Chane Behanan, the Louisville forward who was dismissed from the team this week, said he plans to head to Houston to work with former NBA player and coach John Lucas, who counsels athletes who have substance dependency.
“I’m hoping to go down there, take care of myself and then hopefully get another opportunity–wherever it may be,” Behanan told ESPN. “I haven’t decided what I’m going to do yet. First, I’m going to go get help.”
Lucas runs a drug and alcohol treatment program for athletes and coaches. He most recently worked with NFL player Tryann Mathieu of LSU, former Kentucky and Texas Tech coach Billy Gillispie, Colorado State coach Larry Eustachy, ex-Rutgers coach Mike Rice, among others, for multiple issues.
Behanan did not reveal what problem he needs to address.
The 6-foot-6 Behanan averaged 7.6 points and 6.3 rebounds in 12 games this season. Louisville coach Rick Pitino suspended him on Oct. 17 and reinstated the junior power forward after the season opener. He was kicked off the team permanently on Monday.
“I’m sorry that I let my teammates down, my family down and the coaching staff down,” Behanan said. “I know the fans believed in me and stuck by me, and I apologize to them as well.”
“Now I’m going to work on myself and being a better person,” he added. “I’m still young and still learning. I’m hoping I can learn and get where I want to go in life.”
He was a key component to Louisville’s success over the past two seasons. The Cardinals went to the Final Four during his freshman season and won the national championship last year. Behanan had 15 points and 12 rebounds in the victory over Michigan in the title game.
“We lost a really terrific young man in many respects,” Pitino said Monday. “Between the lines, he gave great effort and was a great teammate, a wonderful young guy to be around. Away from the lines, he did not do the right things over and over and over.”
“He’s such a good guy and seems like he would do anything for his teammates,” said one source close to the program. “Nothing he does is malicious. He just needs to mature.”
Behahan told ESPN.com that he hasn’t decided whether to transfer to another school for one final season (he’d be eligible for the second semester) or whether to turn pro.
Behanan said he was not aware of the number of schools that have expressed interest, but sources told ESPN.com that the number is in double-digits. He also received a release from Louisville in which he will not be prohibited from going to an ACC school — but would not be able to play at an American Athletic Conference school due to an intra-conference transfer policy.