Taran Buie gets release, will transfer

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Suspended Penn State guard Taran Buie will transfer following a tumultuous freshman year.

Coach Ed DeChellis announced Monday he had granted Buie a release from his scholarship after a post-season meeting with the player. The Nittany Lions were eliminated from the NCAA tournament after one game, a 66-64 loss to Temple.

DeChellis in a statement said "we agreed it was in his best interest and in the interest of our program for him to pursue the remainder of his career at another school."

Buie was one the most highly rated basketball recruits in DeChellis' eight-year tenure. He is the half-brother of senior Talor Battle, the school's all-time leading scorer.

Buie started the season as the Nittany Lions' top reserve, averaging 5.8 points in 15 minutes a game and playing in 11 nonconference games.

But Buie was hampered by off-court problems all year. He was suspended in December for an undisclosed violation of team rules.

Buie was also one of four Penn State athletes cited last month by State College police for disorderly conduct in connection with a scuffle at an off-campus apartment building in February. Also cited was fellow freshman guard Tre Bowman, along with two football players -- receiver Curtis Drake and cornerback Derrick Thomas.

A phone message left Monday for Buie seeking comment was not immediately returned.

"Thanks to Coach DeChellis for the opportunity provided to him," Denise Murphy, the mother of Buie and Battle, said in a phone interview. "I think he's ready to move forward."

Penn State also announced Monday that Ernie Nestor, the director of basketball operations, was leaving to become an assistant under new Missouri coach Frank Haith. Nestor and Haith had previously worked together as assistants at Wake Forest.