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Murphy Holloway expressed a desire to return to Ole Miss Friday morning, and has been granted his release from South Carolina.

Murphy Holloway, as first reported by Travis Haney of the (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier, expressed a desire to return to Ole Miss Friday morning, and has been granted his release from South Carolina by head coach Darrin Horn after just one season in Columbia.

"I'm disappointed to see Murphy go," Horn said in an official release. "I've 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."

Holloway decided to transfer from Ole Miss to South Carolina in April of 2010, citing the need to return home to take care of his then 6-month-old daughter. However, he wasn't granted a release to South Carolina or Clemson, his preferred schools, at his time of transfer. He walked on at USC.

"I got to take responsibility as a father," Holloway said in April. "It was tough. It had been on my mind for a while. I felt like I had to make a move on it."

The 6-foot-7, 234-pound Holloway averaged 10.1 points and 7.6 rebounds per game in 2009-10, his sophomore year at Ole Miss. His 259 total rebounds led the team by a wide margin, and he also logged the third-most minutes at 25.7 per game.

Holloway was granted his release from South Carolina Friday morning
Associated Press
"I like being here. It's a great place," Holloway said in April. "Unfortunately, my family called and they need me. Since my little girl was born, (my family) has always thought I might need to come home. But this was a place I thought I could succeed from. I wanted to stick it out."

"He's established an identity here," Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy said following Holloway's decision to transfer.

"He's grown with this team. Honestly, as a coach, you never want to lose a player of his caliber. But when you look at this thing from a big-picture perspective, to me it's a sign of his continued maturation. He understands he has a responsibility far greater than getting rebounds and scoring baskets."

Ole Miss, according to sources, has received permission to contact Holloway, and feels confident that Holloway will be back in a Rebel uniform for the 2011-12 season.

His return would require a waiver granted by the NCAA and the Southeastern Conference to gain eligibility to play immediately, rather than sitting out a year due to typical transfer rules.

The SEC stipulates that a player can't transfer from one conference institution to another without two years or more of eligibility remaining, which Holloway qualifies for. If Holloway has to sit out a year, it would count against his remaining eligibility.

Ole Miss feels it has a strong case. Again, Holloway left Ole Miss due to family issues back home, most notably to help care for his daughter but also his mother, who was dealing with health issues -- viewed as extenuating circumstances in Ole Miss' case for a hardship waiver. Holloway, unlike previous cases, only wants to return to the school he initially signed with.

Sources confirmed to the Ole Miss Spirit that the best-case ruling is Holloway being granted two years to play two. The worst case is two years to play one. Either way, Holloway would be allowed to play for Ole Miss for a second time.

Compared with other unique appeal cases just last year – Mississippi State's Dee Bost and Renardo Sidney, for example -- this case stands alone.

Bost had to appeal after he entered the 2010 NBA Draft, only to withdraw after the deadline to retain college eligibility. Bost pulled out mere hours following the deadline and claimed he had misunderstood whether he would be allowed to return to NCAA basketball if he were to go undrafted.

Bost was given a nine-game suspension, but was ultimately reinstated in late December. Sidney, meanwhile, sat out a full year plus nine games in 2011 after allegedly receiving improper benefits. Like Bost, he was allowed back on the team in December.

"I came back (to South Carolina) because of my daughter and my family situation and I feel like that situation is a lot better than it was, and I want to take the opportunity to go back to Ole Miss," Holloway said, in the same official release Friday.

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