If you haven’t heard by now, the news on the Hill is that Arkansas Razorbacks head coach John Pelphrey has indefinitely suspended our freshman point guard Courtney Fortson. This comes as a big shock to Hog fans all over, especially when the team is doing so poorly on the court. But, to keep in line with the few past suspensions (Fortson, Jason Henry and Montrell McDonald), no official reason has been mentioned. Many will ask “why in the world would Pelphrey suspend Fortson when he gives us the best chance to win night-in and night-out?”
The answer: no one player is above the team. Pelphrey has coached from day one that you put the team first, no matter what. My guess is that Fortson’s little technical foul stunt the other night was just the icing on the cake.
As we’ve mentioned before, this season has gone sour real fast and our chances of post-season play are becoming less and less likely (yes, even the NIT). I’m sure that Pelphrey is preaching to the kids that in times like this … scratch that … ESPECIALLY in times like this, you have to stick together as a team. No one person is going to win a game, it’s not five on one out there. This is a team sport. You win as a team and you lose a team.
I’m thinking that Fortson did something that Pelphrey didn’t like, something that made it seem that Fortson was above the team (and this is just speculation since the University won’t elaborate). To have a swift disciplinarian hand with your team is a good thing, and if you ask me, this is the right thing to do. As a coach, you NEVER stop coaching, even if that means suspending one of the cornerstones of your team.
Big deal that Kentucky is coming to town this weekend. Big deal that we’re already down several from the bench. Big deal that our season isn’t ending up like it started. That gives no one on the team the right to put themselves first and NOT the team.
More tough lessons all around for the Razorbacks. Hopefully the lessons we learn now won’t haunt us in the coming years.