Echols, who cited financial reasons for
his sudden decision, is leaving his second college in three years.
"This is very poor timing on Najeeb's
decision for our basketball team and Illinois State," Moser said.
"To tell us in March about his decision is one thing, but to tell us
in July is another. We worked him out all spring, and he worked with
our strength and conditioning coach all spring and summer. He worked
my camp, and we also got him summer aid for school. Then, in
mid-July he tells his coaches and teammates that he's leaving,
without giving us time to replace him."
For the past month, Moser and his staff
worked with Echols on his decision.
"He's dealing with a number of issues
right now and we tried to lay out a plan to help him sort things
out, but over the last two weeks he has broken all the lines of
communication with us to pursue his professional career," Moser
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Echols, who became eligible for
Illinois State on Dec. 13, 2003, at Illinois-Chicago, was on pace to
graduate in the summer of 2005.
"The saddest part about the whole
decision is that we have worked so closely with Najeeb on his degree
plan," Moser said. "He was on track to graduate during the next
year's summer session, but percentages show when student-athletes
leave school with more than a year left, they rarely come back and
played in 24 games last season, with seven starting assignments. He
averaged 6.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game in his first season at
Illinois State after transferring from Missouri.
assistant athletics director, media relations,