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BIG TEN MEN'S BASKETBALL Wisconsin point guard leaves team unexpectedly



Published: Fri, January 7, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Boo Wade started 28 games for the Badgers last season.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Boo Wade, who had been expected to take over for Devin Harris as Wisconsin's point guard, is leaving the program for personal reasons and won't return, the school announced Thursday.

Wade had taken a leave of absence from the team in the fall and returned late last month, also citing personal issues.

The university said in a news release Thursday that Wade would not attend classes in the second semester and would not return to the basketball team in the future.

"I'd like to thank my teammates and coaches for their support but I feel it is best for me to take a step back from school and basketball and work some things out," Wade said in the statement.

Coach Bo Ryan supported Wade's decision.

"We thought Boo could address some personal issues while continuing to play," Ryan said. "He has now decided that the best thing for him is to get away from school and basketball, and I support that decision completely."

Wade, a junior from Milwaukee, rejoined the team Dec. 21 and played in one game, scoring one point against Western Carolina on Dec. 27. He played in 63 games for the Badgers.

Former starter

Wade started 28 games last season, averaging 6.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists.

He had been expected to step into the starting role after Harris, the Big Ten player of the year, left after his junior year for the NBA.

The university has given no details of the personal issues Wade has been dealing with.

When Wade took the leave in late October, his father Willie Wade told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel his son was trying to cope with the deaths in the previous two months of both of his maternal grandparents.

Wade was suspended for two games last season after his ex-girlfriend accused him of choking her during an incident in early February at her apartment.

Wade pleaded no contest in April to two misdemeanor counts in a plea deal. A battery charge was reduced to disorderly conduct. A charge of bail jumping resulted because Wade continued to contact the woman after he was initially charged.




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