VAUGHT: Alleyne's academic status a mystery

Shagari Alleyne's exact academic status still remains a mystery as no one at the University of Kentucky has confirmed, or denied, reports that the senior center will be academically ineligible for at least the first semester, or maybe the whole season.

Shagari Alleyne's exact academic status still remains a mystery as no one at the University of Kentucky has confirmed, or denied, reports that the senior center will be academically ineligible for at least the first semester, or maybe the whole season.

However, now is the time for coach Tubby Smith to make it perfectly clear that the status quo no longer exists at Kentucky. If Smith has one constant fault, it's that he thinks with his heart and not his head. While that has paid off with the way a player like Gerald Fitch has come back from off-the-court problems to reward his coach's confidence, it doesn't always work that way.

That's why Smith needs to send Alleyne on his way to another school where his carefree attitude and so-so basketball skills might be better suited.

Alleyne has almost had a permanent spot in Smith's academic doghouse the last two seasons. He's not played in several games because of his academic shortcomings and if Smith is serious about wanting a new attitude on next year's team he can't allow a player who once again ignored his warnings to be part of that team.

If reports about Alleyne's academic problems are untrue, then that's a different matter. But since no one at UK has demanded a correction and several sources tell me the problems are real, it's time to tell the big guy good-bye. Smith took a chance by taking Alleyne. He was a long-term project at best — that's why more top schools were not battling for a 7-4 player. He was S-O-F-T from the day he arrived and still is. His game has made little progress, and it hasn't seemed to bother him.

Alleyne is a funny, articulate young man. He was enjoyable to interview and came up with some hilarious rap songs about his teammates. However, he apparently never understood Smith's emphasis on academics or else just ignored it.

Now Smith just needs to make it clear that he's tired of players not doing things the way he wants. Alleyne might still be UK's tallest player, but the Cats won't miss him with Randolph Morris, Jared Carter and Lukasz Obrzut to play in the middle. Apparently Alleyne knew that when he let himself slip into academic trouble again.

Alleyne provided a few highlights and could be a prolific shot blocker at times. However, it's time for him to move on and for Smith to show he's out of patience with those who don't do things the way he wants.


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