It looks as if Ole Miss will begin its basketball season without its star guard. Marshall Henderson has been suspended indefinitely by the team as a result of violating team rules. The trash talking, high energy guard averaged 20.1 points per game for the team last year and was a major factor in their securing their first SEC conference title since 1981. The team also qualified for the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2002.
Reasons for the suspension had previously been kept secret by the team, stating only that it was for a violation of team rules. CBS Sports Gary Parrish, reported on Wednesday that the suspension was a result of his drug use.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Henderson was pulled over in Oxford, Mississippi, on May 4 with what appeared to law enforcement to be small amounts of cocaine and marijuana in his car, according to a police report. He was only given a citation for not having proof of liability insurance, because the amounts of drugs on him were so small.
Henderson is no stranger to trouble off the court, and the team’s coaching staff was disappointed to learn of yet another slip up after asking him to take on a role model and leadership role with the team this off season. “He must do a better job of living up to the high standard we expect from him and he desires from himself,” Head Coach Andy Kennedy said in a statement.
There is no word on the length of the suspension, or if Marshall Henderson will be able to play at all this season.
As if a drug related incident was not enough for the star guard, he even found himself in a Twitter fight with analyst Erin Andrews this week. Andrews took to her Twitter to point out that the suspension was drug related. Henderson did not like being attacked over social media.
— Erin Andrews (@ErinAndrews) July 10, 2013
@ErinAndrews ima save that and you will be the first person ill mock
When you are facing an indefinite suspension, it probably is not the best time to be making more enemies than you already have. However that is part of being a polarizing sports figure, something Henderson seems to understand. His actions and antics both on and off the court have created quite a following for him, and an at least equal group dedicated to rooting against him. Either way, they’re watching.
This is hardly the first drug related issue for Henderson. Roughly a year and a half ago, Henderson spent 25 days in jail after testing positive for cocaine, marijuana, and alcohol while on probation. He was on probation as a result of charges against him that he attempted to buy marijuana with Monopoly money.
Never one to hide his habits, Henderson went as far as to fake smoking weed after knocking down a three in the NCAA tournament last season. He also had to apologize to fans after flipping off the crowd during a game last season.
Perhaps finally attempting to kick his drug problem, a source of Gary Parrish reported that Henderson may be seeking rehab as a result of the latest incident. Hopefully this source proves reliable, as it would surely help Marshall Henderson end his indefinite suspension before the season’s lost. As a fan of college basketball I certainly hope to see him take the court again this year, however he has to overcome his problem before he can make that happen.
Follow me on Twitter @CharlieGille
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express