University of Utah basketball: Josh Hearlihy not joining team, coach Larry Krystkowiak says
After a rough public relations week for Utah basketball, Josh Hearlihy's family informed coach Larry Krystkowiak that they would sign a release and pursue other options for the 6-foot-7 forward.
Krystkowiak confirmed late Thursday afternoon that Hearlihy would not be coming to Utah, after a week in which he released a statement to the Los Angeles Times, saying that he was concerned about "putting myself in an environment where I'm not wanted."
Hearlihy's series of knee and back injuries scared Krystkowiak away from the Harvard-Westlake (Calif.) star, asking him to consider a release in early February and leading various media outlets to question the integrity of the move.
Coaches frequently withdraw scholarship offers to players who have orally committed, but it is more difficult once the player has signed with the program.
"My issue with Josh has never been about skill, basketball IQ, character, any of that kind of stuff," Krystkowiak said. "I think there's just been a little bit of a track record with having some injuries, maybe due to growth. It's really hard to say."
Krystkowiak said the Utes were not aware of Hearlihy's full medical history when he signed his letter of intent in November.
Hearlihy will consider playing a year of prep school or signing with another program, Krystkowiak said.
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