Sullivan: Lack Of Production Led To Him Leaving

FAYETTEVILLE -- Rashard Sullivan's decision to quit the Razorbacks basketball team was based on his dissatisfaction with his production and development as a player, according to a statement he sent to the media.

In a statement Sullivan forwarded to the media, the 6-foot-8 junior power forward said he had informed third-year coach Stan Heath of his desire to leave the team nine days before a release to that effect was put out by the university April 22.

In his e-mail statement he prepared himself, Sullivan said he informed Heath on April 13 that he would not return.

The statement reads, "After a great deal of contemplation, I have decided to leave the men's basketball program at the University of Arkansas.

"After three years of playing under head coach Stan Heath, I feel that I have not developed as a player and I am dissatisfied with my production on this team. Despite all my hard work and efforts, I still feel like I don't contribute to or fit in the program that Coach Heath is trying to build.

"At this point I don't plan on pursuing a basketball career anywhere else; I will stay enrolled at the University of Arkansas and complete my degree in Recreation next May. This was a hard decision to make because I still love the game of basketball. I am proud to have been a Razorback, but right now finishing my degree is my number one priority.

"I would like to thank Coach Nolan Richardson for recruiting me and giving me the opportunity to earn a college degree. To the Razorback fans, I would like to thank you for your care and support over the past three years."

Sullivan, who signed with Arkansas out of St. Thomas Aquinas High in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., in 2001, played all 30 games and started five games this season. He averaged 3.2 rebounds, 2.3 points and 0.8 blocks per game. He shot 54.3 percent from the floor (25 of 46) and 79.2 percent at the free throw line (19 of 24).

His rebounding and shooting percentages were career-highs.

Heath declined to comment on Sullivan's statement Monday. He did say Sullivan will pay his own tuition costs next school year and that will free up another scholarship for either this season or the next.

Sullivan faced a traffic jam for playing time in the frontcourt next season with returning post players Darian Townes, Steven Hill and Charles Thomas returning as sophomores, redshirt sophomore Vincent Hunter coming off shoulder surgery and incoming freshman Cyrus McGowan competing for minutes.

Arkansas received a commitment over the weekend from junior college shooter Ryan McBride, who is 6-6 and shot 53 percent from 3-point range as a freshman and 46 percent as a sophomore.

Heath said Arkansas could either use Sullivan's scholarship to pick up another player to help the Razorbacks for next season or use the scholarship if another player wants to transfer in and redshirt next season.

Although Sullivan will not be on scholarship, his graduation will still help Arkansas' point total in the NCAA's new system of judging academic performance.

Hawgs Daily Top Stories