UPDATE: Here is Richmond's statement today on the matter:
I dealt with some personal issues last week that caused me to miss two practices while I was home with my family in Waukegan. With the help of Coach Weber and my family, I have worked through this situation. I appreciate their support and the support of my teammates for getting me through a difficult time. Unfortunately, my absence led to some false rumors that I want to put to rest. I have been and always will be 100 percent committed to the Illinois basketball program. My coaches and teammates are my family, and I'm looking forward to helping our team achieve our goals. I am an Illini for life.
Bruce Weber shouldn't be surprised that there are rumors of Jereme Richmond wanting to transfer.
That's what happens when your McDonald's all-american freshman sits out a game against a top 25 team when he missed the previous two day's practice after going home to deal with "personal issues". Comments like those made by Bill Cole and Tyler Griffey after the game didn't help the situation, either:
Asked if he was surprised that Richmond didn't play, forward Bill Cole offered an abrupt, "No." Said forward Tyler Griffey, "I'm not going to comment on the Jereme situation, sorry."
Its not that hard to put together, is it? Anyone could make that inference, right?
Well, Bruce Weber addressed those rumors on Monday.
"I'm not sure where all the rumors come from, to be honest," Weber said during Monday's teleconference. "I think that's one of (the media's) dilemmas that you have to deal with -- the internet and all. It really puts things as a negative thing. I feel bad for you guys, to be honest. Now we don't feel good about things that were put out there and then there's a lot of distrust there that happens."
"You know, Jereme had some personal issues he wanted to deal with. We talked and talked and then he went home and talked with his family. He came back. He was in Madison and he was at practice yesterday and hopefully be a valuable member of our team down the stretch run."
So there you have it.
Keep in mind, Richmond is an Illinois-native that committed to the Illini his freshman year in high school. He never wavered throughout high school despite becoming a McDonald's all-american. Sounds like a kid that truly wanted to be in Champaign, right?
Maybe -- just maybe -- he truly had some personal issues to deal with that had nothing to do with potentially leaving the school.
Or maybe he didn't like his role with the team and needed some sense talked into by his family.
Whatever the case, he's back with the Illini, and that's what truly matters here, isn't it?