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Rookie guard Ronnie Murphy has been suspended without pay by t

November 24, 1987

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ Rookie guard Ronnie Murphy has been suspended without pay by the Portland Trail Blazers for failing to lose weight.

The 6-foot-5 Murphy entered rookie camp with his weight about 240 pounds. The Blazers want him to get down to 228, and his weight is reportedly 10 to 15 pounds over that goal.

The NBA team levied the suspension Nov. 13 but delayed announcing it until Monday in hopes that Murphy’s weight and conditioning problems would be solved quietly, Coach Mike Schuler said.

Murphy, who played college basketball at Jacksonville, was taken by the Blazers in the first round of last June’s draft. He suffered a stress reaction in rookie camp to the fifth metatarsal in his right foot.

He agreed to undergo a therapy and conditioning program that would help him get into better shape while waiting for the stress reaction - a possible prelude to a stress fracture - to heal.

Murphy has been scheduled for twice-daily therapy sessions but has missed some of them. In addition to the suspension, Blazers Vice President Bucky Buckwalter said the the player has been fined for missing the sessions.

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