While he did indeed have a fine year for Mississippi last season, averaging 10.1 points and 7.6 boards a game, sophomore Murphy Holloway’s heart was elsewhere.
Having apparently contemplated a transfer as long ago as the beginning of last season, Holloway announced on Wednesday that he will transfer to South Carolina in order to be closer to his family — specifically, to a mother who has been ill, and his own 5-month-old daughter, Rihanna.
Holloway -- a happy man. (A. Hayworth/TheState.com)
Here’s the rub: Holloway will be paying his own way for at least one year at USC because Mississippi did not officially release him. UM did approve some other, smaller schools as possible transfer destinations, but they denied his requests that he be able to transfer to either Clemson or South Carolina. For a year, then, he’ll be paying his own way, or at least accumulating all the grant money and financial aid that he can, to that end. He’ll also be living at home, which is not even a half-hour away from the campus in Columbia — which was pretty much the point of transferring. He plans on applying to the NCAA for hardship consideration so he can be immediately eligible, but it looks like he’ll almost certainly have to sit out the 2010-11 season.
We know the Rebels are taking an APR hit because of the transfer, but the UM athletics department doesn’t exactly come away from this looking too good. If they had “approved” of a transfer to USC, Holloway would have been eligible for a scholarship and wouldn’t have to pay to go to college during his sit-out season, and his hardship request would have a slightly better chance of being approved by the NCAA. Since he’s leaving the Ole Miss campus anyway, why punish the guy?
Further expanding on his motives — not that he needs to do so — Holloway told Charleston’s Post and Courier, “You really don’t know what love is until you have a child, especially a little girl…you’ve got someone to care about besides just yourself.”
Interestingly, because he would not have been allowed to have contact with any USC coaches while he was playing for Mississippi, Holloway in theory doesn’t know what kind of interest the Gamecock program even has for him. USC did not offer him a scholarship out of high school. Speaking about that, he told the Post and Courier that he wants “to be a beast on the boards,” and added, “I hope I’m welcome.” Those 7.6 rebounds per game were good enough to be fifth in the SEC, so we’re pretty sure the Gamecocks will show him some love.
But we’re betting that the biggest and most meaningful welcome will come from a little 5-month-old girl named after a pop star.