So, after having a night to sleep on this and discuss this with my good friend who founded the Welsh-Ryan Rowdies and loves NU basketball, I had some differing thoughts. Since I, nor many others, have all the facts, this is clearly conjecture and opinion. I am not stating a legality or privacy case, but rather a fan of NU athletics stating my thoughts.
1. To me, the levels of 'wrongdoing' that JC could have done would a) be arrested/charged with a crime, b) be removed from the university, c) be removed from the team permanently (Honey Badger and countless other players), or d) suspended for 5, 10, 15 games (something we hear routinely). But, for JC to be suspended for one year, not kicked off the team, still be at Northwestern, and not be charged with a crime is a very odd punishment to me. It leads me to think that a) this was a wrongdoing that occurred many times (as Teddy G and Chris E have stated), b) was something that was not so egregious that it warranted a removal from Northwestern, and c) most likely, it was a middle ground reached by Jim Phillips (if involved), Bill Carmody, a person from NU administration, and JC himself. If that is the case, then great, it might actually be a compassionate side of Carmody not wanting him off the team permanently, but rather, him trying to help JC and let him be at the university and hopefully return to the team. If this is the case, then great.
2. What happened? To me, and once again, complete conjecture, is that it was a multiple set of marijuana violations by JC. I know many have speculated here, but this seems like a reasonable conclusion given the circumstances. If that is the case, then obviously, I commend Carmody for not dropping the hammer and giving JC a chance to be clean and come back next season.
3. Transferring. Teddy G suggested (whether right or wrong) that there were rumblings about JC transferring after his freshman year, and of course, I thought he was at the beginning of last season based upon his in-game play, his injuries, and yes, of course his body language on the sidelines. Granted, I was DEAD WRONG in my assertions, because at the end of the season, he was playing fantastic basketball and was ready to be a keg cog on this season's team and seemed very much a part of this team. With what has transpired now, I do think he will transfer just to get a clean slate at a school. While he would have to sit out a year, he would have two years left to help a team. He was a highly coveted recruit, and someone I think many BCS level coaches would be interested in.
4. Northwestern's image. So, many people on this message board and fans around NU have a very holier than thou attitude when it comes to its student athletes. While I certainly am proud of many NU athletes, I think it's a bit naive to think that NU players never do anything wrong. While I think we all agree, it's not to the degree of other BCS or B1G schools, NU does have transgressions that are publicly known. I follow eight people on twitter that retweeted or spoke about the news about JC's suspension and impact on NU, and while NU basketball is not a major program, it is still something that carried on the newswire many places.
5. Overall, I am very saddened and disappointed at JC and the situation. NU already has a very thin margin when it comes to basketball, and the loss of JC will be felt. Sure, does NU have decent guard depth, yes, but JC was a lock to be a starter and a key contributor for this team. I really felt that NU could lose 3 nonconf games and go 9-9 and be on the bubble, with the loss of JC, I'm not sure about that.