Ga. Southern's Ferguson indefinitely suspended following drug arrest

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

This is the month that worries college coaches most.

July brings stress not only because of the live recruiting period -- and all the pressure that comes with evaluating and trying to land the best recruits possible -- but also because that means most of the coaching staff winds up away from their players while on the road and recruiting those players' eventual replacements.

Sometimes, the players back on campus can get into trouble.

Georgia Southern faces that dilemma now. The Savannah Morning News, of Georgia, reports Georgia Southern senior star forward Eric Ferguson has been indefinitely suspended. This per the word of GSU athletic director Tom Kleinlein, who confirmed the suspension to the newspaper.

A meeting on Monday with Ferguson, his family and an attorney representing the player preceded Kleinlein's decision. The case around Ferguson, who was recently arrested, is not good. Not good in any light.

[Ferguson] was arrested along with his roommate and former teammate Brian Holmes for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of schedule II and schedule III drugs (prescription pills), possession of a firearm and possession/use of a drug-related object. The Bulloch County Sheriff's Department released the arrest on its website a week ago. Kleinlein was out of town on vacation and wanted to wait and meet with Ferguson before making a public statement.

"Right now, (Ferguson) is not part of the team,” Kleinlein said. “For me, it comes down to letting the legal process take (care) of itself and then I can make a better decision but for now, I can't have him part of our program. That's what happens when you make poor decisions.”

Now, Ferguson did not play at all last season due to an injured back. He's been rehabbing and is on pace to be fully ready to play come November. But with these charges and a looming big case, it's a wonder if Ferguson will ever play college hoops again.

Georgia Southern left the SoCon for the Sun Belt and was set up for a solid season thanks to incoming transfer Trent Wiedeman (College of Charleston) and senior point guard Jelani Hewitt, who put up 19.4 points per game in 2013-14.

Ferguson averaged 15.4 points in 2012-13 and made Southern Conference First Team. Now Georgia Southern will wait and see how Ferguson's case plays out. The timeline on that remains uncertain.

(H/T, CBT)

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