UNIVERSITY PARK - Junior forward Billy Oliver officially ended his Penn State basketball career Saturday over recurring concussion symptoms and migraine headaches.
Oliver is confident of his long-term health, but said playing again risked long-term damage. He plans to remain with the team in a non-playing role through this season and remain on scholarship next season, though his scholarship will not count against the NCAA's 13-scholarship limit, the school said.
"It seems right for me, and more importantly, the team," said Oliver, who said he was relieved in discussing the move during Saturday's post-game press conference while seated between teammates Tim Frazier and Cammeron Woodyard. "It's selfish for me to go out there if I'm not going to be 100 percent and they give 100 percent from me."
Oliver began experiencing symptoms at halftime of the Lions' Jan. 15 game vs. Minnesota and sat out the next four games. He was cleared to return and did on Feb. 4 at Iowa, and played again last Wednesday at Michigan State. He had scored a career-high 21 points against Purdue on Jan. 5 and led the team with 35 3-pointers.
Oliver had redshirted his freshman season of 2008-09 after two early-season concussions and missed all but 5 games of the 2009-10 season with exercise-induced migraine headaches. He plans to finish a second degree, in economics, and will enroll in a Master's program next year.