Kara Braxton Dismissed

ATHENS - The promising but problem-filled career of Kara Braxton is over at the University of Georgia.

Women's basketball coach Andy Landers ended Kara Braxton's indefinite suspension Friday by dismissing the 6-foot-6 junior forward from the team. Braxton, the Lady Bulldogs' leading scorer, had been suspended since Sunday morning when Landers suspended her indefinitely for a violation of team rules.

It was the fourth suspension in two years for Braxton, and Landers confirmed the dismissal was not the result of one act but "an accumulation of wasted chances."

"I think you get to a point with people where you realize that they might not appreciate the chances they are getting so you have to stop giving them, and that's where I got with Kara," Landers said.

Braxton, a former SEC Freshman of the Year, was suspended three times during her sophomore season. The first two suspensions lasted one game each, but the final suspension covered the final eight games of the season. Landers, who spent two days this week on the road recruiting, wanted to make a final decision about Braxton's future prior to his team's game against South Carolina on Sunday, he said.

"I had a lot of time to think," he said. "I finally got to the point where I could not think of the right reasons to keep doing this. Kara is 21 years old. I think it's reasonable to expect some degree of accountability."

Despite all of Braxton's potential, the Lady Bulldogs have seemed better without her. In the one game she missed due to suspension and the three she missed due to an undisclosed medial condition this year, Georgia was 4-0. Including last year's suspensions, the Lady Bulldogs are 10-4 without Braxton, who averaged 13.7 points and eight rebounds (tied for the team lead) this year.

"I think what that reflects is we can be successful without her," Landers said. "Adversity on any front, no matter who it involves, oftentimes draws focus a little tighter."

Senior center Christi Thomas said the Lady Bulldogs react well to distraction but stopped short of saying they won't miss Braxton.

"There are a lot of things Kara brings to the table that none of us bring," Thomas said. "She's a talented player. She's one of the best players I've ever played against or with or even seen. I feel for her."

Landers hasn't decided whether Braxton can remain on scholarship or use the team's facilities to train for a chance to play professional basketball, Landers said. Braxton, who was considered the second-best high school player in the nation her senior season, averaged 15.4 points and 7.3 rebounds in her two and a half seasons in Athens.

Braxton, who could not be reached for comment, was "disappointed," Landers said.

"But I think she understood it," he added.

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