Loyola AD Boylan to meet with McDonald Will ask sophomore guard why he left the school

January 03, 1996|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,SUN STAFF

Loyola College athletic director Joe Boylan said last night that he was planning to visit with John McDonald sometime today at the home of the sophomore guard's parents in Mount Vernon, N.Y., to find out why he decided to leave school.

McDonald didn't accompany the Greyhounds to Oakland, Calif., last week for the Otis Spunkmeyer Classic, and a team spokesman said he had taken a leave of absence. Coach Brian Ellerbe confirmed Monday night that McDonald had dropped out of school.

When reached by phone last night, McDonald said he couldn't talk about his decision until meeting with Boylan. "He's supposed to come see me [today], and we're going to discuss the situation," he said.

McDonald had called Ellerbe at home Christmas night to say he was leaving for personal reasons. "That's about all we know as of right now," Ellerbe said. "Him dropping out is what really makes this crazy. It could be a million different things. It's a drastic move for a young kid. This is one that baffles you."

Boylan said he had some ideas why McDonald left, "but that's totally speculative."

"I'm concerned about him as a person. Forget the basketball aspect," he said. "Sometimes, for whatever reason, kids are unhappy. I told him if he wanted to, we would sit down and talk. I'm just thinking about the young man's education."

McDonald, who made the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference's All-Rookie team as a freshman, was averaging 10.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

Playing time couldn't have been an issue; McDonald was averaging 30 minutes in his second year as a starter. The team spokesman said McDonald wasn't having academic problems.

Ellerbe said his players have handled the news "about as well as they can. They're just trying to concentrate on what we have." He also said McDonald would be welcomed back to the team if he decided to return.

In McDonald's absence, sophomore guard Mike Powell has moved from shooting guard to the point, and Teron Owens is starting in the backcourt. Owens had 34 points in the two tournament games.

Junior Anthony Smith, a transfer from Duquesne who recently became eligible, also is starting now that freshman forward Blanchard Hurd (Milford Mill) is out indefinitely with a knee injury. Hurd has missed the past three games.

The Greyhounds (2-7) ended a seven-game losing streak by defeating Holy Cross, 73-55, on Friday.

Their next game is Thursday at home against St. Joseph's.

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