Josh Smith granted release only to USC

Posted at ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Josh Smith will be free to leave Colorado, but the Buffaloes' program will grant him a release only to play football at USC.

Kyle Ringo of the Boulder Camera reports that Smith had been considering eight to 10 schools, but Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn will allow him only to transfer and play with the Trojans.

Smith has appealed Bohn's decision to a committee that oversees such situations, and he should know within two weeks whether the committee will overrule Bohn.

The committee is mandated for all schools under NCAA bylaw 13-1-1-31 and is made up of personnel outside of the athletic department. Colorado's panel consists of three professors.

Smith wanted to leave Colorado in order to pursue educational training for a musical career. Since high school, Smith has been producing rap demos and CDs.

And one school he was interested in was Arizona State. Smith is a friend of Arizona State quarterback Samson Szakacsy and they have recorded tracks together in the Phoenix area. That association seemingly would provide Smith with a big ally in case he wanted to transfer to the Sun Devils' program.

In a sense, the Buffaloes are making it tough on Smith by dictating specific teams where he can play. His chances to play at USC seemingly would be slimmer than other schools because of the talent that is stockpiled in coach Pete Carroll's program.

Also, Colorado associate athletic director for compliance Julie Manning told the Camera that Smith could choose to remain at Colorado and the school would honor his scholarship.

Although Colorado has made an official news release where it was acknowledged that Smith was leaving, he could stay.

"Just because a young man wants to explore his options doesn't mean we close the door on him," Manning told the Camera.

Smith finished 10th nationally in all-purpose yards, so he would be an attractive candidate to transfer to many schools.

But it remains to be seen whether one of them might be USC.