Murphy Holloway doesn't plan to pay his own way to school - which means an appeal to his former school is probably his last chance to play basketball at Clemson or South Carolina.
Mississippi refused last week to release the Irmo native to the Gamecocks or Tigers. If Holloway's appeal fails, he could walk on at USC or Clemson for a year, paying his own tuition, then go on scholarship for his final two years of eligibility.
But "unless something changes," he said Tuesday, that will not happen. "I wouldn't want to pay to go to school.".
Holloway was optimistic about his chances of convincing Mississippi to release him fully. He did not go into details of the appeal, other than it will take place over the phone.
"I'm hoping for the best. I'm hoping for both schools," Holloway said.
The appeal is being heard by a committee headed by Mississippi's athletics faculty representative.
Holloway announced two weeks ago that he was leaving Mississippi, where he averaged 10.1 points and 7.6 rebounds per game as a sophomore last season. Holloway, who was the Rebels' third-leading scorer, started 29 of 34 games.
He requested the transfer to be closer to home for his young daughter and sick mother.
Mississippi's refusal to release Holloway to USC was not surprising because it is an SEC rival, but Mississippi has not publicly stated why it did not release him to Clemson.
He was released to four smaller, instate schools: Coastal Carolina, College of Charleston, Wofford and Winthrop. Holloway said transferring to one of those schools remains a possibility.
Holloway is prohibited from having contact with the staffs at Clemson or South Carolina, but he said he has heard from Coastal Carolina.
If Holloway were denied his appeal but changed his mind about paying his own way, USC likely would be his choice, according to two sources close to the player.
Reach Emerson at (803) 771-8676.