Police found drugs with Henderson

Updated: July 12, 2013, 9:21 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

JACKSON, Miss. -- Mississippi guard Marshall Henderson appeared to be in possession of a small amount of marijuana and cocaine during a traffic stop in May, the Oxford police chief said Thursday.

The Rebels indefinitely suspended Henderson on Wednesday for a violation of team rules. Sources told ESPN's Jeff Goodman the suspension was the result of multiple failed drug tests.

According to police reports cited by The Wall Street Journal, police pulled over Henderson on May 4 and smelled marijuana in his car. Henderson gave the officer a bag with a small amount of marijuana, and a police dog then found "a small amount of what appeared to be cocaine."

Henderson was cited only for lacking proof of insurance, and a police report said, "The district attorney wouldn't prosecute if the bag contained less than one-tenth of a gram of cocaine," according to the Journal.

Oxford police chief Joey East confirmed the incident Thursday, saying officers told him Henderson was "very cooperative" during the stop and "it's not uncommon" for police to find small amounts of a suspected controlled substance but file no charges because of a cooperative suspect.

Henderson's suspension has been "brewing for a few weeks," a source with direct knowledge of the situation told ESPN on Wednesday. The source also said Henderson can return to the team in good standing "if" he meets certain conditions.

"Since the season ended, we have talked a lot about Marshall taking a greater leadership role with our team. With that comes greater responsibility, and he must do a better job of living up to the high standard we expect from him and he desires from himself," coach Andy Kennedy said in a statement.

Henderson led the Southeastern Conference in scoring and helped Ole Miss win the SEC tournament and an NCAA tournament berth for the first time since 2002. But the flamboyant guard also was known for his abrasive personality and quickly became the player opposing teams loved to jeer.

Most of Henderson's transgressions were fairly harmless, such as popping his jersey at the Auburn crowd after hitting a game-clinching shot, but he rarely missed an opportunity to needle opposing fans.

It's been an eventful offseason for Henderson, but for all the wrong reasons.

He wrote a message in April for the university's website, thanking Ole Miss fans for their support and vaguely apologizing to "anyone I offended." He said he would try to become a better leader in the future.

He was also reprimanded by the NCAA in June for making an "inappropriate gesture" after the Rebels' loss to LaSalle in the third round of the NCAA tournament.

Henderson came to Ole Miss with a history of discipline problems. He was arrested in both 2009 and 2011 and served time in jail after the second arrest because he violated his probation. Ole Miss has said the coaches were aware of Henderson's past when he signed with the program.

Information from ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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