Even with their move to the Atlantic 10, the Butler Bulldogs are expected by many to hit the ground running this season thanks to the addition of Arkansas transfer Rotnei Clarke and key returnees such as Khyle Marshall and Andrew Smith.
Things may have become a little more difficult for Brad Stevens’ team on Wednesday afternoon as the school announced that junior guard Chrishawn Hopkins was dismissed from the program for violating team rules.
One of four returning starters from last season’s team, Hopkins averaged 9.1 points and 2.4 rebounds per game in 2011-12.
“I am sorry to have to announce that Chrishawn Hopkins has been dismissed from our team,” Butler head coach Brad Stevens said in a statement released by the school.
“We consider it a privilege to represent Butler University as a member of our team. With that privilege, comes a requirement and responsibility to meet the standard of our team rules.”
According to Hopkins’ legal guardian Vince Stenett, it was a “repeat violation of team rules and standards” that led to Hopkins’ dismissal in an email sent to the Indianapolis Star.
“It’s with extreme regret that we were informed today that Chrishawn was released from the Butler men’s basketball program,” Stennett wrote in an email.
“His dismissal was due to a repeat violation of team rules and standards. Although the mistakes he’s made were enough to constitute his dismissal from the program . . . . He will move forward and accept these mistakes as life lessons.
“We would like to thank the Butler Athletic Department, coaches, players and administrators for the opportunity. Additionally, on behalf of our family, we extend our deepest and sincerest apologies to everyone whom this impacts.”
The question for the Bulldogs at this point is how they’ll go about accounting for the loss of both back court starters with point guard Ronald Nored having graduated.
Clarke used the transfer year to transition to the point, and he remains one of the most prolific three-point shooters in college basketball.
As for Hopkins’ dismissal it likely means more added to the plate of senior guard Chase Stigall, who averaged 5.2 points per game in 37 contests (18 starts) last year.
There’s also sophomore Jackson Aldridge and freshman Kellen Dunham at Brad Stevens’ disposal, but the Bulldogs are losing their most athletic player with the dismissal of Hopkins.
The question for Hopkins, who navigated a tough road to simply get to Butler, is what he can do in this next chapter of his basketball career and life.
Getting dismissed is certainly an obstacle for Hopkins, but it’s one that he can learn from and overcome. Hopefully he does that.
Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.