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Rice grants Arsalan Kazemi's release

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

Rice University has granted Owls basketball player Arsalan Kazemi's request to be released from the school.

Kazemi has been a forward with the Owls for three seasons.

Read the full Rice University statement below:


"The Rice University Athletics Department has granted a request by Owls basketball player Arsalan Kazemi for a release to explore transfers to another school. Kazemi, who has played forward with the Owls for three seasons, also may explore professional career opportunities.

"Head coach Ben Braun said he's sorry to see Kazemi leave and praised his contributions to the team.  "Last season we had the most wins since 2004-05, we equaled our best Conference USA record, and we had the highest GPA in our history," Braun said. "The team is proud of those accomplishments and is training hard for the coming season."

"Athletics Director Rick Greenspan called Kazemi's decision to leave Rice disappointing. Kazemi follows the departure of five other Owls since last season, part of a growing national trend.

"There have been more than 450 basketball transfers -- a record high -- in collegiate athletics over the past year, and unfortunately, Rice is not immune," said Greenspan, who serves on an ad hoc C-USA committee that is studying the trend. "We take pride in the high graduation rate of our Rice student-athletes, and we're always sad when a student-athlete leaves without finishing his or her degree, but we wish Arsalan all the best," Greenspan said."

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