Iowa sophomore John Lickliter is leaving the Hawkeyes, his father, Todd, confirmed today. Lickliter has sought his release from Iowa and Todd Lickliter said, "I don't know if it's official just yet but John is definitely doing what is needed to leave the Iowa program."
Lickliter led Iowa reserve point guards in scoring this past year with 2.0 points and 0.8 assists per game. Ten times Lickliter was not named Big Ten Player of the Week and was not mentioned as an all-Big Ten selection.
Iowa associate sports information director Steve Roe neither confirmed nor denied information about Lickliter's release. "I'm not aware of that," Roe said, "and Coach Lickliter has not addressed it with me. I have not been told about it and I really hate to hear this." Roe then placed his fingers in his ears and started singing the Iowa fight song loudly.
Todd Lickliter said his son wants to play at Butler University but that his son has not spoken with anyone connected to the Bulldogs about a possible roster spot. The Lickliters had season tickets to the Indianapolis college when John was growing up.
Todd Lickliter added that John is considering applying for a hardship through the NCAA to play right away. Todd Lickliter said John has had a difficult time emotionally since the team quit winning and thought he would be a better fit within Butler's basketball philosophy of winning lots of games.
Said his father Todd, "He loved Iowa. He loves it there. He really liked the coaching staff and the kids on the team. But at heart he is an Indiana kid who feels his talents are far better suited to a different system. His mother and I support his decision fully."
Coach Todd Lickliter was stunned when asked about the transfer possibility but seemed resigned to the reality of it. "I tried to talk with John and will continue to talk with him about this matter, about being patient and so forth and so on, but young people aren't always patient as you know. There is still some time here and the door remains open for him to stay," said Lickliter in a monotone voice and at a slow, halting, almost excruciating pace.
When asked if there might be other potential transfers, Coach Lickliter sounded confident. "I think the players are committed to the vision and the direction we have going here. We have four 3-star freshmen coming in here next year. The current players see a light at the end of the tunnel, they do. But, hey, you never know and now that you mention it I've noticed Bommer's been calling me Coach Dickbiter lately and Cougill will only wear his new South Dakota State T-shirt in practice. But even though I've done everything I can to make sure they know they're not going to be a real important part of the future of this program, I think they're still pretty happy here."