Citadel sophomore Preston Parks, the Southern Conference freshman of the year last season, was dismissed from the basketball team by coach Duggar Baucom.
Parks, a 6-1 guard from Greenville, was averaging 13.8 points for the Bulldogs (3-3) this season. Last season, he scored 18.1 points per game, averaging 22.1 in league play. He was the first freshman to lead the SoCon in scoring in league play since NBA star Stephen Curry.
Parks said Tuesday night that he has "not been happy" at The Citadel since the end of last season.
"I've been trying to figure out the timing, but I didn't want to bring everybody down," he said.
Parks said he made up his mind to ask Baucom and Citadel coaches for a release on Monday after practice but wasn't able to speak to them.
He planned to try again after Tuesday's practice. But during a pre-practice film session, Parks spoke up.
"I was already on edge, and I just kind of spoke up and voiced my disagreement with some things," he said. "I was just voicing what I had to say, and I had a lot on my mind. After that, we just kind of agreed it was better if I departed."
Parks said he plans to finish out the semester at The Citadel while pondering his future. His release from The Citadel prevents him from transferring to Big South or Southern Conference schools, he said.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be a cadet and NCAA Division I basketball player at The Citadel,” Baucom said in a statement. “The opportunity to be a cadet-athlete here carries great responsibility and high standards. Regretfully, Preston was unable to consistently uphold those standards. We wish Preston well in his future endeavors, and we look forward to preparing for the Bulldog Bash this weekend.”
On Twitter, Parks announced his intention to continue his college career elsewhere.
"First off I would like to thank coach Baucom and his staff for recruiting me and giving me a chance to play at The Citadel," Parks posted at 6:37 p.m. Tuesday, about an hour before The Citadel's announcement. "I wanna thank my teammates and Bulldog fans for supporting and being great people during my freshman year and the first few games of my sophomore year.
"I wish them luck and great success as they move on in the season! With that being said, I will not finish out the rest of this season with the Bulldog family. Although I will miss them dearly, I am looking to forward my academic and athletic career elsewhere. Thankful for the support of my family and friends as I go through this process!"