You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.
Advertisement

Distractions? What distractions?

It got to the point where Ryne Smith and his teammates were making up their own stories.

"I got hit in the head with a ball rack and I threw it at Rob's knee and it ricocheted off Rob's knee and hit somebody else," Smith said, telling a tale of how he received a mild concussion on Sunday.

The internet, fueled by fans on Twitter, had crazy rumors much of the week after Purdue coach Matt Painter suspended sophomore Kelsey Barlow for the season, Smith got a concussion and John Hart apparently re-injured his right foot.

But when some players had a chance to speak to reporters on Thursday, they dispeled those crazy stories. (We won't repeat them here because we report facts.)

Hart's foot has been sore but he's cleared to play.

Smith's concussion was hardly an issue -- he called it "extremely mild."

The real story behind Barlow's suspension -- the team only called it "conduct detrimental to the team" -- is still a mystery. Barlow didn't make the trip to Chicago, and Painter wouldn't be specific as to why Barlow was suspended.

"There's two things you talk about or you look at: Let's do what's best for the team and let's do what's best for the individual," Painter said. "I try my best to be fair with guys and help them through things, but when you get a pattern of behavior, you go back to doing what's best for your team. That's the decision that I made, and I felt it was best for our team and best for our seniors as we move forward."

Players' reactions to all the rumors varied.

E'Twaun Moore said he hasn't followed it much because he doesn't get on the computer very often.

Smith, who was the subject of most of them, just said it's a case of Purdue having passionate fans who want to discuss the team constantly.

Lewis Jackson said the team has laughed about the different stories but then said, "Who has time to think of all that?"

Hart, whose foot injury was made to sound more serious than it is, said the team tries to stay out of all the talk.

"We're just worrying about the task at hand, Saint Peter's and what we have to do to keep going further in the tournament," he said.

Advertisement