It seems like it was just yesterday that the Louisville Cardinals were hoisting the national championship trophy after defeating six straight teams on their way to a title. Playing for fallen teammate Kevin Ware, the Cardinals rallied around each other and became America’s favorite team and with that, the national ‘Win for Ware’ slogan was born. However, a major player on that team will not be with the squad for quite some time as Chane Behanan was suspended indefinitely for violating school rules.
What did he do? Head coach Rick Pitino won’t answer that question, but one thing is for sure: it seems pretty serious. The junior forward was suspended for an exhibition game a season ago and was banned from talking to the media for a good portion of last season so he is no stranger to being in hot water.
Pitino had this to say about Behanan:
“Can Chane come back on the basketball team? It’s possible. It’s not probable. We set up an arrangement for him to come back.”
“He just has a very difficult time understanding life’s values and the significance of life’s values. We’re going to try to help him along. We’re more interested in Chane the man than the basketball player.”
This is a pretty honorable way to go about it, but it seems like Behanan is struggling to find himself right now and that is so concerning to Pitino that he is not allowing the junior anywhere around the team until at least mid-December. Pitino said it’s very unlikely he will be back on the team any time soon.
With the recent college basketball coaches poll being released, the Cardinals No. 3 ranking is surely going to suffer in the opening weeks of the season. While they won’t lose a game until at least Dec. 28 with the Kentucky Wildcats on the schedule and a mountain of cupacake teams prior to that date, this will still be a big blow in terms of leadership.
Losing Peyton Siva and Gorgui Dieng from last year’s title team will hurt as the team’s returning second-leading scorer will be missed. Behanan recorded 9.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists a season ago.
Tough loss for Louisville.