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Tate leaves Nittany Lions for health reasons

| Thursday, Dec. 12, 2002

UNIVERSITY PARK — Jamaal Tate has taken a leave of absence from Penn State's basketball team, citing nagging health problems.

The university said Wednesday that Tate also was suffering from chronic fatigue.

"Right now, I do not feel comfortable with my health, and I don't feel that I am representing myself or my team as well as I know I can," Tate said in a statement. "Hopefully, some time off will allow me to regain my strength and I can resume my career at Penn State."

Tate, a 6-foot-5 junior swingman, was one of Penn State's most effective bench players two years ago, when he helped the team reach the NCAA regional semifinals. The Nittany Lions went into the Big Ten tournament as an NCAA bubble team, but Tate had 10 points in a win over Iowa and 12 in an upset of Michigan State that helped earn Penn State a spot in the NCAA tournament.

This season, however, he is averaging just 6.5 points despite starting most of the season. He had just four double-digit scoring games last season, and coach Jerry Dunn said Tate struggled with injuries.

Tate appeared to have improved this season. He showed a variety of offensive moves in averaging 20 points during two exhibition games, spotting up for 3-pointers and slashing the lane.

During the regular season, however, Tate scored just 13 points in the first three games. He was pulled from the starting lineup for Penn State's last two games and failed to score in either.

"I feel very badly for Jamaal and understand his frustration at not being able to practice or play at the level he is accustomed to," coach Jerry Dunn said.

Tate is the second Penn State player to leave the team this season. Forward Daren Tielsch was projected as a starter and played well in Penn State's preseason Blue-White scrimmage, before leaving the team for personal reasons after the first exhibition game.

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