by Tyler Roaix
After over three weeks away, the Central Connecticut men’s basketball has their head coach back.
Donyell Marshall, along with assistant coach Anthony Anderson, missed seven games due to a suspension for what CCSU officials described as a “confidential personal matter.”
The school made the announcement last week that “the personnel situation that led to Coach Marshall’s seven-game absence has been resolved.”
The status of Anderson has yet to be announced.
Marshall shared being away from the team has caused a strain on his life.
“It was stressful. I lost weight those first few days, not having the hunger. And watching the games on the computer, not being able to be there. It took a toll.”
A previous report from the Hartford Courant said that the situation stemmed from a verbal altercation between the two at a practice prior to the exhibition game against Nyack. But the University has kept details on the investigation internal.
Marshall would not get into specifics when asked of the dispute with Anderson, but did take accountability for the situation escalating.
“It was a situation where, you have two very passionate coaches, and things happen. You have that in life. You have that in friendship. You have that in family. I think it was uncharacteristic for the both of us. It was a mistake.”
Marshall first chance to address the team came at a 6 a.m. practice Monday morning. The second-year head coach shared that it felt like Christmas again for him.
“I told the team I missed them and I loved them. It’s funny because the team can stress you out but it’s times like this where you show them you miss them.”
While Marshall’s focus going forward is on basketball, he admitted that he wants to use this situation as a positive experience, so he could use what he has learned and teach the student-athletes.
“Being a person has been a pretty good citizen his whole life. To put myself in the situation that I did was very uncharacteristic. It was a learning experience and it’s something I can pass along to the kids so they can learn from it.”
With Marshall’s absence, assistant coaches Mike Witcoskie and Anthony Ross have taken the helm. Marshall admitted that he will have to lean on them in the early stages of his return.
“I don’t want to come back and mess this streak up. So I told Coach Wit [Witcoskie] I’m going to need his opinion on a lot of things. You want to stick to what’s working and he has been the one with these guys through this streak.”
On the court, Marshall was ecstatic with his team’s ability to handle late-game situations. He thinks the team as a whole, himself included, grew from last year, Marshall’s first year at CCSU.
“I think the kids have handled it great. We lost three in a row, and then won three in a row. They’re really playing good basketball right now so I’m excited.”
While the team has yet to get into NEC play, they sit tied for second in the conference with a 3-3 overall record.
Marshall’s first game back will be at home Thursday, Nov. 30 against North Carolina A&T.