Blog Entry

Marshall player phones it in, gets suspended

Posted on: January 3, 2012 12:00 pm
Edited on: January 3, 2012 12:53 pm
Justin Coleman: gadget connoisseur      (US PRESSWIRE)
By Matt Norlander

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.

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.
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.

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.

Category: NCAAB

Since: Mar 19, 2007
Posted on: January 5, 2012 1:24 pm

Marshall player phones it in, gets suspended

Do people not know what sophomoric means?  Yes, a freshman can act can a senior.  It is not a word that only decribes a sophomore in school. 

conceited and overconfident of knowledge, but poorly informed and immature.

Since: Nov 13, 2011
Posted on: January 5, 2012 12:04 pm

Marshall player phones it in, gets suspended

That was a pretty bad decision on Coleman's part, but no worse than the writer, Greenberg, describing the inappropriate behavior of a freshman player as sophomoric. In this context, that's almost a compliment.

Since: Nov 12, 2011
Posted on: January 4, 2012 10:57 pm

Marshall player phones it in, gets suspended

   I know what you are saying. When you teach at an inner city school and the 4th and 5th graders you teach have nicer cellphones than you have (not to mention their flat screen TVs and gaming systems), you have to wonder. (And yes I do know about what they have at home because we were required to visit each student's home before the school year began. Though mostly these "luxury" items were paid for by relatives, they took priority over the family having the basics, like school supplies and the student's school uniform. It's crazy.

A sports radio host here in Columbus who played football at OSU not all that long ago argued that since it is a materialistic society and the college players see the rich students come to campus with their new cars, nice clothes, cool apartments and all the latest gadgets (iPods, iPads, laptops, etc.), and want them, they should be paid enough to be able to buy them (and their tattoos).

What we grew up with to consider "luxury" items are now considered essential because everyone is entitled to what everyone else has. It's all about preceieved status. Since it is all presentation and no substance, it's no wonder these students aren't interested in the education they are being given. And since they have no interest in the education, their tuition waiver has no value to them so they look to get "paid" because they don't value what they are getting.


Since: Nov 25, 2009
Posted on: January 4, 2012 6:43 pm

Marshall player phones it in, gets suspended

Not that it really changes anything, but was the guy playing Angry Birds or checking on a sick relative?  I say it doesn't matter because if he was really that concerned about the potentially sick relative (just as an example, I don't know that to be the case) he should be with this person.  And how the heck does a starter only play 8 minutes?  He went 1-1 from the field, 0-1 from the line, no rebounds, no assists, no blocks, no steals and one personal foul.  It's not like he was thrown out after 8 minutes.  How the heck does a starter get so univolved that he manages to play with his phone and not noticed and stopped?


Since: Dec 1, 2008
Posted on: January 4, 2012 6:07 pm

Marshall player phones it in, gets suspended

That's where it has all gone wrong. Go to college to get an education so you can get a job when you graduate. Devote as much time as possible to getting the old GPA up. When sports becomes more important than the education you have a problem. Very few make it to the pro leagues in any sport. A free college education is worth how much now?

Since: Jul 29, 2009
Posted on: January 4, 2012 2:16 pm

Marshall player phones it in, gets suspended

Hey UGAbiggestloser! I don't think this guy wants you to hire him on as your personal valet anyway so don't sweat it bro.

Since: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: January 4, 2012 11:39 am a teenage girl?

"...doodling on his phone like a teenage girl at the movie theater." - LOVE it. Grown men do it too, and it cracks me up. Just not when they're supposed to be part of a team that's playing right now! Ridiculous. Coleman takes it to a whole new level.
Since: Jan 3, 2012
Posted on: January 3, 2012 9:54 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Dec 1, 2007
Posted on: January 3, 2012 9:03 pm

Marshall player phones it in, gets suspended

Is it surprising that an immature teenager squanders the chance to get a free education? I would never hire this kid even if he does graduate.

Since: Mar 19, 2007
Posted on: January 3, 2012 8:30 pm

Marshall player phones it in, gets suspended

I'm sure a booster is paying that phone bill.
We talk about the breakdown is society overall while kids are on their iPhones during a game.  Let's go even further: How do all these kids pay for iPhones, blackberries, and other smart phones?  My wife and I make a combined $95,000 salary.  Our cell phone bill is $65 a month for both lines, because our budget cannot afford a data plan.  The associates I manage ALL have smartphones and they make $11.50 an hour. (and I have to constantly write them up for texting while on the clock.)  What the hell happened?  When did gadgets out-prioritize food and shelter?

IS the booster paying the bill?  If not, how do all these kids afford it?  I just don't get our society anymore.  People on welfare have nicer things than me. 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or