Report: Racial tension, Isaiah Whitehead’s ‘posse’ caused rift at Seton Hall

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Seton Hall’s promising season has gone completely off the rails over the course of the last month.

The Pirates have lost four in a row, seven of their last nine and eight of their last 11 after beginning Big East play with wins over Villanova and St. John’s that moved them to 12-2 on the season and buoyed them into the top 25.

Now?

Seton Hall is 15-10 overall, 5-8 in the Big East and a complete afterthought when it comes to qualifying for the NCAA tournament, and that’s only the beginning of it. Jaren Sina, a starting guard that was averaging 7.0 points and reportedly the best friend on the team of star Sterling Gibbs, abruptly left the program amid reports of infighting in the locker room.

There was a rift, it seems, between the freshmen class and the veterans on the roster. On Monday, an AP reporter who covers the team took a deeper look into the divide on the roster:

Sina packed his bags and left the team for good after he took the last two shots in a frustrating loss at home to Marquette. Sina felt like he was an outsider, getting called names because others felt he was getting favoritism from Willard, mentioning the color of Sina’s skin as the reason.

There’s the major problem caused by the superstar attitude of Whitehead, who had 20 points Saturday in the loss to Providence, but has been less than All-American all season, averaging just 12 points per game and shooting just 36 percent from the floor.

Whitehead came to South Orange complete with his own personal posse, both on the court and off. He arrives everywhere with teammates Carrington and Rodriguez, but also with five or so others who are not players nor family members. It’s not known whether or not they are even Seton Hall students, yet they are constantly in Whitehead’s company.

The Whitehead faction has caused a tremendous rift within the core of the Pirates, one that now cannot be repaired, certainly not this season, if not ever.

Jaren’s father, Mergin, told the Asbury Park-Press that there was no racial tension within the program.