Mike Holmes Dismissed a Second Time in a YearPosted by rtmsf on January 20th, 2011
Walker Carey is an RTC contributor.
Lately in college basketball, there has been a troubling trend of certain players who just do not understand what it means to be a part of a major collegiate basketball program. These individuals have failed to represent their schools in a positive manner. Some have paid the price by being dismissed from their respective programs, while others have been allowed to continue to play. On Wednesday evening, news broke that Coastal Carolina coach Cliff Ellis dismissed star forward Mike Holmes from the program following an altercation with Chanticleers’ leading scorer Desmond Holloway. Coastal Carolina is the second program that Holmes has been dismissed from in a little over a year. Last season, when Holmes was at South Carolina, coach Darrin Horn dismissed him from the program after he suffered an eye injury due to what he referred to as “horsing around” at his home. Following his injury, Holmes behaved strangely by attending South Carolina women’s games, but not attending his own team’s games.
While both Darrin Horn and Cliff Ellis realized that Mike Holmes could no longer be a part of their programs, there has been an instance this season where a coach has not gotten the same message. The well publicized brawl between Mississippi State forwards Elgin Bailey and Renardo Sidney ended with both players suspended indefinitely. Shortly after the brawl, Sidney was reinstated, while Bailey was permanently invited to leave the program. The situation at Mississippi State could be more understandable if this was not the first problem Sidney had while a member of the Bulldogs. Shortly before the brawl, he was briefly suspended for a violation of team rules. This situation leaves one failing to fully understand how a player who continually embarrasses himself and his school is allowed to remain on the team.
Another instance that makes the Sidney situation so perplexing is Memphis coach Josh Pastner dismissing freshman Jelan Kendrick before he ever suited up for the Tigers. Kendrick was suspended indefinitely by Pastner before the season began after the freshman was involved with multiple run-ins with different teammates. Eventually, Pastner reinstated Kendrick to the team and allowed him to play in one exhibition game. Shortly thereafter, Kendrick suffered another setback with his anger problem and Pastner made the decision that it would be best for both parties if Kendrick left the program permanently. Kendrick has since transferred to join Andy Kennedy’s program at Ole Miss.
When looking at the three situations involving players behaving badly at Coastal Carolina, Mississippi State, and Memphis, it is reasonable to conclude that certain coaches will handle player conduct problems differently. It is also easy to understand why some coaches, such as Rick Stansbury, are hesitant in dismissing players from the program that will help the team win basketball games. This hesitation may be because players such as Renardo Sidney could help that particular coach remain employed. There will never be any standard protocol for the dismissal of players, but coaches should definitely act in accordance with what they think will be best for their programs in the long term and, somewhat correspondingly, for the schools they are representing.