Penn State’s Billy Oliver, perhaps best known for his breakout performance against Purdue earlier this season, has elected to end his playing career due to re-occurring symptoms related to concussions and migraine headaches. Oliver, a sophomore, scored a career-high 21 points, all on 3-pointers, in Penn State’s 65-45 upset over Purdue on Jan. 5. The forward averaged 6.8 points and 3.3 rebounds in 21 games this season and finishes his career at 3.8 ppg and 2.1 rpg in 58 games.
“I have put a lot of thought into this, and I have decided not to continue my basketball career,” Oliver said in a school release. “I am still going to stay with the program, going to games, and next year I’ll be hanging around with a medical scholarship – more of an office job. It’s a decision I have put a ton of thought into. I’ve got these guys (teammates) supporting me, and my parents talked to coach countless times. It seems right for me, and more importantly, for the team.
“It’s selfish for me if I am not going to be able to go out there and give 100 percent with the history of my head, and I am worried about problems with that. I don’t want to do that to the team, because I know they give 100 percent. So, I am not continuing basketball, but I will be around.”
In his fourth year with the Nittany Lion program, Oliver redshirted his freshman season of 2008-09 after suffering a pair of concussions during early season workouts and sat out all but fivegames of the 2009-10 season due to exercise induced migraine headaches. An Academic All-Big Ten honoree, Oliver has applied to earn his degree in finance this May and plans to return to Penn State next fall to finish a second degree in economics.
He plans to remain with the team in a non-playing capacity through the remainder of this season and next and will remain on scholarship as an NCAA medical non-counter. Oliver will not count for Penn State toward the NCAA’s 13-scholarship limit for men’s basketball beginning next season.