brawl between Kansas and Kansas State, handing down suspensions to four players involved in the incident. Among them, Kansas big man Silvio De Sousa received the harshest punishment with a 12-game suspension. Jayhawks teammate David McCormack is suspended two games.
Kansas State players James Love and Antonio Gordon received bans of eight and three games, respectively, for their roles in the incident.
Kansas conducted its own investigation and announced Wednesday morning that it was suspending De Sousa indefinitely pending further reaction from the Big 12 office. Given the length of the suspension, De Sousa won't be eligible to return to action until KU's regular-season finale against Texas Tech on March 7.
The brawl broke out just as the second-half clock was expiring in KU's rout of rival Kansas State. De Sousa had the ball stripped from him by K-State's DaJuan Gordon, who bolted towards the other side of the court for a layup attempt before the final horn. De Sousa swatted Gordon's shot and subsequently stood over him, sparking a bench-clearing brawl. De Sousa was assessed a technical and seen amidst the melee picking up a chair in an attempt to use as a weapon. He dropped it before the situation escalated further.
"This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated and these suspensions reflect the severity of last evening's events," said Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby in a statement. "I am appreciative of the cooperation of both institutions in resolving this matter."
Kansas coach Bill Self called the brawl an embarrassment Tuesday night -- particularly on the part of KU -- emphasizing that Kansas was in the wrong and that KU players played a role in the escalation.
"That was an embarrassment on our part for the role that we played in it," he said. "There was a role that was played by our players. I'm not saying both parties weren't in the wrong -- but I know we were in the wrong."
De Sousa is the biggest name involved in the suspensions. The former top-40 national recruit, though, has played fewer than 9 minutes per game this season, averaging 2.6 points and 2.8 rebounds in a limited role. McCormack has been more productive this season than De Sousa, playing 16.1 minutes per night on average and putting up 7.5 points and 4.7 rebounds while spelling Udoka Azubuike. With both McCormack and De Sousa out, Azbuike is left as the only KU big man on the roster. KU's fourth big, Mitch Lightfoot, is redshirting this season.
Neither Love or Gordon being suspended will play much of a role in K-State's plan moving forward. Gordon was playing close to 20 minutes per night but had seen his role decrease in recent weeks. Love, meanwhile, has played in just one game all season.