Ashanti Cook, 6-1 PG Los Angeles Westchester, is one of the elite point guards in the west coast senior class. After signing with New Mexico in the fall, Cook went on to have a stellar senior season. When New Mexico fired Fran Franschilla, Cook decided that he no longer wanted to attend the school and asked out of his NLI.
We spoke with Cook this afternoon and he confirmed that New Mexico has agreed to grant his release and he'll be free to talk with other schools as soon as the paperwork is processed.
Technically, a player who has signed an NLI, and then is granted a release by the school, must still sit out one year. However, if the school wishes to make the player eligible immediately, they can deny him admission and the player is then eligible to play right away. Cook said that he believes New Mexico will allow him immediate eligibility by denying him admission.
We asked Cook if he had any thoughts on which schools he'd be interested in and he said, "No, I need to talk with my coach about the schools that could be interested. Right now, I can't talk with any of them."
Cook said that distance from home won't play a factor in his decision. "I'm ok with going anywhere," Ashanti said.
Cook's three finalists prior to choosing New Mexico in the fall were Minnesota, Oregon and Georgetown.