By MATTHEW STEVENS
Mississippi State senior guard Ravern Johnson has been suspended from the basketball program indefinitely for multiple off-the-court violations.
Bulldogs head coach Rick Stansbury made the announcement Monday during his weekly session with the local media after meeting face-to-face with Johnson, who will be allowed to practice with the team, that afternoon for the first time since MSU's 75-61 loss at Alabama last Wednesday. The suspension will at least include Wednesday night’s home game against Arkansas (7 p.m., SEC Network), if not more games in the future.
"Let me make it very clear now - he's indefinitely suspended, from basketball and academics he's suspended from both ways now," Stansbury said. "No one else will tell me when he is off suspension. Ravern will help make that decision. I will make it."
After that loss in Tuscaloosa, Johnson was suspended for Mississippi State's Saturday game victory at LSU for what the university called "inappropriate tweets" from his Twitter account.
“Starting to see why people Transfer you can play the minutes but not getting your talents shown because u watching someone else wit the ball the whole game shooters need to move not watch why other coaches get that do not make sense to me,” Johnson tweeted last week.
Attempts Monday to contact Johnson by the Starkville Daily News were unsuccessful.
The Mississippi State men’s basketball program banned the use of Twitter for its student-athletes for the rest of the 2010-11 season Thursday afternoon as a result of Johnson's actions.
"We talked about it and I'll say that he was upset and I was upset about the situation," Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin said. "What disappointed both of us was the players not using that form of communication responsibly. We both agreed that if they weren't going to be responsible with it, we needed to take it away from them."
Stansbury said Monday Johnson is now being suspended for his latest behavior along with his second violation of the team's class attendance policy.
"There's an accountability when you don't do things right," Stansbury said. "That's what our program has won games on and won championships on - doing right. For whatever reason this year we've had a few bad decisions but when you make those bad decisions then there's accountability for those decisions."
Johnson, who is averaging a team-leading 17.7 points per game, missed practice Thursday and Friday of last week along with not traveling with the MSU squad to Baton Rouge for the Saturday contest.
"After Thursday and Friday, he just disappeared," Stansbury said. "He went into whatever you want to call it for three, four days and didn't talk to nobody."
Mississippi State (12-10, 4-4 in SEC) is likely to have the same lineup (its seventh of the 2010-11 season) that they had at LSU Saturday with freshman guard Jalen Steele in the starting lineup Wednesday for is home contest against Arkansas.
Johnson has been suspended previously twice in his college career.
The 6-foot-7 guard was suspended this past December for what university officials called a violation of the school's class attendance policy and MSU was forced to play without him last season against Kentucky in the Humphrey Coliseum for what State officials were calling a violation of conduct detrimental to the team.
“He seems to be very remorseful for things but hey, again there’s accountability if you don’t do things right,” Stansbury said. “Actions speak louder than words.”