Memphis grants forward Austin Nichols conditional release

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Memphis athletic director Tom Bowen says he has granted Austin Nichols a conditional release, clearing the way for the Tigers' leading scorer last season to transfer.

Nichols' father, Mark Nichols, had said Tuesday that the 6-foot-9 forward had been denied a release. Bowen issued a statement Thursday saying he spoke with Austin Nichols that morning and gave him a conditional release.

Bowen says, ''while we are disappointed in this outcome and the timing of the situation, we respect his wishes to pursue other opportunities.''

Bowen's statement didn't indicate the conditions of Nichols' release regarding whether there were any schools he couldn't consider.

Nichols averaged 13.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game this past season. He becomes the third Memphis player to transfer since the end of the season.