The Louisville Cardinals’ defense of the men’s basketball national championship will begin without a star of last season’s Final Four.
Junior forward Chane Behanan is suspended indefinitely for a violation of team and university rules, Coach Rick Pitino announced on Thursday.
Behanan may return to the team, but Pitino said it isn’t “probable.”
The junior forward was presented a plan in the last week that could restore him to the team—but he’s already violated it, Pitino said.
Pitino wouldn’t specify what Behanan did to earn the suspension.
“Chane wouldn’t hurt a fly. He really wouldn’t,” Pitino said. “So it’s nothing of the violent nature. It’s just very difficult for Chane to follow rules. We don’t have a whole lot of rules, but the ones we do have, he needs to follow. And he’s had a difficult time with those.”
Behanan is still at the University of Louisville and living on campus, but not with the team, Pitino said.
Pitino praised Behanan’s basketball skills.
“He’s extremely respectful,” the coach said. “He’s a good guy. He’s a good teammate and he’s an excellent basketball player. He just has a very difficult time understanding life’s values and the significance of life’s values.”
But Pitino said he didn’t think Behanan’s absence would do too much harm to the Cardinals’ prospects for 2013-14 season. Before the announcement, the USA Today pre-season coaches poll ranked the Cardinals No. 3. The Kentucky Wildcats were the pre-season No. 1.