Scottie Wilbekin's suspension lasted all of a week, and it's over now: Florida coach Billy Donovan announced Wilbekin's reinstatement on Friday.
"He’ll be at practice today and he’ll play in the game this weekend -- but I’m definitely not starting him," Donovan told GatorZone.com. "Obviously, he made some bad decisions that he’s paid for, but as far as I’m concerned that’s all over and done with."
Wilbekin was suspended just before Florida's trip to play Georgetown on the USS Bataan last week, and missed that game, Florida's home opener against Alabama State, and the Gators' dominant win over Wisconsin on Wednesday. The reinstatement puts him in line to play on Sunday against Middle Tennessee State in Tampa.
It's unlikely that we'll ever learn what Wilbekin's violation of team rules was in plain English, but Donovan's use of "bad decisions" — plural, not singular — suggests a pattern and not an isolated incident. And Wilbekin's return before Florida has played its fourth game suggests this was not a suspension related to the university's drug testing policy, which docks players 10 percent of their team's games in a season for a second failed test; Florida plays 31 regular season games in 2012-13, meaning that three games would fall short of the 10 percent threshold.
Wilbekin will have to work his way back into both Donovan's good graces and the starting lineup, and it's anyone's guess which is easier. Kenny Boynton was admirable in his stint as Florida's starting point guard in the three games Wilbekin missed, and Florida didn't seem to miss Wilbekin all that much.