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I Can See (the Suspensions) Clearly Now

In fact, we all can, thanks to Coach Pelphrey, who today outlined exactly which Razorback basketball player will be suspended for how long. Well, sort of.

Both Courtney Fortson and Stefan Welsh have been suspended indefinitely. Welsh we knew about, but the news on Fortson is at least somewhat surprising. It was known that he would face some type of suspension after his infamous tweet, but Pelphrey's comments make it sound like additional factors are at work as well.

"[Fortson] has to come to me," Pelphrey said today, according to Robbie Neiswanger. "He has a couple of personal issues he wants to try to handle, and we're going to try to do that with him ... [It] says 'indefinite suspension.' This is not something we're going to resolve over a weekend or whatever."

Hmm ... I don't know what to make of Fortson. He started out last season very strongly, but I grew less impressed with him as the year wore on, not only because he's a bit of a ball hog (pun somewhat intended), but also because of the near-constant tongue lashings he gave his teammates. It's one thing to be a jerk to your teammates when you're Michael Jordan, it's another when you're an often out-of-control point guard with no jump shot.

The Hogs missed Fortson's offensive firepower when he was suspended last year against Kentucky, but I actually thought the team moved the ball much more effectively without him. That gives me some hope that the team can minimize the impact of his absence.

As for the rest of the suspensions, freshman forward Glenn Bryant will be out for two games, Marcus Britt for 6 games, and former Pink Floyd drummer walk-on guard Nick Mason for the rest of the semester. All three were named in the police report on what's become known as the "frat house incident." Britt also was arrested on DUI charges over the summer.

All suspensions begin with Friday's season-opener against Alcorn State. Toss in the fact that forward Michael Sanchez is probably out for a good while with plantar fasciitis, and the Hogs will open the regular season seriously depleted.

Call me crazy, but, despite all of this, I think the Hogs will be noticeably improved this year. Now, by "noticeably improved," I mean something like a 6-10 or 7-9 conference record and hopefully an NIT bid. Not exactly the stuff of ticker-tape parades, but progress.

What do you think?