Florida dismisses Damontre Harris

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Forward Damontre Harris has been dismissed by Florida without ever playing a game, the school announced on Saturday.

The 6-foot-10 junior sat out last season after transferring from South Carolina and missed the first 10 games of the 2013-14 season because of a suspension for violating team rules.

Last week, coach Billy Donovan said of Harris to reporters, "I don't ever anticipate him playing here at Florida."

Donovan complained that Harris had not been in communication with the coaching staff. He hadn't practiced with the team and had not been permitted in the team facility since the start of the season.

"The things we were asking him to do weren't anything out of the norm," Donovan said in a statement on the school website Saturday. "But we'd go a week without hearing from him. He wouldn't return our phone calls or text messages. His teammates didn't know where he was.

"... We tried to help him off the court and help him with some of the challenges he was dealing with. But there was never this reciprocation of wanting to be helped or wanting to to do the things necessary."

Donovan met with Harris this week and granted his release.

"It may mean him getting to a place where he can play the game on his terms," Donovan said. "Someone may let him to do that. Here, it's not our philosophy or belief.

"... I think he realizes that a big opportunity for him is now gone. The thing I tried to get across to him, if he has any aspirations of playing professional basketball, there is not one team in this country or overseas that is going to tolerate this type of behavior, and I'd be doing him a disservice if I didn't hold him accountable for these things."

Harris was considered a prized transfer when he left the Gamecocks after coach Darrin Horn was fired in March 2012.

Harris was named to the SEC All-Defensive Team after a sophomore season in which he had 70 blocks, for an average of 2.3 a game that ranked 29th in the nation, and led the team with 5.6 rebounds a game. Harris also averaged 6.8 points and started 30 of 31 games.

He was plagued by injuries during his time at UF, most notably a torn labrum in his shoulder. He was also arrested last February for failure to appear in court for a traffic violation.

No. 16 Florida (8-2) plays Fresno State on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET in Sunrise, Fla.