by Ally Doty
The Pensacola State women’s basketball team is currently under re-construction after the recent loss of five players, not only from the basketball program, but also from the college as well.
“They were all very good basketball players; one was an all-American, four of them were SEC-type players,” said Pensacola State Athletic Director Bill Hamilton. “It hurts to lose five players of that caliber and it shows in our performance.”
The players were guilty of violating school or team rules that consequently resulted in their removal. Hamilton could not comment on the names of the players or the specifics of the violations, citing student privacy issues.
“Collectively, it was not academically related and they were all guilty of either team or school policy violations,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton noted that whenever there is an issue with a player, the Athletic Department seeks to work with the student to resolve the issue.
“If it is a repeated violation, and it often is in a situation like this, we try to stick with them, teach them and modify their behavior,” Hamilton said. “But sometimes there is not enough modification to keep those players on or around a team.”
Ladies’ Basketball Head Coach Leah Drury ultimately made the decision to remove the players.
“I applaud the coach’s decisions. She is helping them grow with consequence,” said Hamilton. “Sometimes it’s off the court, and though it may hurt, it may help the team to eliminate some people and they need to learn how to function in our society the right way.”
Drury, who is in her first season as head coach, has faced a tough season – the Lady Pirates have four games left to secure their first conference win.