Report: Jelan Kendrick suspended
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Memphis coach Josh Pastner says freshman Jelan Kendrick is dealing with a "personal matter" and that they will "revisit the situation" when the McDonald's All-American returns to the Tigers.
Kendrick is serving an indefinite suspension from the Memphis basketball team while school officials investigate a verbal threat the freshman made to a teammate, Kendrick's former summer coach, Daren Darby, told CBSSports.com.
"He had an issue on the team ... and they're trying to [investigate] what actually happened," Darby told CBSSports.com on Tuesday. "They're trying to get to the bottom of it, and they feel like they need some time to make sure they have all the facts about what happened."
A separate source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told CBSSports.com that in addition to the threat -- a threat that was deemed serious enough to report to school officials -- Kendrick has been in multiple fights with teammates since arriving on campus, one of which led to Pastner banning Kendrick from the Tigers' preseason trip to the Bahamas. The 6-foot-6 guard last practiced with the Tigers on Friday.
Reached Tuesday by phone, Pastner declined to discuss the details surrounding Kendrick's suspension.
"It's a personal matter with him, and once that personal matter is resolved ... he will be back when that gets taken care of," Pastner said before practice. "It's just a matter of time. Whenever that personal matter gets taken care of."
Asked specifically about the report Kendrick had been suspended for fighting with teammates, Pastner dodged the question. The second-year coach said he wanted to stay consistent on what he called "the personal matter," a phrase he used five separate times when discussing Kendrick.
"I care for them as people, so right now it's a personal matter. Once that gets resolved, we'll go from there," Pastner said.
Pastner said he generally hands out punishment for problems not related to the law or the NCAA.
The talented shooting guard played for Westlake High School as a junior and for Wheeler High in Marietta, Ga., as a senior. Kendrick's return to the Tigers doesn't sound guaranteed.
"Once the personal matter is resolved, we will revisit the situation and we'll go from there," Pastner said when asked if Kendrick would return to the Tigers.
Darby told CBSSports.com that coaches from other schools have heard about Kendrick's issues and already started calling to inquire about the possibility of a transfer at the end of the semester. Still, Darby insisted Kendrick would prefer to remain at Memphis, if possible.
"Recruiting never stops with kids, I'm learning," Darby said. "But we're not at that point yet."
The Atlanta native was rated the No. 8 prospect by Rivals.com and PrepStars.com. Scout.com rated him the nation's No. 2 shooting guard. He was part of Pastner's first real recruiting class heading into the coach's second season, a haul of seven signees rated No. 2 in the nation by Rivals.com.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.