Even though Derrick Randall didn’t contribute an overwhelming amount during the conference portion of the season, I did expect that Randall would be a nice cog for 2014-15. If, for no other reason, the lack of experienced depth in the frontcourt. Especially as far as true centers go. The Rutgers transfer had noticeably slimmed down and gotten into very good shape by the end of the year.
That was before he got arrested.
Derrick Randall, one of the former Rutgers basketball players suing the school and former coach Mike Rice, was arrested and charged after a motor vehicle stop early Tuesday morning at Rutgers with driving while intoxicated, use of a controlled dangerous substance and possession of a controlled dangerous substance, Rutgers University Police said.
According to university police, the incident happened at 2:45 a.m. on Avenue E on the Livingston campus — not far from the Louis Brown Athletic Center. Randall recently completed his junior season at the University of Pittsburgh, where he transferred following Rice’s firing after videos surfaced showing the coach mistreating players.
Randall didn’t waste any time after the semester at Pitt ended to go home and visit some old haunts. That didn’t work out so well. There is no information on what the “controlled dangerous substance” was. I assume marijuana, but then I always assume marijuana.
Randall has, of course, been immediately and indefinitely suspended from the Pitt basketball team.
“The incident involving Derrick Randall this morning is not only surprising but incredibly disappointing,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said in a statement released by the university. “Although I believe it was out of character for Derrick, he has been indefinitely suspended.”
As Pitt News writer, Dan Sostek, noted this is standard boilerplate language when a player gets in trouble. Really, there isn’t much that Coach Dixon can say beyond that when the initial news breaks. And an indefinite suspension is the standard response when still figuring out what to do.
That leads to the question of whether Coach Dixon uses this as a reason to jettison Randall. Pitt is already one over its scholarship limit, but is actively pursuing other players — such as USC graduate transfer Byron Wesley (who visits on May 16).
The speculation has been on Joseph Uchebo being declared medically unable to play; and/or Shaquille Doorson not getting academic eligibility. Those scenarios may still play out that way. Randall, however, may have added himself to the chopping block.
This is exactly the sort of incident that coaches have often taken advantage of to clear a scholarship. They get to give the appearance of caring about the integrity of the team and school, while opening up a scholarship.