Jamie Graham is now no different than virtually every other athlete in the Southeastern Conference. He plays just one sport.
Vanderbilt basketball coach Kevin Stallings announced Tuesday that Graham, a sophomore from Whites Creek, has left the team to focus on football.
Graham was the only SEC athlete who played both football and basketball in 2007-08. He attempted to do the same during the current school year, but the VU football team’s invitation to, and appearance in the Music City Bowl delayed his participation with the basketball team by more than a month.
“A month and a half, actually,” Stallings said prior to Monday’s workout. “That just put him pretty far behind,”
Graham played just 10 total minutes in five games this season. He did not score and had one assist and one turnover.
His situation was complicated when the need to deal with personal issues caused him to miss several practices and two games last week.
“We agree with and totally support this decision,” Stallings said in a statement released by the university’s athletic department Tuesday. “We wish Jamie the best of luck and look forward to following his success on the football field.”
As a redshirt-freshman with the football team last fall, Graham was the Commodores’ third-leading receiver with 17 catches for 125 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed 21 times for 199 yards and one touchdown and attempted a pass.
Coach Bobby Johnson said Graham is a candidate to play both wide receiver and running back during the 2009 season.
Graham appeared in 15 basketball games last season and played a season-high 10 minutes in the Commodores’ NCAA tournament loss to Siena.