Portland: Players Asked to be Released

In a statement released Tuesday, Penn State women's basketball coach Rene Portland said Jennifer Harris and Lisa Etienne requested and have been granted their release from the program, but Amber Bland is still a member of the Lady Lions.

A story last Wednesday in the Harrisburg Patriot-News reported that all three players would be leaving the program. Portland's statement Tuesday did not address the reasons for the players' departure.

"Out of respect for all of our student-athletes, the events leading up to their release requests, along with all individual conversations, will continue to be treated as an internal team matter," Portland said.

Harris would have returned as the team's leading scorer as she averaged 10.4 points per game this past season while starting 22 games. She told The Daily Collegian in Monday's issue that she and Portland didn't really discuss the reasons behind her departure.

"I'm not asking for any reasons," Harris said. "There was nothing on the court. I didn't break any team rules. My grades are not an issue."

While the official statement said that Harris and Etienne requested to be released to seek transfers, Harris' mother Pearl told the Collegian last week that the players were asked to leave.

"I don't know how the rumors started," Pearl Harris said. "I'm not trying to bring down Penn State. I'm looking out for Jen. Just like [Reicina] Russell last year, people think she quit and people were like well forget her. Jennifer did not quit. She was asked to leave."

Meanwhile, Portland's statement did not say whether she asked Harris and Etienne to leave.

"Jennifer Harris has requested and been granted her release from the Penn State women's basketball program," Portland said in the statement. "She is no longer a member of the team, and she is free to speak with other schools regarding a transfer."


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