TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama basketball player Devonta Pollard has decided to withdraw from school after his arrest in connection to a child’s kidnapping, coach Anthony Grant said Monday.
“Devonta has endured a very challenging time these past few months due to the legal issues involving him and his family,” Grant said in a statement. “Our primary concern is and has always been his well-being and doing what is in his best interest. In light of the issues at hand, we felt it best to allow him the time he needed to focus solely on family without having to address his status as a student-athlete.
“In a recent meeting with Devonta, he informed me that he and his family have decided that he needs to withdraw from the University of Alabama so that he can be closer to his family during this difficult time. Devonta has my full support with his decision. It was a pleasure coaching him this past season.”
Grant said that he couldn’t comment further because of the ongoing legal case.
Pollard, who was a freshman last season, and his mother are among seven people who have been charged with conspiring to kidnap a 6-year-old girl from an east Mississippi elementary school in a plot that allegedly involved a property dispute.
Prosecutors say Pollard’s mother, Jessie Mae Brown, led a scheme to kidnap the girl to pressure the child’s mother in a dispute over some land.
The charges against Devonta Pollard’s mother could carry a life sentence. He and the five other defendants face up to five years in prison.
Pollard averaged 3.9 points and 3.1 rebounds last season while starting eight games. He was Alabama’s only signee in 2012 and was rated a five-star prospect.