USC rising junior center Damontre Harris met with Gamecocks coach Frank Martin today and requested an immediate release from his scholarship so he can transfer to another school. Martin told Harris he is willing to release him to any school, with the exception one school: N.C. State. This stance is not sitting well with the Harris camp.
From the start the new USC coaching staff has been careful with the way they’ve handled Harris’ transfer desires. A couple of weeks ago Martin gave freshman Anthony Gill the freedom to transfer to any school he wants, with no limitations or restrictions. Harris, who had also made it clear his intention to explore a transfer, was not granted the same freedom as Gill. According to a source, the reason why was the concern over potential illegal contact and tampering with Harris.
Martin and his staff have made no official accusation of tampering, but if you connect the dots you can see why there may be some speculation in regards to N.C. State.
Harris has been involved in transfer rumors for a few months, even before Martin was hired. In fact, there were rumblings he was looking to get out even before Darrin Horn was let go last month. Former USC assistant Orlando Early is now working on the N.C. State staff. One basketball source told us Early has been working through Harris’ high school coach, Heath Vandevender, for several months trying to facilitate a transfer to Raleigh. According to the source, Early has also reached out to Harris, citing his previous relationship with him as the reason for the contact.
Vandevender denies that claim. He said Harris has not talked to any school about a transfer.
Harris plans to fight Martin’s decision, but it’s abattle he’s not likely going to win. Coaches often put limitations on transfer destinations for various reasons, and players don’t have much recourse other than to follow those guidelines. Based on the information we have, it seems unlikely Martin is going to change his stance regarding the Wolfpack. That means Harris will have to choose another school, or return to USC.