BREAKING NEWS: Doe leaves basketball team, school

Kyle Tucker

Michael Doe, the 7-foot-2, 185-pound freshman always thought to be lacking in weight but not in expectations, has opted to end his Western basketball career before it starts.

His family and Western’s athletics department confirmed last night that Doe has withdrawn from classes and will leave school. His father, Peter, told the Herald the former Hilltopper big man is leaving Bowling Green today to return to his parents’ home in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

Peter Doe said Michael made the decision early this week.

Sports Information Director Paul Just said that in a conversation Monday, basketball coach Dennis Felton, who was on the road and unavailable for comment last night, told him Doe was quitting basketball.

“It was my understanding at that time that Michael was leaving the team and the university,” Just said.

Does father confirmed as much by telephone last night.

“I’m a little vague on it myself,” Peter Doe said. “The only thing I could get out of Michael is the academic requirement and the demand of the school itself was a little too demanding on him. And he didn’t feel like he could contribute sufficiently to basketball and take care of his academic requirements.”

Doe, who could not be reached for comment, was majoring in business at Western. His father said Michael will probably go to a school in Central Florida, but he won?t play basketball.

“He’s just going to be going to school,” Peter Doe said.

The father said his son was interested in several other activities at school, including the minority council and various church activities, that playing major college basketball didn’t allow him to do.

Doe’s departure could be a blow to the basketball program, which looked to be grooming him as 7-foot All-American Chris Marcus, heir. Michael’s father said his performance on the court wasnt a factor in the decision.

“He was doing excellent in basketball,” Peter Doe said. “In fact, Coach Felton called me last week and said Michael was improving every day he was on the basketball court. He said he was doing great. I think the basketball team is disappointed that he is leaving, and a lot of other folks, too.”

Count Doe’s father among them.

“I’m not jumping up and down about it,” he said. “We tried to explain to Mike that basketball or no basketball, it was an education. He just felt he couldn’t do it anymore.”

BEGINITAL Staff writer Kyle Hightower contributed to this story.