Last night, while the story that LaMarcus Coker had been indefinitely suspended was breaking, we wrote:
Well, forget all of that. This afternoon, Fulmer indefinitely suspended Coker. Nobody seems to know the specifics at this point. Fulmer mentioned "a medical condition," but that's not generally a reason to suspend somebody, is it?
Wait a minute. Maybe it's Tourette's, and Coker unleashed an unholy cacophony of curses in coach Fulmer's general direction. Or perhaps Coker suffers from some malady similar to the afflication of the infamous Jumping Frenchmen of Maine, and he responded to Fulmer's directive to "hit somebody" by flinging his helmet at some unsuspecting freshman defensive back.
Seriously, though, what medical condition warrants a suspension? Something's not right here.
Update [2007-8-7 21:45:49 by CornFromAJar]: Chris Low at volquest.com is reporting that Coker's suspension is related to a drug policy violation. Sigh. As for the medical condition, I'm no doctor, but is sounds like a severe case of moron-itis.
"He has been working diligently to work with a medical situation, and we've worked with him through it, but that doesn't excuse where we are at this point and what brought us to this point," Fulmer said after reading a prepared statement. "I can't really tell you what it is."
When asked if he could elaborate on Coker's medical condition, Fulmer said: "It goes back a ways. It's just part of the whole scenario. Because of the laws -- and his privacy -- I can't really comment on it. There's more to it."
So HIPAA strikes again. As Corn from a Jar pointed out in the update to yesterday's post on this (BTW: hat tip to Aerobab for posting this here first), the suspension is for a violation of Tennessee's substance abuse policy. VolQuest's Chris Low cites a source close to the situation in reporting that Coker has now had multiple offenses, the latest one for marijuana. It can't have been his fourth positive test for pot because that would have resulted in a permanent vacation for Coker under UT's new substance abuse policy.
Arian Foster was the starter even before Coker's suspension, so this doesn't affect the starting lineup, but, as John Adams says, it's going to hurt. If Coker's unable to play, we're certainly going to miss his speed and game-breaking ability from the backfield and on kick returns. Remember, Coker was featured on four of the best 16 plays of last season.
With Montario Hardesty sidelined with a "minor" hamstring injury, Tennessee is getting some of the new guys some reps. Coker can return to the team after "fulfilling obligations to the program and to [coach Fulmer,]" which Fulmer says could be "a week or two weeks or a month."
Fulmer's quoted as saying that suspending Coker was especially difficult in light of the fact that he's not one of those guys who just doesn't want to be around. But, does he want to be around more than he wants to keep doing whatever's getting him in trouble?
LaMarcus, you may be fast, but you can't outrun a bus, and it's about to leave without you. Leave your dime bag behind and get on board. Now. There's a pot of gold waiting for you at the next exit.
Update [2007-8-8 6:49:20 by Joel]: There's a poll attached to this post asking how you would handle the situation. You should be able to vote by clicking on the "Entry Link" immediately below.