In the aftermath of Ole Miss’ decision to suspend guard Marshall Henderson indefinitely, some wondered what triggered the school’s move. Multiple outlets reported that failed drug tests led to the disciplinary measure, with Ole Miss even reaching out to Chris Herren in an attempt to help Henderson.
The conversation between the two finally occurred on Thursday, and if anything it’s clear that Henderson’s trek to recovery won’t necessarily be a speedy one.
On Thursday it was reported by the Wall Street Journal that during a traffic stop on May 4, Oxford, Miss. police found small amounts of both marijuana and cocaine in Henderson’s car. Henderson was pulled over on “suspicion of speeding” according to the police report.
Henderson was pulled over May 4 on suspicion of speeding, and Oxford Police officer Shane Fortner smelled marijuana in Henderson’s vehicle, according to the police report. Henderson gave Fortner a bag containing “a small nugget of marijuana,” according to Fortner’s report, and a search by a police dog turned up a clear plastic bag that contained “a small amount of what appeared to be cocaine,” a report from another officer, Mark Hodges, said.
Hodges’s report notes that the district attorney wouldn’t prosecute if the bag contained less than one-tenth of a gram of cocaine.
While he was cited for no proof of liability insurance, no other charges were filed against Henderson. Unfortunately for Henderson this was not his only run-in with law enforcement during the spring, as he was stopped on two separate occasions for playing loud music in his car.
Young drivers playing loud music is something that happens quite often these days, but Henderson nearly landed in jail due to his move to turn the music back up following one of the stops.
However, after he was given his citations, [Oxford (Miss.) police officer Jacob] Abel said in his report that he had to threaten Henderson that he”d “take him to jail.”
“After this Mr. Henderson began to drive off. He turned his music back up to the same level when I stopped him. I yelled for him to stop and after he did, I approached him and explained to him that if he turned his music back up I was going to stop him and take him to jail. He complied, turned his music down and then drove off again,” Abel wrote.
In regards to the drugs, Henderson’s past issues with substance abuse have been well-publicized by this point. But to make this a conversation about the likelihood of Henderson suiting up for Ole Miss next season ignores the most important aspect of this saga.
How much help does Henderson need? That’s a tough question to answer for an outsider, but the fact that the staff would reach out to Herren exhibits a certain level of concern they have for Henderson’s well-being. There will be a time to discuss Henderson’s impact on the basketball court, but this isn’t it.
Because while basketball is a “game,” dealing with substance abuse certainly isn’t.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.