Wyoming Cowboys Basketball Reinstates Forward Leonard Washington

Scott HenryFeatured ColumnistSeptember 11, 2012

Jan 24, 2012; Laramie, WY, USA; Wyoming Cowboys forward Leonard Washington (5) pulls down a rebound against San Diego State Aztecs center Deshawn Stephens (23) during the second half at the Arena Auditorium.  The Aztecs beat the Cowboys 52-42. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-US PRESSWIRE

Wyoming reinstated all-conference forward Leonard Washington on Tuesday, according to a report from Ben Frederickson of the Casper Star-Tribune.

Coach Larry Shyatt said, "Leonard has met our criteria for earning his way back onto this team and has done everything athletics director Tom Burman and I have asked of him. We are pleased that he will have the opportunity to earn his degree this spring and look forward to him continuing to help this team.”

Shyatt suspended Washington in April for the always ominous "conduct detrimental to the team." Washington then compounded the problem by being arrested for battery and criminal entry after sparking a fight at a house in Laramie. He received a one-month suspended sentence and one year's probation.

The 6'7" Washington led the Cowboys with 12.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game while also leading the Mountain West in blocked shots at 1.1 per game. His 56 percent field-goal shooting placed third in the league.

Wyoming lost three starters from last season's team, including MWC Defensive Player of the Year JayDee Luster. Washington, forward Larry Nance Jr. and guard Luke Martinez are the only returnees averaging more than four points per game.

Washington's return may help the Cowboys avoid last place in the Mountain West. However, in a league featuring potential top-10 teams in UNLV and San Diego State and strong returning squads at Colorado State and New Mexico, the Pokes still face an uphill struggle to reach the top half of the standings.