Arkansas Coach John Pelphrey announced today that long-suspended guard Courtney Fortson has been cleared to play against Texas tonight. Fortson has missed the first 14 games of the season this year, almost the entire non-conference season due to his suspension.
According to a press release issued today:
“We are pleased that Courtney has done the things necessary for him to incorporate basketball fully back into his life,” Pelphrey said. “In the past few months, Courtney has worked hard to address personal issues and meet objectives to facilitate his return to active competition. Our primary focus with Courtney, and all of our student-athletes, is to assist them in realizing their full potential as individuals. This includes developing them athletically, academically and socially. We will continue to provide all of our student-athletes the support and appropriate resources to assist them in that process. All of our student-athletes will continue to be expected to represent the University of Arkansas with integrity. As with all Razorback student-athletes, Courtney must continue to meet the expectations of our athletic department to remain a member of the Razorback program.”
Pelphrey has been mum all season about the reason for Fortson’s suspension, leading to wild speculation on the internets. His suspension, announced with several other suspensions back in November, was “indefinite,” but most thought he would have been back in a Razorback uniform weeks ago.
The release did not indicate what Fortson’s role will be in the Texas game tonight, but Fortson has been practicing with the team for several weeks now.
His return will help greatly with Arkansas’ depth issues in the backcourt this season. Fortson lead the team last year with 172 assists and 33 steals over 29 games.
What do you guys think? How much action will Fortson see against Texas tonight?