Holloway shifts gears, leaves S.C. for return to Ole Miss

OXFORD – It appears the Ole Miss basketball program will receive another transfer, and this one won’t need help finding his way around.
Almost a year ago, Murphy Holloway shocked the Ole Miss coaches by telling them he wanted to transfer out. Now he’s shocked them be telling them he wants to transfer back in.
The University of South Carolina confirmed Friday morning that Holloway, a native of Irmo, S.C., just minutes from the school’s campus in Columbia, has asked for and been granted his release.
Holloway, who played his freshman and sophomore seasons at Ole Miss, transferred to South Carolina last May, citing the need to be closer to his daughter.
“I came back because of my daughter and my family situation, and I feel that situation is a lot better than it was,” Holloway said in a news release. “I want to take the opportunity to go back to Ole Miss.”
Whether Holloway will have one year of eligibility or two will depend on NCAA and Southeastern Conference rulings to waivers he is expected to file requesting that both bodies allow him to be eligible for the 2011-12 season.
Ole Miss did not grant Holloway a release a year ago. He followed through with his transfer but joined the Gamecocks program as a walk-on. He sat out the 2010-2011 season and would have been eligible to play and to go back on scholarship next fall, beginning the 2011-2012 academic year.
On a team that often struggled offensively this season, Holloway was held in high regard by South Carolina coach Darrin Horn.
“I am disappointed to see Murphy go,” Horn said. “I have seen great growth in him as a person and a basketball player since he arrived at South Carolina. We wish him the best moving forward.”
Ole Miss coaches are unable to comment on prospects, which is what Holloway becomes until papers are signed with Ole Miss or any NCAA institution.
It is expected that Holloway, who last played basketball in the 2010 NIT Final Four with Ole Miss, will apply to the NCAA for a waiver of its rule requiring all transfers to sit out for one season.
If so, Holloway’s case would become the third in such request in eight months to be submitted to the NCAA by the Ole Miss compliance office. The two others were with football. The case for quarterback Jeremiah Masoli was successful on appeal. The case for quarterback Barry Brunetti, who transferred to Ole Miss from West Virginia this semester, is pending.
Earlier this week Ole Miss athletics director for compliance David Wells said he was close to getting Brunetti’s paper work submitted to the NCAA.
Another Ole Miss case before the NCAA right now is one in which football player Kentrell Lockett is seeking a sixth year of eligibility based on injuries that kept him from competing in 2010 and 2006.
Before Holloway could begin a second career with the Rebels, his case would also have to be approved by the Southeastern Conference.
Like the NCAA, the SEC has its own policy that any athlete transferring from one SEC school to another must sit out one year.
If Holloway is not ruled eligible for the 2011-2012 season, he could sit out the year and be eligible for 2012-2013. In that scenario, he would lose a year of eligibility.
Holloway played 25.7 minutes a game in 2010, averaging 10.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.5 steals. He was the No. 5 rebounder in the SEC.
In two years at Ole Miss he appeared in 65 games with 47 starts.
Contact Parrish Alford at 678-1600 or parrish.alford@journalinc.com.

Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal