MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 24: Coach Al Golden of the Miami Hurricanes directs play against the Kansas State University Wildcats September 24, 2011 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
No news is good news. Or is it? In the case of Ray Ray Armstrong and Seantrel Henderson— who reportedly have been suspended indefinitely, though that has yet to be confirmed— time will tell. But for the meantime, both Armstrong and Henderson insist that they are not suspended. That is according to the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson, who posted the following this morning:
In the wake of an InsideTheU.com report that senior Ray-Ray Armstrong has been suspended indefinitely for discussing interaction with a booster on Twitter, his father Albert said he was told his son "is definitely" going to be on the team this season. "And he's not turning pro." Besides, the deadline for next week's NFL supplemental draft has passed. Albert Armstrong said his son has not mentioned the suspension to him, and UM isn't confirming or denying the report, with staff on strict orders not to discuss it.
Seantrel Henderson also disputed Internet speculation, insisting he's not suspended and not in trouble. Henderson reportedly arrived one day late to the start of the second summer session, which isn't exactly egregious.
(via Sports Buzz)
Let's try and parse all this out after the jump.
As it pertains to Ray Ray, it would seem like he's dealing with some sort of internal, but likely minor, suspension. His father going on record as saying he was told— presumably by someone on the football staff— that Ray Ray would remain on the team is a pretty strong quote. That said, a basic reading of the tea leaves would seem to indicate that something is going on, as it's unlikely that Al Golden would put his staff on "strict orders" not to discuss a suspension that didn't exist.
As for Seantrel, well, who knows. Seantrel denying that Seantrel is suspended certainly doesn't mean that Seantrel isn't suspended. But, my guess would be that he (and likely Armstrong as well) are being punished in some way, shape or form that isn't actually a "suspension" in the strictest terms.
All told, it's hard for me to believe that either "suspension" is serious, assuming both players stay on the straight and narrow going forward. The actual acts are pretty mild, assuming Armstrong's interaction with a booster was merely just an informal conversation. The truth of the matter is that there is little incentive for Golden to punish either player to the point where they miss games. Any scenario that has Miami making a bowl next season would almost certainly have to include solid— if not breakout— seasons from both Armstrong and Henderson, and winning ball games would be better for the program in the grand scheme of things than Golden proving that he can be a ticky-tacky disciplinarian.
Ray Ray and Seantrel may have earlier curfews or they may be running wind sprints or they may be fetching breakfast for the coaches in the morning, but I doubt they have been kicked off the team, and I doubt they will be. And I also doubt that Al Golden wants to kick-off another season at Miami with two of his best (or potentially two of his best) players not on the field.
I may be wrong, and time will obviously tell. But until more information comes out, that's my read on things. This Miami program can't afford to throw talent overboard, and I imagine Golden is aware of that.