Ratliff Leaves IU Basketball Program

A.J. Ratliff's most recent absence from the IU basketball team will be permanent. IU Coach Kelvin Sampson confirmed Tuesday that the 6-3 guard from Indianapolis won't be rejoining the team during the season's final month.

A.J. Ratliff's most recent absence from the IU basketball team will be permanent.

IU Coach Kelvin Sampson confirmed Tuesday that the 6-3 guard from Indianapolis won't be rejoining the team during the season's final month.

"Both of us agreed that it was in his best interests to focus on himself and to work through his personal issues," Sampson said in a prepared statement. "We wish him the best."

After missing the first semester due to academic ineligibility, Ratliff returned to the team in January but played a minimal role. Ratliff averaged only 1.7 points and 11.3 minute in nine games while shooting just 16.7 percent (4-of-24) from 3-point range.

Ratliff's role was likely diminished by not only his absence first semester, but also the arrival of freshmen Eric Gordon and Jordan Crawford. Ratliff was never able to regain his position in the Hoosiers' guard rotation and played sparingly.

The former Indiana Mr. Basketball then turned up missing again last week, as Sampson announced he had left the team to deal with personal issues. Sampson had originally said he hoped to have Ratliff back for Sunday's 58-53 win at Ohio State, but Ratliff missed that trip as well.

On Tuesday, his departure was made permanent.

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