The NCAA was busy on Wednesday, as the governing body handed down sanctions to the University of Oregon football program and reprimanded Kansas head coach Bill Self for his behavior during an NCAA tournament game.
Also of note was the NCAA issuing a public reprimand of Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson regarding his actions following the Rebels’ NCAA tournament loss to La Salle. Henderson, in response to some verbal shots from fans, gave the “one-fingered salute” while leaving the Sprint Center floor.
“A point of emphasis with the committee over the last several years continues to be ensuring that championship participants act in a manner that represents the highest standards of sportsmanship,” said Ron Wellman, chair of the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, in the release.
“Mr. Henderson’s actions failed in this regard.”
In announcing his decision to return to Oxford for his senior season, Henderson did point out his need to take steps in the right direction from a maturity standpoint. As entertaining as some of his antics were last season, the fact of the matter is that if he’s going to be a professional down the line (be it the NBA or overseas) that kind of behavior is more likely to cost him money than land him lucrative endorsements.
In a story done by Hugh Kellenberger of the Clarion-Ledger, it was noted that Henderson is starting to take those steps this offseason and teammates say that they notice a difference in the shooting guard.
“He’s been working pretty hard this summer. He’s working harder than he did last summer, I can tell you that,” forward Demarco Cox said in the story. “Last summer he was kinda so-so, but this summer he’s been out there putting in work with the coaches. I think he’ll be a pretty good player this year.”
With Henderson being the lone senior on the Ole Miss roster for the 2013-14 campaign, it’s even more important that he display the ability to take the reins from a leadership standpoint.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.