Saturday, December 01, 2001

Grove might return to UC

Would not be on athletic scholarship

By Michael Perry
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        B.J. Grove, who left the University of Cincinnati and the basketball program in October for personal reasons, plans to return to school for winter quarter, his former high school coach said Friday.

        If he is going to return to the Bearcats basketball team, it will be as a walk-on.

        “He gave up his scholarship, so he's not coming back on scholarship,” athletic director Bob Goin said. “I don't know if he's going to enroll at the University of Cincinnati. Everybody has a right to do that. And whether he participates in our basketball program is going to be determined by whether the basketball coach wants him to walk on to our team.”

        Grove, a 6-foot-11 junior center, has been in Grove City, Pa., working out at George Junior Republic School, where he played his last two years of high school ball.

        Bob McConnell, the school's coach, said Grove weighs around 278-280 pounds, down from 302 when he arrived. Grove is lifting weights and playing basketball daily.

        “He's doing great. I couldn't be happier,” McConnell said. “I know he feels bad he let himself get that overweight again. I don't think it'll happen again.

        “He's going to be back (in Cincinnati) Dec.10. He plans to be in school next semester.”

        McConnell said Grove met with Goin and coach Bob Huggins on Wednesday.

        “Everything's set,” McConnell said. “He's going to come back and prove himself. They'll be happy with what he's doing. He's playing OK. He still needs to lose another 15 pounds to get to where he was movement-wise.”

        Said Goin: “The meeting with him was to say he thinks he got some things worked out, and he's planning on coming back to the university.”

        Huggins would not say whether Grove would rejoin the team. His only comment was: “I'm only going to talk about the guys that are here. If B.J. plans to enroll in school ... we have 34,000 students.”

        Grove, a Cincinnati native who attended Woodward High School before going to George Junior, started 21 of 35 games last season for UC and averaged 4.2 points and 3.8 rebounds.


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NBA roundup
NHL roundup
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• Nippert Stadium
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