Ole Miss streak-shooter Marshall Henderson has become quite the divisive figure in the SEC since arriving in Oxford as a juco transfer. For those who love “swag” and boasting and trash talk and ugly gestures shot into the stands, Henderson’s great for college basketball. For those who believe players should show some class, Henderson represents all that’s wrong with sports.
But as his fame (infamy) has grown as he’s moved from Utah to Texas Tech to a junior college to Mississippi, so has the number of people digging into his sketchy background. USA Today is the latest to target Henderson and they’ve uncovered some new details:
“… there is more to his behavior off the court than has been publicly revealed. Although it has been reported that he spent 25 days in jail last spring for violation of the terms of his probation stemming from a 2010 forgery charge related to counterfeit money, court documents obtained this week by USA TODAY Sports detail why that probation was revoked. In January of last year, he tested positive for cocaine, marijuana and alcohol, according to the records provided by the Tarrant County, Texas, District Attorney’s office through a Freedom of Information request.
Those tests follow incidents in 2011 when he failed to meet other terms of the probation, such as community service.”
Henderson’s father says this all just stems from his son’s initial incident way back in 2009 (when the younger Henderson and a buddy used $800 of counterfeit cash to buy 57 grams of marijuana).
Ole Miss put out a statement saying school officials were aware of the player’s issues when he signed and that “those misdemeanor charges have been addressed through the legal process.”
And Andy Kennedy — the coach Henderson argued with on national television during Tuesday’s game against Kentucky — has his player’s back, too. He says Henderson “is passionate, and I think that’s a good thing.”
Sure it is. What school wouldn’t want to be represented by a smirking, taunting, showboat who’s been busted for forgery and spent time in jail less than a year ago for violating his probation with cocaine, marijuana, and alcohol?
The reality is this: If Henderson couldn’t shoot the lights out of a gym, he would not be at the University of Mississippi. But he can. And for that reason, there’s probably not a coach or fanbase in the SEC that wouldn’t accept and embrace Henderson if he were to suit up for their team.
Whether they should overlook all the classless nonsense and bad press in exchange for some 20-point games is another question entirely.