Royce White reportedly leaving Minnesota

by Max Sanders

According to an Associated Press report, Minnesota freshman Royce White will be leaving the Gophers men’s basketball program.

The announcement from White came in a Youtube video, in which White cites stress both to himself and his family from his legal cases as the motivating factor behind the decision.

White pleaded guilty on Dec. 2 to charges stemming from an incident at a Macy’s store in the Mall of America but still has yet to be cleared in an investigation of an on-campus theft of a laptop from Territorial Hall.

Men’s basketball spokesman Matt Slieter said White has not contacted the team about leaving, and has not had any conversations regarding withdrawing with head coach Tubby Smith.

"If and when something happens, we will have a statement," Slieter said.

A message was left with the secretary for White’s lawyer, F. Clayton Tyler, who is out of the office all morning.

Along with fellow freshman Rondey Williams, White was the prized recruit of this year’s freshmen class for Smith, but White has yet to play a game this season after being suspended indefinitely due to the Mall of America and subsequent on-campus charges.

White said in the video he has no intention of transferring to another program, and leaves the door slightly open for a possible return, saying it would take “something big” for him to change his mind. A link to the Youtube video can be found here:

Minnesota (8-3) next plays South Dakota State on Dec. 23 at Williams Arena.