Hayles has a 2-year-old daughter and has decided the stress of being a father and playing basketball at the SEC level is not a good balance at this time.
"I have talked with both Daniel and Daniel's mother, and we think this decision is best for Daniel and his family," Lebo said. "Daniel wants to be a good father and going to school, playing basketball at this level and raising a child from a distance has been very stressful for him. I appreciate his effort and toughness on the court, and that will be difficult to replace. I wish him and his family nothing but the best."
A valuable member of Lebo's first two teams at Auburn, the 6-5, 215 Daniel Hayles played in 57 of 59 possible games while at Auburn and averaged just under six points per game. Last season Hayles averaged an even six points per game while pulling down 3.1 rebounds. One of Auburn's top shooters Hayles shot 50 percent from the floor and 33 percent from three-point range.
"I have really enjoyed my time at Auburn and the support of my teammates, my coaches and our fans," Hayles said. "This is about taking responsibilities for my child and getting closer to those responsibilities. I wish my teammates, coaches and Auburn nothing but the best in the future."
As a freshman Hayles became the first true freshman to start a season opener for the Tigers since the 1996-97 season. Playing in all 31 games he averaged 5.8 points per contest.
With his absence the Tigers will have to count on several newcomers at the three and four spots to pick up the slack in his absence. The top name will be Furman transfer Quan Prowell. At 6-8, 210, Prowell can play the three, four or five spots and will be counted on to play more minutes with Hayles gone from the roster.
It will also put a premium on freshman such as Lucas Hargrove (6-6, 185), Kelvin Lewis (6-4, 175), DeWayne Reed (6-1, 175), Matt Heramb (6-9, 210) and junior college transfer Archie Miaway (6-4, 202) coming in ready to perform when the Tigers begin practice October 13.