Fingleton, a 7-5 red-shirt freshman from Durham, England, played just four minutes in the Tar Heels' first five games this season. All of those minutes came in a loss to Davidson on November 20. He received a medical red-shirt in 2000-01 following back surgery late in the summer.
"I would like to thank Coach Bill Guthridge and the University for bringing me here," says Fingleton. "I'd also like to thank Coach (Matt) Doherty and his staff for giving me the same opportunities. I wanted to weigh my options at the end of the semester. I believe I would be more comfortable at another school, so I have decided to leave the University. Thank you for all your support."
Fingleton attended Holy Name Central Catholic High School in Worcester, Mass., for three years. He moved to the United States in August 1997.
"I'm sorry to see him go," says Doherty. "I like Neil a great deal. I think Neil will be an excellent player. I still believe Neil has a chance to play in the NBA if he continues to work hard. We wish him well and he will always be part of the North Carolina family. You never like to see people leave, but Neil feels he'll be more comfortable up in the Northeast."
Fingleton has one remaining final exam on Monday. He has not determined which school he will transfer to at this time.