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Devoe Joseph Suspended Indefinitely

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And this isn't the news we wanted to read on the first day of the Gophers' men's basketball season

Devoe Joseph has been suspended indefinitely because of off-court issues, Smith said Thursday. The standout junior, who led the Gophers to the Big Ten tournament title game in March, will not travel to Puerto Rico, where the team will participate in next week's Puerto Rico Tipoff, featuring North Carolina and West Virginia.

"He had some off-the-court issues and some other things we had to deal with," Smith said. "And he's working his way through it. Hopefully he'll do all the things required of him to get back in good grace. He'll be practicing, but he won't be traveling. I don't want to get into all the particulars, but there are some things he's got to address. He's committing to doing it. We're certainly going to miss him, especially for the foreseeable future. And hopefully he gets what he has to get done so he can get back on the board at some point in time during season. And at this stage, I'm not sure when that will be."

Smith would not say how many games he expects Joseph to miss but called the suspension "long term." But even if he returns after the Puerto Rico trip, he'll miss at least five regular-season games.

This is a tremendous blow for the Gophers, who many of us had hoped would have a drama-free 2010-11 campaign, after off-the-court issues for Royce White, Trevor Mbakwe and Al Nolen overshadowed the team for much of last year. For an unspecified period of time, the Gophers have lost arguably their best player.

The Gophers will face Wofford, sans Joseph tonight at Williams Arena.

One last comment, and I'm sure some will disagree, but it would be nice if Tubby Smith shed more light on these situations then he does. The reasons why will be speculated on for the weeks ahead and things will be said about Devoe that are probably not true. Everyone might stand to benefit from a little more transparency here.