It's been an up and down season for the Virginia Cavaliers in their first year under coach Tony Bennett. Add another to the "down" column.
Bennett has suspended leading scorer Sylvan Landesberg for failing "to live up to his academic obligations," according to Virginia's sports information department. Bennett's quote on the matter just about says it all:
“Sylven has failed to live up to his academic obligations and will not play in games for the remainder of the season,” Bennett said. “This is a very difficult decision. Sylven is a fine young man who I deeply care about, but our players need to take personal responsibility for their academic obligations. There are standards and expectations that Sylven and every player in this program now and in the future must uphold. When they are not upheld, there are consequences."
The suspension comes on the tail end of Virginia's eight-game losing streak, a streak that erased any hope Virginia had of making the tournament with a surprisingly strong ACC start. Virginia has lost 10 of its last 12. Landesberg has been a major bright spot, though, scoring 17.3 points per game in his sophomore year.
In other words, Landesberg's suspension hurts Bennett's team in a bad way, but it's not as though the Cavaliers are still fighting for an NCAA berth, or that Landesberg's suspension will derail the team's tournament hopes. If there is any time to prove a point to your star player for the remainder of a season, now's that time.