Upon Further Review: St. John’s Red Storm Must Move Past Fight and Suspensions
While it wasn’t “The Malice in the Palace”, the scuffle between the St. John’s Red Storm and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish had to result in some form of sanctions. Well, after further review, St. John’s walks away with only a minor scrape heading into their final game of the season.
Amir Garrett will be allowed to finish the year out. Garrett, who left the sideline during the fight, was heavily thought to be suspended until conference officials gave their final verdict on Wednesday. Sir’Dominic Pointer will join D’Angelo Harrison on the suspension list for this weekend. Pointer threw a punch, which landed, but will be allowed to participate in the Big East Tournament following his one game suspension.
Steve Lavin has to be less than thrilled with how his team is handling disappointment. Lavin already had to suspend Harrison for a season-long pattern of unacceptable conduct. Adding to Lavin’s migraine is now Pointer’s ability to throw punches out of frustration. What could only be considered as a horrible two years for Lavin, the coach still has his team’s back, “Perception is what other people see you as. It’s a 24-hour news cycle and . . . your reputation is important. Your brand is important. And yet what’s more important to me is character. That’s who you are and I love our team.
No team that was coached by Lavin has ever had a reputation for being dirty or uncoachable. I don’t think this is a referendum on him as a coach or the players as people. It feels more like a slew of unfortunate events where young people are making bad decisions. The players are still kids, kids who happen to mistakes here and there. Unfortunately for the Red Storm, the mistakes are being made on national television.
The program should bounce back next season. They were incredibly young this year and will return their entire rotation next season. If the players learned any lessons this season it won’t be determined if they have until the next. However, if there was any man in the country I would trust more with getting heads out of the gutter, it would be Lavin — the guy has been through more in two years than most have in a lifetime.
The controversy and frustration has broken this year’s version of the Red Storm, hopefully in the off-season it will unite them.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow Joe on Twitter @JosephNardone