We interrupt this program to bring you the Big News of the Day. Today, that news is that returning starting forward Chane Behanan of the Louisville Cardinals has been indefinitely suspended. The suspension is apparently so severe that Rick Pitino, while he was discussing the issue, said that it Behanan would not be reinstated by November, probably not by December, and most likely not at all:
Louisville's Rick Pitino announced Thursday that Chane Behanan's is suspended indefinitely for a "violation of university and team rules" and "no longer a part of" the program.
Rick Pitino explains Behanan's suspension "Can Chane come back on the ... team?" Pitino said. "It is possible. It's not probable."
Additionally, it seems that Tom Jurich was the guy doing the suspending, with Pitino's blessing (which makes us wonder who is really the boss here, anyway?).
How does this affect our arch-rivals down I-64? Negatively, to say the least.
On the floor, Louisville just lost a player who provided much-needed size inside. Right now, 6-8 forward Montrezl Harrell could be the team’s go-to center. Behanan’s bulk is (was) a critical part of a Louisville rotation that no longer features big man Gorgui Dieng, who has moved on to the NBA.
Curiously, back last month, Rick Pitino tabbed Stephan Van Treese as a starter for the Cardinals, and for once, that seems to have been true. What we do not know is how long this has been percolating, and whether or not this was somehow related to the rumor back in June that somebody (then identified as guard Kevin Ware) on Louisville's team had been "thrown off the team." My suspicion is that the rumor and Behanan's suspension are unrelated, but I would not rule out a case of mistaken identity and the suggestion that this managed to leak out. Still, it seems unlikely that the Louisville sports press would ignore it, as some have suggested. They definitely didn't ignore this:
"Under normal circumstances, you could see him before Christmas," Pitino said. "But with Chane, it’s just been one week and he’s already violated" an arrangement by U of L’s staff to get him back on the court.
"It’s going to keep getting added to his indefinite suspension. That’s the only reason I say it. I don’t have a whole lot of confidence moving forward that he’s going to do the things we’ve asked him to do."
I am not happy to see this happen. To be honest, I was very much looking forward to seeing the cocky, mouthy Behanan and Julius Randle go at each other. Apparently, absent a remarkable turnaround by Behanan, I will be denied this opportunity, which saddens me. I hate for Louisville fans to have an excuse for a loss, but alas.
Finally on this matter, the Card Chronicle posted up a tweet by a certain USMNT, evidently a Louisville fan, purporting to quote a Kentucky fan with a racist tweet. The Cardinal fans bought this hook, line and sinker because, well, because Cardinal fans. They are so invested in the "racism" of Kentucky fans that no proof is necessary, and a scam is just as good as reality because it feeds their confirmation bias. Some Louisville fans predictably retweeted it several times.
There are two problems with the allegation of racism in this case, however:
The tweet does not exist on the quoted Kentucky fan's timeline. That doesn't mean it didn't happen, theoretically it could have been deleted, but the fact that USMNT didn't retweet it, but rather attributed it to him without an actual tweet, implies fakery.
The other thing, which is even more incriminating, is that the supposed racist is a UK student who happens to be African American.
Louisville fans. Without us, they'd have nothing to talk about. They're not even very good at perpetrating scams on us.
Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming...