October 13, 2010

One of the toughest early decisions facing Wake Forest’s new basketball coach, Jeff Bzdelik, was ultimately made for him.

Tony Woods has requested and has been granted his release from the Wake Forest basketball program with the intention of pursuing his career elsewhere. Bzdelik said he met with Woods several times to discuss his options before Woods decided to sever his ties with the program.

Woods, who pleaded guilty Sept. 30 in Forsyth District Court to misdemeanor assault on a female, had already been suspended indefinitely from the basketball program and had been dismissed from Wake Forest for at least the rest of this semester by the university’s student ethics and honor council.

He could have applied for readmission to school for the spring semester, but his future as a basketball player for the Deacons remained uncertain until he was granted his release.

“In fairness to all, we allowed the process to take place,†Bzdelik said. “And in the best interest of all involved, Tony will look to further his career somewhere else. We wish him the very best in future endeavors.â€

Efforts to reach Woods were unsuccessful.

Woods, 20, originally was charged with three misdemeanors stemming from a Labor Day incident in which he pushed down another

Wake Forest student, Courtney Lorel Barbour, the mother of their 8-month-old child with whom he shared an apartment.

As part of the plea agreement, Chief District Judge William Reingold dismissed two misdemeanor charges: assault inflicting serious injury and assault in the presence of a child.

Woods was given a suspended 60-day jail sentence and ordered

to complete an anger-management program. He also has to perform 100

hours of community service and is on 24 months of supervised probation.

Woods, a 6-11 junior center, was the most experienced low-post player on the Wake Forest roster. He averaged 4.6 points and 3.2 rebounds last season.