Rodgers reinstated; was kicked off team in January
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Arizona coach Lute Olson announced Monday that he has reinstated guard Chris Rodgers after kicking him off the team Jan. 18 for undisclosed disciplinary reasons.
Olson said the senior guard could possibly play in Thursday night's game at California as the Wildcats (15-9, 8-5 Pac-10) try to maintain their streak of 21 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances -- longest in the nation.
"He has fulfilled the various responsibilities that had been set up for him to get back," Olson said of Rodgers. "I visited with all the guys individually to discuss the situation and they are very much in favor of him being back on the floor."
Rodgers, who started 13 of the 16 games he played in this season prior to being dismissed, is considered one of the best perimeter players on the Wildcats roster.
He was averaging 10.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and had 31 assists when Olson told him he had undisclosed items he needed to get through to be brought back.
Rodgers "has been great. He has stopped by the office a number of times and said he just wants to do anything he can to help the team in whatever capacity," Olson said. "He has maintained a very positive approach to this. The good thing is I think Chris has recognized that this has been a hard time. But I think five years from now, he will look back and feel like this was part of his growing experience."
Rodgers was expected to fill much of the void for Arizona when Salim Stoudamire was drafted by the NBA's Atlanta Hawks.
As one of the top reserves the past couple of years, the Portland, Ore., native was averaging 5.6 points entering this season.
Rodgers responded early by having back-to-back 20-point games against Michigan State and Virginia but was benched the next game on Dec. 3 against Houston for missing a team meal, according to Olson.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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