Royce White exits Minnesota basketball program
MINNEAPOLIS — It's official: Royce White's gone.
The Minnesota Gophers granted the freshman forward his request to be released from his scholarship Wednesday, when he withdrew from school as promised.
White announced his intent to leave the university this week after a Monday court appearance, when he cited concerns about his safety and scrutiny from campus police. He enrolled at Minnesota last summer as the state's most highly ranked basketball recruit since Kris Humphries. White never played a game because of legal and behavioral issues.
"We are deeply saddened by the entire chain of events involving Royce White this season at the University of Minnesota," Gophers coach Tubby Smith said in a statement. "However, we feel like he will always be a member of the Minnesota basketball family and want what is best for him and his immediate family. We wish him the best of luck."
While White made the final decision to leave school, there's still a sense of failure among some university officials, athletic director Joel Maturi said.
"I think when anyone leaves your program, no matter what the reason, no matter who it is, you don't feel that you succeeded, and in essence, we didn't succeed with Royce, so there's obviously a void there," Maturi said. "That's the way I feel about anybody who transfers or anybody who leaves."
White, a 6-8, 250-pound forward, has a Tuesday court date in connection with three trespassing charges stemming from an investigation of a November laptop theft on campus. White was not charged with a felony in the case and failed to reach a deal on the misdemeanors at his first court appearance earlier this week.
White was unavailable for comment.
Team spokesman Matt Slieter said that there's no rule preventing White from re-enrolling in the future and being offered a scholarship by the Gophers.