Mississippi Valley State University suspended men's basketball head coach Chico Potts indefinitely on Friday, pending an investigation into his arrest earlier this month for domestic violence charges.
Assistant coach Marcus Thomas will serve as head coach while the university undertakes its investigation.
The Delta Devils are coming off of a 5-23 season, one season removed from their appearance in the First Four of the NCAA tournament, where they lost to Western Kentucky. After that NCAA appearance, head coach Sean Woods left to take the head coaching job at Morehead State, resulting in the promotion of Potts, who had been with MVSU for four years as an assistant coach.
Potts will be suspended with pay while the school looks into his arrest and domestic violence charges. The move is wise for the school: It allows it to get all the facts before making a final decision, and it allows the team to have some measure of stability in the meantime with Thomas taking over head coaching duties for the duration of the investigation.
Given the circumstances, MVSU did what was best for the basketball team and for the school overall.
While the uncertainty will be another obstacle to overcome for a team looking to bounce back from a tough season, all is not lost for the Delta Devils. Potts had signed two players from top high school programs in neighboring Alabama earlier this year, James Currington and Artis Cleveland. They will look to contribute immediately, and their arrivals will provide some much needed good news.
The MVSU Delta Devils may be down, but as their scrappy performance en route to the 2012 NCAA tournament showed, they can never be counted out.