Virginia Tech announced late Wednesday night freshman Jarell Eddie has been suspended for the remainder of the season. Without Eddie, who was charged Feb. 15 with possession of marijuana, the Hokies are down to seven scholarship players going into the postseason.
Tech plays in the first round of the ACC tournament at approximately 9 p.m. EST Thursday in Greensboro against Georgia Tech. Eddie played in the Hokies' first game following his arrest and scored a career-high 17 points in a win over Wake Forest. However, he only played 11 minutes in the next two games against Duke and BC and did not play in the Hokies' loss at Clemson to close the regular season.
The suspension comes at an inopportune time for the Hokies, who had already lost considerable man power during the season and are in desperate need of wins in the ACC tournament. Tech is considered one of the last four teams in the NCAA Tournament in most bracket projections.
I said when the incident first occurred that Eddie should be given the benefit of the doubt until all of the facts were in. Apparently head coach Seth Greenberg now has enough facts to determine that Eddie's punishment warrants a suspension for the postseason. I can't imagine this kind of official suspension would be handed down at this point in the season if there wasn't good reason.
In the school's official release, Greenberg praised Eddie's character but said he made a mistake in judgment. Unfortunately for the Hokies, that mistake may help cost them a shot at the big dance.
The timing of the release, 11:45 p.m. the day before the start of the tournament, Ensures there will be little news value to the suspension. It won't be in any newspapers Thursday morning and the big news for Friday will be whether or not the Hokies beat Georgia Tech.