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Monday, April 18, 2011
Penn State releases oft-troubled Taran Buie

By Eamonn Brennan

Taran Buie, the half-brother of Penn State star Talor Battle, could yet well fulfill the impressive potential he displayed in 11 games for the Nittany Lions last fall. But if he does so, it won't be at Penn State.

Penn State coach Ed DeChellis released Buie from his scholarship today, freeing the freshman to seek a transfer to another school this spring. Whatever program takes Buie on -- and surely one will -- it will have to do so with a big dash of wariness baked in. After all, there's a reason Buie only played 11 games for the Nittany Lions this fall. He was suspended.

The reason for the suspension, which came on Dec. 21, was never exactly clear, but it's likely that there was more than one reason. Buie was cited by police twice last summer, once for underage drinking and once for fighting. According to Buie's mom, who spoke with Penn State's Daily Collegian in late March, DeChellis grew frustrated with his freshman in a variety of ways, and by late December, the coach had apparently had enough:
“I haven’t really talked to [DeChellis] about it, other than when he told me, ‘He’s not the player that represents Penn State. His actions off the court, his behavior and his classwork,’ ” Murphy said. “I just think Ed was giving him a chance and said, ‘Look, I’m giving you this wake-up call, take care of your life.’ I credit coach DeChellis for that.”

According to the Collegian, Battle said his half-brother "would have gotten in trouble wherever he went," which is not exactly a ringing endorsement for a transfer. Nor did it help when Buie, already suspended for months by now, was charged with disorderly conduct for his role in a fight alongside fellow freshman Tre Bowman during State Patty's Day, State College's drunken homage to the Irish holiday.

But Buie did receive offers from the likes of Maryland, Syracuse and Georgia Tech, among others, so his talent will probably land him a place elsewhere. That's a shame for Penn State. The Nittany Lions need some young talent to fill Battle's large shoes in the years to come, and what better person to do so than Battle's kin? Not so much, I guess.