Anthony Hubbard leaves Iowa program

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Iowa coach Fran McCaffery had to think long and hard about offering a scholarship to a player with a background like Anthony Hubbard.

The 26-year-old Hubbard didn't need nearly as much time to decide the Hawkeyes weren't for him.

Iowa announced Thursday that Hubbard, a junior college transfer who spent nearly four years in prison before earning a Division I scholarship, has left the program. The Hawkeyes said the 6-foot-5 wing player wants to explore playing for a school closer to his Woodbridge, Va., home.

Hubbard will have two seasons of college eligibility remaining.

"Obviously, we're disappointed. We invested a substantial amount of time and energy in the recruitment of Anthony. The positive is that we learn (Thursday) of Anthony's decision versus learning of it in August or September," McCaffery said.

Hubbard pleaded guilty to a 2003 home robbery and was released from prison in 2007. He later earned his high school diploma and turned his life around, averaging 20.7 points and 10.1 rebounds per game at Frederick Community College (Md.) last season before landing a scholarship with the Hawkeyes.

Iowa finished 11-20 last season but beat out the likes of Penn State and Nebraska in landing Hubbard, and he was expected to play a big role for the Hawkeyes.

"I am disappointed for Fran, our staff and the other staff on our campus that were involved from the start on what was clearly a very unique recruiting process," Iowa athletic director Gary Barta said. "It's unfortunate it hasn't worked out as we had hoped. We, of course, wish Anthony the very best."