When the Louisville basketball team open its season a week from tonight in St. Louis against Arkansas, it will be facing a Razorback team trying to make do without two starters and a trio of reserves. Head coach John Pelphrey announced the suspension of the five players, resulting from a variety of disciplinary issues, Wednesday afternoon.
Courtney Fortson, the team's leading returning scorer, and fellow starter Stefan Walsh have been suspended indefinitely. Reserve Marcus Britt, who appeared in all 30 games a year ago, will miss the team's first six games. Freshman Glenn Bryant has been suspended for two games while walk-on Nick Mason will not be allowed to play during the fall semester.
"We will continue to address disciplinary matters in a straight-forward manner and take action when players do not meet the expectations of conduct required of our student-athletes," Pelphrey said in a statement. "Our program remains committed to representing the University of Arkansas, individually and collectively, in an appropriate manner."
Fortson averaged 14.8 ppg and handed out 172 assists as a freshman a year ago. He was suspended, at least in part, for a crude comment he posted on Twitter after a woman accused three of his teammates of rape at an August fraternity party.
"One thing I would say is with regards to Courtney, his is a little bit different," Pelphrey said. "He has come to me. He has a couple of personal issues he wants to try to handle and we’re going to try to do that with him. And we’re going to support him and try to get him better. His says indefinite suspension, this is not something we’re going to resolve over a weekend or whatever."
Arkansas is already dealing with the loss of sophomore forward Michael Sanchez, who is battling plantar fasciitis.
The Razorbacks will dress nine players against Louisville. One, Stephen Cox, is a member of the golf team and another, Brandon Mitchell, is a former football player.