Tennessee men's basketball coach Cuonzo Martin said Wednesday that if signee Kevin Ware still wants a release after visiting with him, he'll grant it.
“The key is sitting down with him, and if he wants his release, we move forward with that,'' said Martin, who was hired on Sunday. “You want to do what's best for the young man. If he's unhappy, it won't work for him.''
Ware, a 6-foot-4 guard from Rockdale County High School in Conyers, Ga., is ranked as the No. 56 player in the nation by Rivals.com.
Over the past week, Ware has waivered on his intention to play for the Vols.
Ware said on March 21 that he wanted a release from his National Letter of Intent after Bruce Pearl was fired.
On March 23, Ware posted on his Twitter account that he was a “VFL” - Vol For Life – and told the News Sentinel there was more to his decision to play at UT than just basketball.
"As long as they hire a good coach I can trust, I'll want to be at Tennessee,'' Ware said at the time.
Most recently, Ware sent the following text message to the News Sentinel on Tuesday:
“At this point I do want out because I've still yet to be contacted by (Vols athletic director) Mike Hamilton....I feel like I'm being forced to still be signed to Tennessee....I'm trying to do what's best for me and I know nothing about (Martin)...I been faithfully a Volunteer for two going on three years now.''
Martin said the reason Hamilton hasn't granted the release yet is because Hamilton wants to give Martin an opportunity to talk with him so Ware can make an informed decision.
“Mike wants to give me at least an opportunity to talk to him,'' Martin said.
The Vols other signee in the Class of 2011 is guard Chris Jones. Jones, ranked 39th nationally by Rivals.com, is back attending Melrose High School in Memphis after attending two North Carolina prep schools this school year.
Martin said he has spoken with Jones, too, who also asked to be released from this National Letter of Intent, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.