BY SPNW Staff 05:28PM 01/26/2015

Huskies dismiss Robert Upshaw from program

The University of Washington Monday dismissed 7-foot, 250-pound sophomore center Robert Upshaw from the school’s basketball team for an undisclosed violation of team rules. Neither head coach Lorenzo Romar nor other athletic department official would comment on the specifics of Upshaw’s transgressions.

“We wish Rob well as he moves forward in his life, and we will do our best to support him in the future,” said Romar in a statement.

Upshaw, who had 13 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots in a 77-56 loss at Utah Sunday, his last UW game, is leading the nation with 4.6 blocks per game. He also led UW with 8.2 rebounds and was third on the team in scoring at 10.9 points, shooting 59.3 percent from the floor.

This is the second time that Upshaw has been booted from a program. He enrolled at Washington after being kicked off the Fresno State team following his freshman season.

Upshaw on his own ranked 71st (out of 345 teams) nationally in blocks per game (4.5) and was tied for 86th in total blocks (85), making him the UW single-season blocks record holder. Upshaw was on pace to set the Pac-12 single-season blocks record, held by Jordan Bachynski (ASU, 2013-14, 133).

Upshaw was also hitting 59.4 percent of his shots to rank fifth in the Pac-12.

In 10 games before facing Utah, Upshaw averaged 12.9 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 59.8 percent from the field and posting six double-doubles.

Upshaw, the third seven-footer to play for Romar, red-shirted the 2013-14 season after he was prohibited from attending UW practices or games. Romar later explained that Upshaw needed to focus on off-court issues.

Upshaw produced his best statistical game for Washington Dec. 16 when he had 15 points and 15 rebounds with four blocks in 22 minutes in an 86-38 win over Gambling.

Washington, 14-5 overall and 3-5 in Pac-12 play, plays Stanford Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Alaska Airlines Arena. The Huskies, at one time ranked as high as 13th nationally, lost to the Cardinal 68-60 in overtime Jan. 4 in Palo Alto, CA.



  • Estip

    Dang. Looks like the Huskies will not be going anywhere this season.

  • RunningRoy

    Maybe he refused Romar’s pleas to practice his free throws.

  • Bob

    A win over Gambling? Is Alcoholism also on the schedule? ;^)

  • jafabian

    Hope things work out for Robert. Right now basketball is the least important thing for him. It’s about his life and he has a very serious problem right now. Look no further than Reggie Rogers on what the demons of a drug and alcohol problem can bring to a person.

    From a basketball POV this hurts the program in a large way. Losing Upshaw and Jarreau (to injury for 4-8 weeks) will drastically impact the program, and not in a good way. Hopefully someone on the bench will see an opportunity being presented to them and take advantage of it.

  • RadioGuy

    As much as cutting Upshaw loose after losing Jarreau is going to hurt the Huskies up front during games, kudos to Lorenzo Romar for doing what’s right for his program. Given that Upshaw was suspended multiple times during his freshman year at Fresno State, you have to wonder if due diligence was exercised in vetting whether to bring him to the UW in the first place.

    With some (if not most) D1 coaches, it’s more important to bring in that seven-foot shot-blocker than whether he’ll cut the mustard off the court, but this was the proper move to make even if it means saying bye-bye to the NIT or even CBI. You can only look the other way so many times.