Monk's Basketball Days Are Officially Over

FAYETTEVILLE — Senior forward Marcus Monk has played his last basketball game at Arkansas. The university released a statement late Friday morning saying that Monk wouldn't "return to competition."

Monk, a former wide receiver at Arkansas who is taking graduate classes, averaged 4.5 points and 3.1 rebounds in eight games after the school deemed him eligible on Dec. 20. He had been kept out of competition since Jan. 24, missing Arkansas' last six contests, as the university reviewed an issue that affected his eligibility.

The statement indicated Arkansas administrators have been working "with the Southeastern Conference and the NCAA Academic and Membership Affairs staff regarding this matter."

"Unfortunately, Marcus is no longer a member of the University of Arkansas basketball team," Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long said in the statement. "We appreciate his contributions to the Razorback program and respect that he completed his undergraduate degree while competing as a student-athlete. We wish him well in the future."

Long said in the statement that Arkansas investigated the matter "upon initially receiving information that a student-athlete was possibly involved in a rules violation," in essence referring to Monk. The statement didn't reveal whether there was a rules violation, nor where the university received the information that led to the discovery.

It also said the university "plans to have no further comment on the matter." Attempts to reach Monk and his mother, Jackie, were unsuccessful Friday.

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request submitted Friday by the The Morning News, the university refused to release any documents pertaining to the matter, citing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

The SEC and NCAA are following similar guidelines.

"For privacy reasons, we can't talk about an individual athlete's eligibility," NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said. In an e-mail, SEC spokesman Charles Bloom said: "We are working with the school on it and will not be able to add more for the time being."

The statement also did not spell out if the program would have to forfeit five victories that Monk participated in, including wins over Oklahoma and Texas.

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