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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Adams suspended for Pac-10 tourney

    Hassan Adams
    Hassan Adams

    Arizona men’s basketball senior guard Hassan Adams will be suspended for the Pacific 10 Tournament and will not practice with the team due to a violation of team rules, the athletic department said in a statement yesterday.

    Adams will not travel to Los Angeles but will rejoin the team for a possible appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

    “”I apologize to the team, to the coaches, the university and the fans for my violation of a team rule,”” he said in the statement, which was read to the media yesterday by men’s basketball media liaison Richard Paige. “”I accept the coach’s decision to be suspended from the Pacific 10 Conference Tournament. I wish the team well and hope for its success. I’m looking forward to participating in the NCAA Tournament if Arizona is invited.””

    Adams was charged with driving under the influence at 12:25 a.m. Sunday after being stopped near the intersection of North Park Avenue and East Sixth Street for speeding.

    Olson said the team had a “”get-together”” at his house after the game Saturday, which Adams and his family attended, but none of the players consumed alcoholic beverages. Olson estimated Adams left the house at about 10 p.m.

    Olson said he could not comment in detail about the situation, citing the Family and Education Rights Protection Act. He did say, however, that the suspension was handed down because of team rules that he could not specify.

    “”We have a general set of rules that we follow, and those are private to our team and our staff,”” Olson said.

    Adams is the team’s leading scorer at 17.3 points per game and was selected to his first ever all-Pac-10 team.

    Junior point guard Mustafa Shakur said he found out about Adams’ arrest on the news.

    “”I didn’t react right away because I don’t know exactly everything that’s going on, I don’t know every detail,”” Shakur said. “”I just listened to the news.””

    Senior guard Chris Rodgers said he was surprised when he found out.

    “”It’s an unfortunate situation, and I feel for him right now, and I think that all our teammates do,”” Rodgers said.

    Without Adams, who scored 23 points Feb. 19 at Stanford, Rodgers will make his 14th start of the season in the conference tournament against the Cardinal Thursday, Olson said.

    “”It’s going to affect us a great deal,”” Rodgers said. “”He’s pretty much the heart and soul of our team this year, the team captain and a big part of our offense. It’s going to be a big difference in how we look out there, but we’re just going to have to do the best we can with this situation.””

    Junior center Kirk Walters described Adams as a good guy, and Olson said Adams signed autographs for more than an hour after the game. He also said Adams and a few other teammates visited with ill children on their own time after the team visited University Medical Center around Christmas time.

    “”I think that’s typical of what he’s like,”” Olson said.

    Adams had one other brush with the law in December, when he was arrested for disturbing the peace at his apartment complex. His trial has been postponed until April 13.

    The Wildcats have had a tumultuous season to say the least, as:

    ? Sophomore guard Jawann McClellan was ineligible for the first semester and fractured his wrist in his second game back.

    ? Redshirt senior forward Isaiah Fox has missed the last five games because of a back problem.

    ? Sophomore guard Jesus Verdejo transferred to South Florida after the first semester.

    ? Freshman guard J.P. Prince missed Feb. 11’s game against Oregon State because he was late to a team taping session.

    ? Rodgers was dismissed from the team for eight games for reasons never officially disclosed.

    ? Rodgers and Adams were both benched for the beginning of the Houston game Dec. 3 because they were late to a team meal.

    “”It’s just been one of those seasons where once things start rolling, something else out of nowhere, out of your rear view, something you can’t see in your blind spot comes out and hits you,”” Shakur said.

    “”It’s been a difficult year, but it goes with the territory,”” Olson said.

    To add to the off-court troubles, the Wildcats have lost 11 games this season, the most since the 1986-87 season.

    “”It’s been different, not what everybody’s been used to seeing, more of a consistency about the team,”” Shakur said. “”You just have to keep playing through it and not try to get too bothered by it.””

    Shakur also said the incidents can play a positive role in the future learning process.

    “”The adversity has brought us together because everybody’s been through something personally or as a whole,”” he said.

    Shakur would not comment on whether they believed a suspension for Adams was deserved.

    “”It’s just the way things are and the way things work in the sports area and off the court, even though it may not be fair or correct,”” Shakur said.

    Rodgers said athletes have to be more careful than the average student in public situations.

    “”When you’re in different situations, you’re not going to get treated like someone no one might know, so you just have to have responsibility,”” Rodgers said.

    Adams’ court hearing regarding the DUI will be held on March 15, which is the day before the NCAA tournament starts.

    “”I think every guy on this team cares a great deal for him, and we’re here for him,”” Rodgers said.

    Adams was unavailable for comment yesterday, beyond the written release given to the media.

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