Joe Mauldin of Valley College, one of the top all-around players in the Western State Conference, was kicked off the Monarch basketball team last week for repeatedly missing practice.
Coach Jim Stephens said that Mauldin's failure to show for practice Feb. 1 was the final straw.
Mauldin, a highly touted quarterback who signed a letter of intent with Missouri Western on Feb. 3, missed three games and several practices earlier this season because of football recruiting. He did not have a legitimate excuse for missing the Feb. 1 practice, according to Stephens, who announced in November that he would step down from his coaching position at the end of the season.
"He just wasn't working out," Stephens said. "It was just something I had to do. There were too many ups and downs for the team with him. It was becoming too much of a distraction.
"I made a deal with him at the start of the season that he could miss practices and games if it was because of recruiting trips. But I felt that that was no longer the case, that he was taking advantage of the situation."