Another USC basketball player leaving; TV excluded from press conference

Murphy Holloway (left), head coach Darrin Horn

COLUMBIA (WACH) - USC athletics officials confirm a third player has left the men's basketball team this week.

Gamecock forward Murphy Holloway is leaving the team, school officials said Friday morning. Earlier this week, sophomore guards Stephen Spinella and Ramon Galloway announced they would also be leaving the team.

The departures reduce the Gamecock roster to just eight players after the departure of two seniors from the team as well.

Head coach Darrin Horn held a Friday morning "media" session to discuss the players' departure with local print, radio and internet reporters. However, neither the university media relations office or athletics department notified television reporters of the event.

WACH Fox Sports Director Ric Garni spoke to men's basketball sports information director Emily Feeney. She said that Friday's media briefing was a discussion supplying background information, more suited to beat writers, and was not a visual event.

Longtime Midlands sports radio host Phil Kornblut says inviting only certain journalists is unfair to more than the media.

"I think it's unfortunate too for the public. The school selects the media to cover one of their news conferences held in a public meeting with one of their coaches and credentialed media members who cover the team on a daily basis are not informed of the news conference," Kornblut explains.

WACH Fox News requested the opportunity to speak with coach Horn Friday but was not granted an interview.

Holloway, a former standout at Dutch Fork High School, initially attended Ole Miss where he averaged ten points and seven rebounds a game for the Rebels during his sophomore season.

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The Irmo native indicated to Horn his desire to return to Ole Miss and will be granted his release from the South Carolina basketball team. Holloway sat out the 2010-11 season after walking on to the Gamecock team after leaving Ole Miss following the 2009-10 campaign.

I came back because of my daughter and my family situation and I feel like that situation is a lot better than it was, and I want to take the opportunity to go back to Ole Miss, Holloway said in a release from the university.

I TMm disappointed to see Murphy go, Horn said in the release I TMve seen great growth in him as a person and a basketball player since he arrived at South Carolina. We wish him the best moving forward.

This week has been a peculiar one for the USC basketball program, as starting point guard Bruce Ellington also began pursuing his desire to also play football for the school.

Ellington was at Thursday's spring practice session as an observer, but, under NCAA guidelines is not yet able practice with the football team. The expectation is that Ellington will play both football and basketball as he did in high school where he was a standout in both sports.

What do you think about the departure of nearly half the USC men's basketball team? Vote in the poll below.

What about the decision by a public university to exclude television cameras from the event? Leave a comment to tell us your thoughts.