When push comes to shove, most Razorback coaches have put the studs back on the field or court for critical games. (Lou Holtz, Orange Bowl, one notable exception.)
Courtney Fortson will be back for SEC basketball play and, tonight, against Texas. The statement by Coach John Pelphrey would have done Sen. Foghorn Leghorn proud for bloviation:
"We are pleased that Courtney has done the things necessary for him to incorporate basketball fully back into his life," Pelphrey said. "In the past few months, Courtney has worked hard to address personal issues and meet objectives to facilitate his return to active competition. Our primary focus with Courtney, and all of our student-athletes, is to assist them in realizing their full potential as individuals. This includes developing them athletically, academically and socially. We will continue to provide all of our student-athletes the support and appropriate resources to assist them in that process. All of our student-athletes will continue to be expected to represent the University of Arkansas with integrity. As with all Razorback student-athletes, Courtney must continue to meet the expectations of our athletic department to remain a member of the Razorback program."
It's hard not to feel a little sorry for Fortson. Who knows what this is all about? Maybe less than it would appear. But how can we judge? We know that participation in a drunken group grope in which a woman alleged lack of consent -- for all Pelphrey's mush about "social development" -- didn't merit the sitdown for other basketball players that Fortson has received for whatever his shortcomings. Fort Smith sportswriter Scott Faldon said it well on Twitter:
Fortson goes from not even sitting on bench in street clothes to playing against Texas? Very odd days in Fayetteville. Very odd.