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
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.