Fordham University's Jon Severe has been suspended for one week due to a violation of team rules, the school announced on Saturday.
Severe will miss Friday's opener against the New York Institute of Technology and will rejoin the team next Saturday.
The sophomore guard averaged 17.3 points per game as a freshman. Last month, he was named third team All-Conference by Atlantic 10 coaches and media.
His absence means increased roles for senior Bryan Smith and junior Mandell Thomas—two players who were already expected to make significant contributions this year.
"It was great competition for those minutes prior to Jon being suspended," Fordham head coach Tom Pecora told Bleacher Report earlier today. "He might have been coming off the bench anyway."
There are a few ways to look at today's news. First, Fordham should be all right on Friday night. NYIT is a Division II school that the Rams should beat. Also, Pecora talked about competition. Guys like Smith and Thomas have been preparing for the season as if they would start—or at least play significant minutes. That would happen with or without Severe in the lineup.
It's the long-term ramifications that are unclear. How will Severe respond to the suspension? Will he learn from it? When he returns, how will he be received by his teammates?
That's for another day, however. After all, the Rams are less than a week away from a new season—one that, despite today's news, is filled with hope.
Fordham began preparing for the 2014-15 season right after it lost to the University of Dayton in the Atlantic 10 tournament in March. Offseason workouts, a trip to Canada, official practices and scrimmages filled the Rams' calendar over the past eight months.
"Like most coaches, we always want a little more time," Pecora said. "We've had a couple guys in and out with injuries. Getting [everyone] on the floor at the same time has been a challenge.
"We had a good week of practice leading up to today's scrimmage, and, hopefully, we'll have another week to get ourselves healthy and continue to get better."
On Friday night, it starts for real. After NYIT, the Rams will travel to Penn State University and the University of Maryland for back-to-back games on the road against Big Ten opponents. It will be a challenge, but Pecora said he wants his players to focus on "one thing at a time." That means getting ready for the season opener.
"It's about winning on Friday night," Pecora said. "With any team, especially with young teams, you really have to keep them locked in on short-term goals."
Quotations in this article were obtained firsthand.