University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino indicated Thursday night that star junior forward Chane Behanan could return from his suspension much earlier than originally planned.
At a book signing event on Kentucky Wesleyan College's campus, Pitino said Behanan, who was suspended last week indefinitely for undisclosed reasons, will in fact return to the Cardinals basketball team.
"The reason he's suspended and not off the team: He told the truth,” Pitino said. “I said OK. There's going to be a penalty and a price to pay, but he told the truth. We'll get through this. Just do the right things and he'll be back on the team in a short period of time."
He didn't indicate when exactly Behanan might return.
Last week Pitino indicated that Behanan, who averaged 9.8 points and 6.5 rebounds last season, would be suspended for "a long time."
It appears Behanan has done what Pitino has asked of him lately, however, and that punishment has become less severe.
"Short is relative, now," Pitino said. "I don't say in the next couple of weeks. He's doing the right things right now. I was skeptical about a week ago, but so far this week he's put in everything we've asked him to do. It's not easy for him.
"It won't be any time in the next couple of weeks, but I expect him back."
Louisville Sports Information Director Kenny Klein told the Louisville Courier-Journal he hasn't been made aware of any specific time that Behanan might return.
"I wasn't there and don't know what he said," Klein said. "There's been no indication of a specific timetable. It's an indefinite suspension."
Pitino went on to say that Behanan "has to take the right steps to make himself a better person."
"Chane Behanan the basketball player is really good," Pitino said. "The person between the lines is also a good person. He's just got to do the right things away from the lines.
"He's doing that right now, so we expect him to come full circle, become a better man. The basketball player and the man we care for is top shelf."