Memphis Tigers leading basketball scorer Austin Nichols said Tuesday he intends to transfer out of the program, citing the best interests of him and his family, according to a report from ESPN Radio Memphis.
Nichols reportedly asked for a release to speak with other basketball programs seven business days ago, but the school denied the request on Tuesday, according to a report from CBS Sports's Gary Parrish. Nichols must be granted release by the school in order for him to leave.
Nichols's father confirmed to CBS Sports that his son would not return to the program after the school denied the request without explanation.
“So now we're going to have to appeal that decision and maybe hire a lawyer,” he said, according to CBS.
“I want to thank everyone for supporting me in my two years at Memphis. The coaching staff, fans, family and friends. As for me, I think it's best if I move on from here,” Nichols told ESPN.
The No. 17-ranked prospect in the 2013 class by Rivals.com missed a team workout on Tuesday as well as a mandatory meeting on Monday, the report said.
In a statement provided to the radio station, the school said, “Austin Nichols missed a team workout this afternoon. Like all issues of this nature, we will handle this matter internally. Austin is an important member of our team and we fully expect him to be a leader for the Memphis basketball program moving forward.”
The 6'9" forward averaged 13.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game during the 2014–15 season. He injured his ankle in a Feb. 7 game against Tulsa and only played sporadically for the remainder of the season.
In March, Memphis announced Pookie Powell and Nick King would also transfer from the program.