Renard Owens said Thursday that his son made the decision after meeting with new Tennessee coach Rick Barnes.
ESPN first reported that Owens would ask for his release.
Owens, who is from Odenton, Maryland, averaged 1.2 points, 1.1 rebounds and 7.6 minutes per game this season. He played in 28 games and made five starts.
Barnes was introduced Tuesday as Tennessee's new coach. He is replacing Donnie Tyndall, who was fired Friday after going 16-16 in his lone season. Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart said he fired Tyndall after determining the NCAA was likely to find the coach committed major violations while coaching Southern Mississippi from 2012-14.