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Wildcat junior forward transfers to Iowa


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Arizona Daily Wildcat

UA junior forward Luke Recker

By Bryan Rosenbaum
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
December 7, 1999
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UA junior forward Luke Recker, who transferred from Indiana last summer, is leaving the university at the end of the semester and transferring to Iowa, the UA athletic department said yesterday.

"I have been contemplating this decision since my arrival in Tucson," Recker said in a statement released by the University of Arizona. "This decision is based solely on personal reasons. I have been nothing but extremely impressed with Coach (Lute) Olson and the Arizona program and I will miss them greatly. But being close to my loved ones has become a priority at this time."

Recker was involved in an automobile accident on July 11 in Durango, Colo., that broke his wrist and severely lacerated his ear. The crash also left his girlfriend paralyzed, her brother in a coma and killed the driver.

Recker's girlfriend, Kelly Craig, was recently released from a Chicago hospital and is recuperating at her home in Jasper, Ind. Recker visited Craig and her family over Thanksgiving and also planned to spend Christmas with her.

Recker said he enjoyed playing basketball and going to school at Arizona.

"However, because of the circumstances that happened this summer, I feel I need to be closer to my family, to Kelly and Jason (Craig) and their family, and many other important people in my life," he said.

UA athletic director Jim Livengood said yesterday that he had not been informed of Recker's decision to transfer.

"I have not (heard about the decision)," he said. "He is in Chicago. Rumors get started, some are true, some are false."

At a weekly press conference held yesterday, Iowa head coach Steve Alford also denied having any knowledge about Recker transferring.

"The first step in a transfer situation is the player asking for his release from his current school, and then contacting our office," said Alford, a former Indiana great. "At this time, we have not been contacted concerning a transfer."

Recker will not be eligible to play until January 2001 because a transfer must sit out a year before playing. His family may petition the NCAA to allow him to play sooner because he did not play for Arizona.

Recker -who practiced with the team on Monday before they left for Chicago for tonight's game against Connecticut - is the second player to leave the program in a month. Sophomore guard Ruben Douglas was also released from his scholarship and will transfer at the end of the semester to an undetermined school.

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