It didn’t have to be like this.

On Thursday afternoon Rick Pitino announced that Chane Behanan was suspended indefinitely from the University of Louisville Basketball Team. He would not pass GO!, he would not collect 200 dollars, instead Behanan moved out of the Louisville Basketball dormitory and is prohibited from any activity with the team until further notice.

Back before the season that earned Louisville their first National Championship in two decades, Behanan was suspended for one game due to an unspecified team violation. After that, he did nothing but receive praise from his peers which included a number of high marks from Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino during the Summer.

This latest incident has been an escalated matter. A declaration of such. One handed down from the big boss – Louisville Athletic Director Tom Jurich. A University suspension. Not a suspension that would change the status of his enrollment at Louisville, but clearly more serious than a simple team violation.

One simple step forward, two hard to swallow steps back.

So is such in the life of Chane Behanan.

The shelved talent from Cincinnati, OH grew up in one of the City’s roughest areas.  A place where his Mother claimed there ‘were gunshots heard every night’. He got out of there. Behanan claimed it was the ‘best decision I’ve ever made in my life’.

In the Summer before embarking on his Senior Year in High School he moved to Bowling Green, KY, enrolled to Bowling Green High School and switched his commitment from Cincinnati to Louisville. From there he’s shown nothing but immediate promise on the basketball court averaging a near career double-double, and being named to the All-Final Four Team last season.

So much talent, so little resolve.

Basketball has never been much of a problem. Many NBA scouts have often touted Behanan as a potential first-rounder. He made it through the most difficult portion part of his life. A place where folks often end of going to prison or prison before they have a chance to live their lives. He made it through that.  Now Behanan doesn’t face a barrier of circumstances or environment, but one that stands 6-6 and 250 pounds — himself. So far, Chane Behanan – the person -is losing that battle.

“We are really concerned for Chane’s well-being,” Head Coach Rick Pitino noted in the Thursday Press Conference.

Let’s look at what we don’t know. We have little answers on why Behanan was suspended from Louisville Basketball. Much of what you hear is simply just that — hearsay. We know that because Head Coach Rick Pitino said as much.

Let’s look at what we do know. We do know this serious. Pitino noted that a circumstance was already in place from Behanan to return to the team, but he had already violated the terms within a week of them being made. This was something brought down from not just Rick Pitino but from Athletic Director Tom Jurich. These things just don’t happen for being late to a team meeting.

Pitino often referenced Behanan’s questionable work ethic prior to the Cardinal National Title run last season.

“I wish I would have listened. That’s real talk. I was just so caught up in the College Life,” Behanan noted. “I’m working much harder now.”

One can only assume he’s not working hard enough. Players that work hard to become better players don’t let distractions get to them. They don’t take their talents that many would pay an ultimate sacrifice for granted. They don’t have time for others to get in the way of their goals, because they’ve given too much to be deprived of their goals.

They don’t do what Chane Behanan has done recently.

“It’s a sad day, because we all know the potential Chane has,” Chane Behanan’s Former High School Coach told the Courier-Journal’s Adam Himmelsbach on Thursday.

Indeed it is.

We know Chane’s basketball prowess, Behanan has the court. We know the guy that can almost assuredly make a group full of reporters burst in laughter at any given time. Sadly, he’s letting the small dark side of himself – one that we all have – get the best of him

But this doesn’t have to be the end for Behanan. The greatest joy in life is that you get to wake up each day and write a new story. No matter how unlikely that story may be, you and only you get to be the author. Behanan must start writing that new story now.

Pitino told the media that in most situations you could expect a ‘return in mid December’, he noted however that with it being Chane Behahan he didn’t expect that, and a return was ‘possible but not probable’. Well, that’s precisely what Chane Behanan’s life has been about. He was never supposed to be here. He’s been told far too often that he’d never accomplish all that he has.

He’s defeated unlikely circumstances many times before, it’s time to defeat them once again.

 

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Chris Hatfield

Residing in Louisville, KY (via Bardstown, KY). I write things about Louisville Sports. Sometimes you'll like them. Follow me @_ChrisHatfield Email me at chatfield60@gmail.com

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