Ole Miss star Marshall Henderson has faced an indefinite suspension since July, but it now has a timetable. Henderson will sit out the Rebels’ exhibition game on Saturday night, their regular season opener the following weekend and their first two SEC games in January.
That means the three regular season games Henderson will miss are at home against Troy and Auburn and on the road.
Henderson’s suspension was reportedly preceded by multiple failed drug tests and a return to a hard-partying lifestyle once the Rebels’ 2012-13 season ended with an NCAA tournament loss to La Salle in the Round of 32. Ole Miss subsequently set up a phone call between Henderson and Chris Herren and established a series of ground rules the rising senior had to meet to return to the team.
A player who didn’t average 20.1 points per game probably wouldn’t have received another chance given Henderson’s checkered history.
In high school, Henderson was arrested for using counterfeit money to buy marijuana. In college, he spent time in prison in spring 2012 after violating his probation by testing positive for marijuana, cocaine and alcohol. Henderson also became college basketball’s most polarizing player last season because of his habit of taunting opposing fans, whether it was gator-chomping down the court at Florida, thumping his chest in front of the Auburn student section or flipping off the entire arena after an NCAA tournament loss to LaSalle.
In a recent Q&A with ESPN.com, Henderson acknowledged he made mistakes during the offseason and expressed gratitude to Ole Miss for not dismissing him from the team.
“When basketball is not there, it’s always been a bad time for me,” Henderson said. “I still wonder how things just got out of control. I was thinking I was above everything, which is crazy because I’ve never thought that way before.I’m like, “Well, I’m not a professional, so I don’t get paid, so why is partying when the season is over frowned upon? Why do I have to be held to a higher standard? These people I’m with — future doctors, lawyers, businessmen — they don’t have to take a drug test. Why do I? I just kind of created this unrealistic stuff in my head,” he said.
“This is the first time I ever just realized, ‘Holy crap, they gave me another chance.’ I thank them every day. I can’t believe that they did.”