|Justin Coleman: gadget connoisseur (US PRESSWIRE)|
Writers can't stop looking at their computers or checking their phones every six seconds while covering a game. But a player? That behavior would seem odd. Removed, not team-like and certainly a clear-cut sign of distraction that doesn't jive with sitting on the bench during a game.
Put your phone down for two and a half hours. That's all coaches want of their players. Most players are as addicted to their gadgets as you or I. These 19-year-olds are hard enough to wrangle as is, most coaches surely curse the advancement of phone technology from October to March, when they can't get Jimmy to focus during tape breakdown. (Then thank the heavens they can contact anyone they please when chasing a recruit in the offseason.)
What I'm clumsily getting at: Marshall's Justin Coleman was so bored by his team's loss at Belmont last Thursday, he completely checked out and busted out his iPhone. A few things led to this, though. Clearly something's been brewing with Coleman and the team and/or coaching staff.
The school announced Coleman was suspended indefinitely Friday.
Pierce Greenberg (now that's a writing name), on duty for The Mid-Majority, documented what he saw.
But as Belmont closed the half up 37-25, Coleman slowly meandered off the court, far behind his teammates who jogged to the locker room. In fact, an assistant coach (perhaps a graduate assistant) ran back on to the court and ushered Coleman to pick up the pace.So, to be clear, it's not that he used his phone and was suspended. Marshall coach Tom Herrion -- who's coaching his way to a possible NCAA berth -- pulled Coleman from playing duty and didn't deem him worthy of the pine. He sat with the riffraff. And so Coleman acted like a fan by checking up on his texts and possibly sneaking in a game of Temple Run.
As the second half commenced, Coleman started it behind the bench. Not on the bench, behind the bench and the coaches, far away from the nearest action.
Then, I saw something I don't think I've ever seen at any level of sport. Coleman slyly slipped a cell phone out of the sleeve of his warm-ups and proceeded to look at it for most of the second half.
Yes, a player that STARTED and participated in a game, spent the entire second half doodling on his phone like a teenage girl at the movie theater. I could hardly take my eyes off of it, refusing to believe what I saw. It was so sophomoric, so appalling.
There is also messageboard chatter about Coleman's poor attitude, and more first-hand accounts of how he continued to mope and lash out against a team graduate assistant.
Coleman, a top-50 recruit who wasn't eligible to enroll at Louisville due to grades, averages 6.2 points and 2.9 rebounds.