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Wolfie quits, involved in UConn incident: Report

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After missing last season due to academic ineligibility, Wolfinger appeared in...

By Anthony Bosco

Dissatisfied with his lack of playing time, Jack Wolfinger, a 6-foot-11 sophomore swingman, has decided to leave the St. John’s Red Storm, the university announced last week.

After missing last season due to academic ineligibility, Wolfinger appeared in just seven games for St. John’s this season, averaging four minutes and less than one point and one rebound per game.

Wolfinger was twice suspended from the team, once for not informing team officials he would not be riding on a bus after the team’s home win over Miami in January and the second time for “unacceptable behavior” during the team’s blowout loss to the Duke Blue Devils.

“We have agreed to assist Jack Wolfinger in transferring to a situation that is a better fit for him,” said head coach Mike Jarvis in a conference call last week. “He felt he wasn’t getting enough playing time here. We make it a policy never to promise anything to anyone regarding playing time.

“He came to me on Tuesday and we agreed this would be the best way to go at this time,” the coach added. “We will support him and try to find the right place for him. He still has three years of eligibility left. He will remain a student here and finish the year out academically.”

Just days after his decision, Wolfinger was involved in an incident at the University of Connecticut campus in Storrs in which Huskies sophomore guard Marcus Cox was arrested for allegedly possessing 10.2 grams of marijuana, the Hartford Courant. Cox was reportedly a passenger in a car registered to former St. John’s star and Queensbridge native Ron Artest that Wolfinger was driving, the newspaper said.

Wolfinger and Artest have reportedly been friends since before Wolfinger committed to St. John’s two years ago.

According to the Hartford Courant, Cox admitted the marijuana was his only after campus police threatened to impound the car. Quoting unnamed sources, the newspaper also reported that Cox was covering for Wolfinger, a longtime friend, who reportedly later came forward to tell police the marijuana was his.

Also in the car were Cox’s teammates, Tony Robertson and Taliek Brown and another unnamed passenger, the report said. Brown is a native of Lefrak City and a graduate of St. John’s Prep.

Cox, Robertson and Brown, the Courant said, were all tested for marijuana following the incident and all three tests came back negative. Cox was suspended indefinitely from the Huskies, while both Robertson and Brown remain eligible.

As of Monday, Wolfinger had not been charged in the incident.

Jarvis said last week St. John’s will continue to aid Wolfinger in his search for a new school.

“Coach Kevin Clark recruited Jack and we talked about what we expected from him,” Jarvis said. “Like everyone else we felt he was a long-term investment and I’m saddened to see things end this way. Both Kevin and I will try to help him find the right match with another program.

“We haven’t pursued anything yet because the decision has just happened. We’ll talk to Jack and begin the process shortly.”

Wolfinger, who declined to comment, is back at St. John’s “focusing on his studies” and will remain there for the duration of the school year, according to St. John’s spokesman Dominic Scianna.

St. John’s Athletic Director Ed Manetta said the university is not expecting any fallout from the NCAA over Wolfinger’s use of Artest’s car.

“We are comfortable with the interpretation the NCAA gave us last year because of their previous relationship,” Manetta said, adding that the school informed the Big East and NCAA of Wolfinger’s use of the car prior to the start of the 2000-2001 season.

“As for the legal situation, we step out of that and leave that to Jack and his family,” he said.

Reach Sports Editor Anthony Bosco by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 130.

Posted 7:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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