Kabongo returns after suspension for benefits
by Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports
Texas’ season has been far from what it was forecasted at the beginning of the season. The Longhorns (10-13) are 2-8 in the Big 12 with their only two wins coming against last-place teams TCU and Texas Tech.
The team’s season was derailed when one of its key catalysts, guard Myck Kabongo, had his suspension expanded to 23 games. Kabongo, who opted not to declare for the NBA draft last summer, was suspended for accepting airfare and personal training instruction and then providing false and misleading information about the infractions during two interviews with university officials.
On Monday, Kabongo released a statement expressing his excitement to return to the court now that his suspension has been served. He also said he should have cooperated with school officials when first asked about a 2012 trip to Cleveland.
“I am ready to start playing with my team again and putting behind me the last several months,” he said. “When I went to Cleveland, I did not intend to break any rules and did not believe I had broken any. I should have been upfront with UT about everything the first time I had a chance, but I’m glad that I corrected my mistake and I’m glad that I was truthful with the NCAA.”
Coach Rick Barnes, who’s experienced the worst season in his tenure with the Longhorns so far, plans to start Kabongo on Wednesday when Texas hosts Iowa State.
Kabongo started 34 games last season, averaging 9.6 points and 5.2 assists last season.
“I have learned a lot about myself and what is important to me through this process,” Kabongo said. “I have a great team, and they have supported me all year.”