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Report: Ohio will not release three-star forward Tariq Owens from National Letter of Intent

Apr 6, 2014, 1:29 PM EDT

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Tariq Owens, a 6-foot-8 forward from St. Vincent Pallotti High (Md.) committed to Ohio University 10 months ago. On Thursday, head coach Jim Christian left the program after two years to take the Boston College opening.

On Saturday night, North Dakota State head coach Saul Phillips was announced as Christians replacement.

Following Christian’s departure, Owens, a three-star recruit according to Rivals, requested his release from his National Letter of Intent. According to a report from Evan Daniels of Scout, Ohio Director of Athletics Jim Schaus has denied that request.

“Same source says, Tariq Owens has no intentions of going to Ohio and would sit out a year if he has to,” Daniels tweeted.

Before he committed to the Bobcats, Owens held offers from Florida Gulf Coast, Miami (FL), Seton Hall, South Florida and VCU.

The Bobcats are coming off a 25-win season, and entering the 2014-2015 season Owens was going to join Maurice Ndour, the team’s second-leading scorer and top rebounder, on the Bobcats frontline.

Two years ago, Ohio head coach John Groce accepted the same position at Illinois. Ohio released a three-star recruit in the Class of 2012 from his letter of intent. That turned out to be Michigan shooting guard Caris LeVert, who averaged 12.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game this season for the Big Ten regular season champion.

Ohio finished third in the MAC East Division.

  1. titansbro - Apr 6, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    What? A not for profit educational institution holding a teenager hostage? Noooo.

  2. jeaglet1 - Apr 6, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    I’m guessing he just wants him to talk to the new coach. Once they talk, if he still wants out, he’ll probably be released. Same thing as LeVert two years ago.

  3. rtroy23 - Apr 6, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    I thought that if a coach leaves your allowed to transfer without any issues?

  4. titansbro - Apr 7, 2014 at 7:23 AM

    It’s still despicable.

  5. sailbum7 - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    There should be an automatic release from all letters of intent upon reuest of the player if the head coach changes. The head coach is a big part of the decision of where to play for many of these kids. What the school is essentially doing is holding the kid to a contract when the school has unilaterally changed the terms of the contract. This should not be legal.

  6. jeaglet1 - Apr 26, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    @sailbum. Exactly how did the school change the Terms of the NLI? The coach quit to take another job, school had no say in that. Besides, There’s specific wording in the NLI stating a player signs with the school and coaching changes could happen. That being said if he doesn’t want to be there I’m glad they released him after meeting the coach… all this held hostage talk was just smoke. Just as I said 3 weeks ago.

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