We are going to keep this short for three reasons:
(1) I just found Pandora.com and am officially addicted
(2) I have to get mentally prepared for the Alan Cutler Live Blog at noon
(3) We have been chasing this story all night.
Those three things make this post short and to the point. If you werent online on Thursday night, then you missed the news that AJ Stewart’s status with the basketball team is officially in flux. Here is what we know. After the game in Columbia, there was some issue involving AJ in the postgame locker room. Now I have heard a variety of stories that are all over the map and no consensus has emerged. But what is clear is that some incident took place involving the player. Today AJ was not part of UK’s practice and his locker was cleaned out, with his name plate taken off of the locker. I was told by a source that AJ had been kicked off of the team and that he would no longer be part of the team for the rest of the year. There were other reports that he quit the team and then was not allowed back on the team when he asked later, but I have not heard anything confirming that story. Late Thursday evening I spoke with AJ’s mother who said her son had not quit but she didnt know if he was still on the team. UK had not comment late this evening.
All of this suggests to me that AJ was likely removed from the team for some amount of time, but it is not clear to me that it will be permanent. AJ has been “kicked off” one other time this season and it was my understanding then that his locker was cleaned out at that point as well. So it may very well be the case that today, AJ will be back on the team and the reports that he was kicked off will be said to have been untrue. Dont believe it. There is no doubt in my mind that AJ was not at practice today and that he was released from the team. But with this regime, such events can change, so whether his dismissal will remain permanent will likely be made clear later today.
All in all, another bizarre day in the UK basketball soap opera….you just never know in the Big Blue Nation. Alan Cutler at noon, and I will begin live blogging at 11 am. Come join us….