Star guard cites 'personal reasons'

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Two-time All-Big East senior guard
Cappie Pondexter of Rutgers is going to miss the first half of
women's basketball season.

Pondexter did not give a reason for sitting out in a statement
she issued through the university late Friday afternoon.

"I can assure you that it is not a life-threatening condition
or a substance abuse issue," Pondexter said. "This is a personal
matter, and I would appreciate it if people will accept and respect
that. I look forward to rejoining my teammates for the second half
of the season."

Pondexter refused to allow university officials, including coach
Vivian Stringer, to speak about her decision.

The Chicago native was recently selected as one of the 31
preseason candidates for the State Farm Wade Trophy, given annually
to the nation's best female college basketball player.

Pondexter averaged 17.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists and
1.8 steals in leading the Scarlet Knights to a 21-12 record and an
NCAA tournament berth last season. She averaged 23.3 points in
helping Rutgers reach the final of the Big East tournament, where
it lost to national champion Connecticut.

Pondexter earned third team All-America honors from The
Associated Press.