The Daily Tar Heel

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Sunday September 26th

Allisha Gray considers transfer

The rising junior wing was North Carolina’s leading scorer in 2014-15

<p>Guard Allisha Gray (15) goes for the jump shot. </p>
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Guard Allisha Gray (15) goes for the jump shot. 

Gray, a native of Sandersville, Ga., came to UNC in 2013 as part of a recruiting class that was ranked No. 1 in the country by ESPN. During 2014-15, Gray put together a strong sophomore campaign, averaging 15.8 points and 7.6 rebounds per game and earning first team All-ACC honors.

Gray could decide to stay at UNC, a decision that Coach Sylvia Hatchell hopes she will make.

“I love Allisha Gray and all the wonderful things she brings to our program,” she said. “It’s been a privilege these past two years to coach her and hope to continue to do that in the future.”

On Tuesday, Hatchell called Charlie Tuggle, a professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, to her office to speak with Gray about her academic options at UNC.

Tuggle said her main reason for wanting to transfer was the academic-athletic scandal.

“She kept talking about the stigma of the scandal and whether her name would be attached to it in some way, regardless of when it ends and how it ends,” Tuggle said.

Tuggle said Gray remained quiet, mostly listening. She didn’t mention specific schools or programs.

“It was about how she would be viewed. How would a potential employer view her?” Tuggle said. “Would the employer look at her skill set? Or would they automatically sort of disqualify her in their minds because she played basketball at Carolina?”

Tuggle said Gray has taken classes in the Department of Communication Studies and enjoys video editing.

“I tried to let her know that basketball aside ... my major concern is that our students perform well in the classroom and that they have the opportunities that a Carolina education affords them,” Tuggle said.

NCAA rules state that student-athletes must submit a request to their coach or an administrator before they are allowed to contact other schools.

Transfer students must complete one year in academic residence before they are eligible to play, barring any special exemptions.

If Gray decides to move to another school, she will be the third from the top-ranked 2013 recruiting class to leave UNC.

Diamond DeShields, who was named the 2013-14 national freshman of the year by both ESPNW and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, transferred to the University of Tennessee in April 2014. Jessica Washington, who averaged 7.3 points per game off the bench for the Tar Heels this past season, and UNC mutually agreed to part ways in May of this year.

Gray’s departure would leave Stephanie Mavunga as the only remaining Tar Heel from the 2013 class. Mavunga, who also earned first team All-ACC honors in 2014-15, averaged 14.4 points and 9.6 rebounds per game during her sophomore season.

sports@dailytarheel.com



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