Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Colorado wide receiver Josh Smith now appears headed for USC after a Colorado transfer committee upheld a decision made by Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn and coach Dan Hawkins to grant Smith's release only to the Trojans.
Smith had appealed the school's decision to a three-member panel of Colorado faculty members to allow him to attend other schools from a group of eight to 10 potential transfer locations. But that group upheld the athletic department's decision, the Boulder Daily Camera reported.
"That would be final," Colorado assistant athletic director Julie Manning told the Camera of the panel's decision. "There is no other recourse for the student-athlete."
Smith's options now are limited to transferring to USC, paying his own way to transfer to another school or remaining at Colorado.
With the Buffaloes, Smith had emerged as the Buffaloes' top breakaway threats, where he set single-season school records last season with 50 kickoff returns for 1,286 yards as a sophomore. He also snagged 52 receptions for 838 yards in two seasons with the Buffaloes.
Smith had told Hawkins that he wants to leave Colorado because the school does not offer the music major he hopes to pursue. Those academic aims can be fulfilled by attending USC, Smith has said.
Playing time for the Trojans might be a different matter. Smith would have to sit out the 2009 season with hopes of joining the team next year. Seven of USC's eight receivers are either juniors or underclassmen, making his chances of getting much playing time problematic at best. It would also be closer to his Moorpark, Calif., home.
But kick returns might be a different matter. Smith's talents in the kicking game clearly would be attractive to any program.
Among the other schools where Smith has talked about attending is Arizona State, where he is a close friend with Sun Devils quarterback Samson Szakacsy. They spent time in the Phoenix area after the 2008 season recording tracks. Smith has announced he wants to pursue a musical career after producing rap demos and CDs since high school.
But if Smith wants to attend ASU with his friend, he would have to pay his own way to the school. Smith's cousin, heralded tailback Darrell Scott, has tried to talk him into remaining with the Buffaloes.
His chances of now staying with the Buffaloes might be more difficult because Hawkins is handling coaching the wide receiver position on his reconfigured coaching staff. And he made it clear in some comments to Denver radio station KKFN last week that he wants a commitment from players who are remaining on his roster.
"You can't lower your standards," Hawkins told the radio station. "At the end of the day, you need to be all-in or all-out."
Hawkins also lamented to the radio station an attitudinal change in athletes today compared to his own generation.
"Back when I played it wasn't the same type of environment," Hawkins told the radio station. "Nowadays you see a lot of guys transferring.
"If it's not always working out exactly like a guy wants, they go. The grass is always greener."
It will be interesting to see where Smith surfaces. His easiest option would be to remain at Colorado, but it will take bending on both sides to make that happen.