Length of Henderson’s suspension unclear

Marshall Henderson was suspended for an unspecified violation of team rules in July. (AP file photo)

Marshall Henderson was suspended for an unspecified violation of team rules in July. (AP file photo)

By Parrish Alford

Daily Journal

OXFORD – The SEC’s leading college basketball scorer remains suspended, and while his future isn’t muddled, his availability is.

Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson averaged 20.1 points as a first-year junior college transfer last season, leading the Rebels to the school’s second SEC tournament championship and first NCAA tournament appearance in a decade.

In July the flamboyant Henderson, who last year skated the edge of what many consider acceptable behavior, was suspended for undisclosed violations.

A national report then said the suspension came as a result of a failed drug test.

Neither Henderson nor other players were available for interviews on Tuesday.

Discussing the 2013-2014 season with local media, Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said the administration has played a big role in the handling of Henderson. The Rebels open the season Nov. 8 against Troy.

“There’s been a determination already by the administration that he will miss games. How many has yet to be determined, and I think it’s on-going based on how he continues to progress,” Kennedy said.

Since the suspension Henderson has been a full participant in conditioning and in practice, which began last Friday.

Be a leader

The suspension came just three months after the school published a letter on its website in which Henderson apologized for his behavior.

In that letter Henderson wrote, “I need to be a leader for my teammates both on and off the court. The spotlight on the court means my actions affect more than just me, and I need to show my teammates that I can be a leader for this team.”

The Rebels were 27-9 last season, 12-6 in the SEC, an NCAA 12 seed that defeated 5 seed Wisconsin before losing to La Salle.

Summertime requests to interview both Henderson and athletics director Ross Bjork about Henderson were denied.

Kennedy said Bjork will be involved in deciding which games and how many Henderson will miss but said his observations will carry a great deal of weight.

“Ross has been terrific in leadership in this area,” Kennedy said. “When we get to the appropriate team, he and I will have a pretty frank conversation. Obviously he’s not dealing with Marshall on a day to day basis. That’s us.”

parrish.alford@journalinc.com

  • sam6

    hope he uses the time to think and reflect and come out the other side as a leader and as example to others.

  • Kevin

    Big time college athletes are not leaders. They’re exceptionally talented and youthful people, no different from the frat crowd that dominates schools like Ole Miss and it’s cow college cousin down south. When I was a student at Ole Miss, the basketball team was notorious for dope smoking. The rumor mill had it that several starters on Rod Barnes’ team supplied the campus with high-flight marijuana that was about $300 per ounce. I asked a basketball player once about how they passed drug tests. He said they have a schedule of when the random drug tests will be given, and that he usually quit a month before a test. Half the time, he didn’t get called to take the test anyway. Big time college athletics (football and men’s basketball) is a sham. They should make it what it really is–a minor league training ground for the pros. By the way, last I heard, the NBA doesn’t test for weed anymore. Just performance enhancers.

  • The Ghost of Col. Reb

    Marijuana is an herb, not a drug.

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