Louisville reserve power forward Chane Behanan has been dismissed from the basketball team. Behanan, the 6-foot-6 bruiser who helped Louisville go to back-to-back Final Fours and win the 2013 NCAA title, says "I will forever miss this place."
The University released a statement from Behanan Monday.
"I want to apologize for letting down my family, teammates, coaches, Tom Jurich, this university and the Louisville fans," he wrote.
Behanan averaged 7.6 points and 6.3 rebounds and shot 63.6 percent from the field in 12 games this season. A preseason all-league selection, he averaged 9.8 points and 6.5 rebounds last season. Behanan notched a double-double against Michigan in the national championship game with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
"It is disappointing to me personally and has set our team back tremendously," Pitino said.
Pitino said Behanan understood that this was his last chance, and yet continued to break University policy. Pitino said he believes Behanan was distracted during Saturday's Kentucky game, "He knew that the hammer was going to fall."
Earlier this season, Behanan was suspended for 30 days while fulfilled a behavior contract with coach Rick Pitino. When Behanan fulfilled the contract and rejoined the team in early December, Pitino said he was "surprised" by Behanan's focus and determination.
Since then, Behanan has played in each game, coming off the bench to provide valuable minutes for the Cardinals. Against Kentucky Saturday, Behanan was effective at rebounding, collecting a team-high seven, but he failed to score.
Then Monday morning, a Twitter account attributed to Behanan tweeted messages that cryptically referred to his leaving.
Pitino said he believes Behanan has two options, leave school and begin to work out to prepare for the NBA Draft or transfer and possibly play next season at a different school.
Behanan has the option to stay in school, but he can't participate in athletics.