As expected, center Philip Jurick is leaving the University of Tennessee basketball team, coach Bruce Pearl announced Friday.
The 6-foot-10 Jurick will likely transfer to Chattanooga State Community College in his hometown, Pearl said in a UT release.
“I’m disappointed,” Pearl said. “But Philip knows that everyone in the Tennessee basketball family loves him, and we wish him nothing but the best.
“It is our anticipation that he will go to Chattanooga State. And the possibility still exists that he could return to Tennessee one day.”
Jurick redshirted in his only season at UT. He has four years of eligibility to divide between junior college and a four-year school.
He was rated the No. 68 senior prospect in the nation by Rivals.com when he came out of East Ridge High School in Chattanooga.
Jurick’s departure from Tennessee has been speculated about for some time. It became more evident when he did not enroll in summer school classes and was not among UT players who signed up for the Pilot Rocky Top League prior to Wednesday’s draft.
It also solves a scholarship dilemma.
Tyler Smith’s decision on Thursday to return to UT for his senior year put the Vols one scholarship over the NCAA limit. Normally men’s programs are allowed 13 scholarships but Tennessee is reduced to 12 in 2009-10 due to an APR penalty.
UT’s scholarship roster for the coming season:
Seniors: Tyler Smith, Josh Tabb, Wayne Chism, J.P. Prince, Bobby Maze.
Juniors: Brian Williams, Melvin Goins.
Sophomores: Cameron Tatum, Scotty Hopson, Renaldo Woolridge, Emmanuel Negedu.
Freshman: Kenny Hall.
Also, Skylar McBee will be an invited walk-on freshman and Josh Bone will be a walk-on junior transfer from Southern Illinois.