Well, it appears to be as official as it gets, as Chris Forman, Purdue's SID for basketball, made it official just now.
This is a pretty big loss for Purdue, as it is never good to lose a double-digit scorer and its starting point guard of the last few years. He averaged 10.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.9 apg in 66 career games, including 59 starts. The load for Bryson Scott just got a lot heavier too, along with P.J. Thompson.
The official release from Purdue:
Sophomore guard Ronnie Johnson has decided to transfer from the Purdue men's basketball program and has been granted his release, head coach Matt Painter announced Saturday.
"Ronnie has expressed his interest in transferring from our program and we have granted him his release," Painter said. "We wish Ronnie the best of luck as he continues to pursue his education and basketball career."
Purdue heads into next season with only ten scholarship players, and this is before A.J. Hammons makes his decision on the NBA or not. I think it seems likely coach Painter will go after another 5th year transfer or two, or maybe a JuCo guy.
Here is your official list of who could have been on next season's team, but will not (and the reason why)
Jacob Lawson - Transfer - Appalachian State
Donnie Hale - Transfer - Bellarmine
Anthony Johnson - Transfer - Northern Illinois
Jay Simpson - retired - potentially fatal heart condition
Ronnie Johnson - Transfer - Destination unknown
The entire 2011 recruiting class and, if Hammons goes pro, three of four members of hte 2012 recruiting class will have left after two seasons or less.