Wayward Thornton Is Dismissed From St. Joe's Program

Posted: June 17, 1987

Tarone Thornton, a starter in 17 games last season, has been dismissed from St. Joseph's University's basketball program.

The departure of the 6-8 junior forward was confirmed by Hawks coach Jim Boyle.

Boyle cited Thornton's "failure to conform to the standards expected of student-athletes at St. Joseph's" as the reason for Thornton's removal from the Hawks' roster.

Thornton, sources said, is not expected to return to St. Joseph's this fall.

Though the official reason for Thornton's dismissal is "academic deficiency," Boyle said that Thornton's failure to attend mandatory postseason training workouts figured prominently in his removal. According to Boyle, once he informed Thornton that because of his absence and apparent disregard for Boyle's mandatory offseason program he would not be a Hawk next season, Thornton simply stopped attending classes.

Boyle declined to confirm or deny rumors that another factor in Thornton's removal from the basketball team was his violation of the university's behavior code.

Thornton could not be reached for comment.

"I don't want to say anything bad about Tarone," Boyle said. "I still think he's a good kid, and certainly a fine college basketball player. He's just got to refocus his priorities. And this setting just wasn't conducive for him to succeed.

"For him to remain a member of our team would not have been in the best interests of Tarone and our program."

Thornton, a product of Roman Catholic High, played in 25 games last season, 17 as a starter. It was his first year of eligibility after he transferred from South Carolina in 1985. He averaged 13.5 points and 6.6 rebounds.

The loss of Thornton leaves Boyle with a very thin, very small frontline that likely will include 6-8 Rodney Blake, 6-5 Henry Smith and 6-6 Jimmy Owens as starters this season. Marlon Miller, a 6-8 freshman recruit, also is expected to challenge for frontcourt time.

Boyle also said that sophomore Al Glass, a 6-3, 180-pounder from Atlantic City, a 1986-87 medical redshirt with torn stomach muscles, and 6-3 reserve guard Kevin Baggett might see time at small forward.

"We've got enough guys to play the (forward) position," Boyle said. ''I'm confident the guys next in line will do the job for us."

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