|Weddle offers rebuttal to UTM claims |
|Posted: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:37 pm |
|Marquis Weddle claims not everything is how it appears. |
In a written response delivered to The Messenger Tuesday, the former Union City High School basketball star said his departure from the UT Martin program after three seasons “was not a mutual decision for me to leave,” as Skyhawk head coach Jason James said.
Weddle disputed the claim of James, who had confirmed Monday that Weddle, Terrance Coleman and Zach Jones would not return to the Skyhawks next season.
Weddle insisted his now ex-coach had a “personal vendetta against me,” and also had different versions of several reported incidents — within the program, the classroom and in the legal system that allegedly played a part in James’ decision.
Weddle was given the opportunity to respond to the issue when it was first publicized on Monday morning, but said he was “with family” at that time.
In a two-page typed release in which he defended himself in a handful of incidents and targeted James in others, Weddle closed by thanking those who had supported him during his college playing career and then stated he believed it was time for him to turn the page.
“At this time, I believe it is best for me to move on because the program is not the same as it was under the direction of Coach (Bret) Campbell,” Weddle wrote. “I loved playing basketball at UT Martin.”
Reached this morning, James chose to not get involved in a back-and-forth version of “he said, he said” and stood behind his decision and the documentation he had that brought him to make the call with all three players.
“We’re moving forward with our basketball program and we wish Marquis Weddle the best in his future endeavors,” the Skyhawk coach said.
Weddle, who will leave UTM as the No. 6 all-time scorer in the program’s history with more than 1,500 career points, will have one season of college eligibility left.
If his academic standing is good, he would be cleared to play immediately at a Division II, III or NAIA school.
If Weddle chooses to transfer to another Division I institution, he will have to sit out a season under NCAA rules.