Sullivan Status "Not Determined," Heath Says

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas junior forward Rashard Sullivan is not working out with his teammates presently but has not left the Razorbacks either, Arkansas coach Stan Heath said Tuesday.

Heath, who is still in the process of hiring an assistant coach to fill the vacancy created by Rob Flaska's move to be head coach at Centenary, said repeatedly at an informal press briefing that Sullivan's status has yet to be determined.

"We're going to visit with him and at that particular time when that's decided, we'll let you know," Heath said. "Rashard is not working out with the team, but his status has not yet been determined."

Sullivan, who started five games and averaged 3.2 rebounds, 2.3 points and 14.1 minutes last season, still has a chance to be on the team, "If he and I are on the same page," Heath said.

Arkansas began offseason weightlifting after spring break and have begun skill drills as well.

Heath would not say if Sullivan's absence was a mutual decision or not, repeating that his status was not yet determined.

While announcing a "top to bottom" program evaluation following the end of the season, Heath did not rule out roster or staff moves after his team finished 18-12 and lost five of six down the stretch, including humbling losses to sub-.500 Auburn and Tennessee by a combined 32 points.

Heath kicked Berry Jordan off the team after the two clashed during offseason workouts before his first season in 2002 and pulled the scholarships of Kendrick  Davis and Wenbos Mukubu after last season.

Sullivan was a rebounding and defensive specialist, ranking third on the team in blocks and fourth in rebounds, but was turnover prone offensively.

He did have at least one conflict with Heath during practice this season and earned an early shower.

Heath would not discuss the Sullivan matter further.

"At a later time, I'll fill you guys in," Heath said.

Heath said the skill drills are going "terrific" and he met with Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles on Tuesday morning to discuss the assistant coaching search.

Heath was unaware Broyles said in a published report that the two would meet on Wednesday to complete his postseason review and go over the results of Heath's promised "top to bottom" evaluation of his program.

"There's some things I haven't quite put my finger on yet on how to address something that will make us better," Heath said. "I think it's small things in certain areas that will make us better.

"I don't think it's a major overhaul that needs to be done."

Heath said he's not looking specifically for a lead assistant to fill Flaska's position, but the qualifications of the candidate will dictate how he shuffles his staff's responsibilities.

"I'm looking for a good assistant," Heath said. "If he's that kind of a guy, if he has those kind of qualifications, then we'll make that decision. That's a possibility. But it depends on who it is.

"If I find a guy where his strengths are maybe offense or player development or breaking down film, then I would shift some responsibilities in his direction. If his strengths are conditioning or being a guy that's tough on the guys, we'll look in that direction. I don't want to just give guys responsibilities if that's not their strength."

Heath cracked a joke when asked if there was a "magic" assistant who could help the Razorbacks.

"There is, (former UCLA coach) John Wooden," he said. "But I can't get him out of retirement."

Heath said the only timetable for him on his hire is, "when I find the right guy."

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