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Weddle won’t play senior season on UT Martin court

Weddle won’t play senior season on UT Martin court
UT Martin and Marquis Weddle have apparently come to a mutual decision to part ways.
Weddle, the former Union City prep basketball standout who played and regularly starred for the Skyhawks for three seasons, will thus not return to UTM for his senior campaign next fall.
Skyhawk head coach Jason James confirmed the widely-rumored news of Weddle’s departure from the program this morning after meeting with members of Weddle’s family.
James elected not to elaborate on the specifics of the meeting or reasoning for the split, saying only, “In my opinion I think this is the best for both Marquis and UT Martin basketball.”
Weddle had recently been suspended indefinitely from team activities, James confirmed, for repeated violations of unspecified rules.
He will be eligible immediately if he transfers to a Division II, III or NAIA school, but must sit out a season and get his academic affairs in order before being cleared to play if he elects to enroll at another Division I university.
Weddle was UTM’s leading scorer (15.7 ppg) last season in a year in which the Skyhawks posted a dismal 4-25 record and won just one of 18 Ohio Valley Conference games. He led the Skyhawks in scoring in 14 of his 19 games played, nine of those in a starting role.
He was academically ineligible for the fall semester that included seven games, however, and missed two more games after that — one when he missed the team bus to Tennessee State and the other time when he reportedly missed a pre-game practice.
James said Weddle’s current academic standing at UTM has him ineligible, though he could regain playing status by “taking a couple of classes this summer.”
Weddle was with family members this morning when contacted about the matter and did not comment before The Messenger’s press time.
He will leave the UT Martin program as its sixth all-time leading scorer with 1,304 points in three seasons and as one of just 14 members of the school’s 1,000-Point Club.
Weddle also ranks second on the school’s career lists for both 3-point field goals made and attempted, respectively, (239 and 704). He is fifth on the UTM all-time list in total field goals made (458), and fourth (1,186) in total field goals attempted.
Weddle’s eligibility has been an issue, though, since he graduated as Union City High School’s all-time leading scorer in 2006, a year in which he was named Class 1A’s Mr. Basketball after leading the Tornadoes to their fourth of their fifth all-time state championships.
He originally signed with Three Rivers (Mo.) Community College but never played there. Instead, he enrolled at UT Martin and had to sit out a season for failing to qualify academically.
The 6-1 sharp-shooting guard then took the Ohio Valley Conference by storm, teaming with Lester Hudson to give the Skyhawks a dynamic backcourt tandem in a season in which Weddle was named the league’s Freshman of the Year and Hudson the Player of the Year for the first time.
Weddle ranked third in the OVC in scoring in 2007-08 at 17.1 ppg and became just the second UTM player ever to win the conference’s top freshman award.
He was recognized as the league’s Freshman of the Week six times during that season.
He averaged 13.8 ppg as a sophomore when the Skyhawks won their first-ever Ohio Valley Conference championship.
Career-wise, Weddle scored 20 or more points 28 times during his Skyhawk career and in double figures in 61 of 84 games.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at mhutch@ucmessenger.com.

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