E.A. Sports Today

Cardinals’ Heath disciplined

[corner-ad id=2]All-State guard suspended for violation of team rules, coach confident he’ll ‘come around’

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

The message flashed across the Twitter universe early Tuesday morning sending a shudder across the state basketball world.

The message, from Sacred Heart Hoops, disclosed star guard D.J. Heath had been suspended indefinitely from the Cardinals’ state champion basketball team for violating team rules.

Cardinals coach Ralph Graves confirmed the report.

Consider it a wake-up call and a message that no player is immune to discipline. The junior with multiple Division I offers is expected to be back with the team when the heavy basketball work resumes, but for now, Graves said, “basketball is not his focus.”

The suspension remains in effect, Graves said, “until (Heath) becomes the leader” he is expected to be for the Cardinals.

“He’s with us, he’s not dead, he’s got his academics, he’s still in school,” Graves said. “He’s just not to the standards for him. He can’t be a follower on our team.”

Graves didn’t say if any specific incident set the action in motion. He expects the player will “come around” by the time practice starts.

Graves said Heath, a finalist for Class 1A Player of the Year and MVP of last season’s Calhoun County and Northeast Regional tournaments, had a solid summer and is visiting UAB this weekend.

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