Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Pitino: Behanan Could Return ‘In a Short Period of Time’ (UPDATED)
After initially saying that suspended forward Chane Behanan would be out for “a long time,” Louisville coach Rick Pitino has apparently adjusted his position and now says he could return “in a short period of time.”
“The reason he’s suspended and not off the team: He told the truth,” Pitino told the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer Thursday at a book signing. “I said OK. There’s going to be a penalty and a price to pay, but he told the truth. We’ll get through this. Just do the right things and he’ll be back on the team in a short period of time.”
In a text message to SNY.tv, Pitino said there was no timeframe on a return for Behanan.
“Not at all,” he said. “My comments were he could be back if he keeps doing the right thing.”
That stands in stark contrast to what the Louisville Courier-Journal quoted Pitino as saying at the Oct. 17 news conference in which he announced Behanan’s suspension, when he said, “Chane Behanan is no longer a part of our basketball team.”
“Short is relative, now,” Pitino said Thursday to the Messenger-Gazette. “I don’t say in the next couple of weeks. He’s doing the right things right now. I was skeptical about a week ago, but so far this week he’s put in everything we’ve asked him to do. It’s not easy for him.
“It won’t be any time in the next couple of weeks, but I expect him back.”
The 6-foot-6 Behanan averaged 9.8 points and 6.5 rebounds last season when Louisville won the NCAA championship.
Photo: Courier Journal
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.