Stiemsma out for rest of the season

(AP Photo/Andy Manis)

Sophomore center is academically ineligible; says in statement he has been dealing with depression

MADISON—Greg Stiemsma, a sophomore center on the University of Wisconsin men's basketball team, announced Wednesday afternoon that he has been ruled academically ineligible for the spring semester and will not play the rest of this season.

"I've been dealing with depression which caused me to take a leave of absence from the team and also affected my academic performance," Stiemsma said in a press release. "That has resulted in me being academically ineligible this semester.

"I have taken steps to treat my depression and intend to work hard to resolve my academic issues. I look forward to competing in practice and helping my teammates in any way I can. I ask for understanding regarding my condition and appreciate the patience of everyone as I deal with it. I would like to thank my teammates, coaches and the fans for their support."

In 16 games off the bench, the 6-foot-11 Stiemsma was a key reserve, leading the team with 1.5 blocks per game and also contributing 2.8 points and 2.8 rebounds in 11.7 minutes per contest.

As an ineligible player, Stiemsma is not permitted to travel with the team or to compete. He can, however, practice with the team in Madison and continue using UW's training facilities, including the weight room and Fetzer Academic Center.

Stiemsma took a leave of absence Jan. 17 for personal medical reasons and did not travel with the team for its game at Ohio State Jan. 18. He returned from his leave of absence Saturday and sat on the Badgers' bench in street clothes during the team's home game with North Dakota State. Stiemsma practiced Monday and Tuesday, but it was announced Tuesday night that he would not play in tonight's game versus Penn State.

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