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Friday, February 4, 2005
Indiana says transfer wants to return

Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. -- It's tough to track BenJarvus Green-Ellis on the field, and even tougher to follow him off of it.

University of Mississippi officials on Friday said the transfer from Indiana is attending classes at Ole Miss and has signed to play for the Rebels -- even after Indiana's coach said the running back is contemplating a return to his old school.

Leah Miller, the NCAA certification officer at Ole Miss, confirmed that Green-Ellis has been enrolled at the school in Oxford, Miss., since late last month. School spokesman Langston Rogers said the running back signed a Southeastern Conference athletic scholarship earlier this week.

The running back's status has been muddied during the past two weeks.

Indiana's leading rusher during the past two seasons, Green-Ellis announced he was leaving the Hoosiers on Jan. 26 because he wanted to pursue opportunities closer to home.

The New Orleans native was announced as one of 28 players signing with Ole Miss on Wednesday, the first day of the national signing period.

"He wanted to come back home, and he had an opportunity to come back home," Rebels coach Ed Orgeron said. "He's a proven football player in college. He's proved that he can play at a high level and I think he's going to come in and play for us two years from now."

But also that day, Indiana coach Terry Hoeppner told reporters that Green-Ellis called another Hoosiers coach and said he wanted to return to the team.

Indiana's athletic director for compliance told The Indianapolis Star that the running back could return to the Bloomington, Ind., school as long as he hasn't attended any football meetings or practices at Ole Miss.

Green-Ellis did not return e-mails from The Associated Press seeking comment. His telephone number in Oxford is unlisted. Hoeppner could not be reached for comment.

Green-Ellis carried 231 times for 794 yards last season. He also had 14 receptions for 80 yards. In two seasons, he had 1,732 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns.