University of Miami men's basketball signee C.J. Giles on Wednesday received his long-awaited release from his national letter of intent.
Soon, Giles, who first asked out of his letter March 29 after the firing of Hurricane coach Perry Clark, will be free to contact other schools.
And Giles, a 6-foot-11 senior center from Seattle's Rainier Beach High, plans on doing just that, his dad, Chester Giles Sr., said Wednesday.
"It's great. We're happy now. We'll probably take a couple of trips and get acclimated to different programs," said the elder Giles, who played college basketball at Kansas University.
Once his release arrives in the mail, Giles is hoping to contact coaches from KU, Washington and Cincinnati, and perhaps other schools, too.
"We've got to wait until we get release papers to set up any visits," Chester Giles Sr. said. "We haven't been able to talk to any schools yet. We have to wait on the release papers, then go from there."
Giles said he and his son had "high interest in KU since they were No. 2 on our list in the first place. We want to see how (coach) Bill Self wants C.J. to fit in the program, take a look at the school and then look to see what we do from there."
Giles Sr. said if he learned in coming days KU was interested, he would like to set up a visit this week or next.
C.J. Giles signed with Miami in November and went on to average 17 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks for Rainier Beach High. His dad said it had been frustrating waiting for the release.
"They granted releases to two of their players (Armondo Surratt and Karron Clarke) but they are holding my son hostage, a kid who never stepped foot on their campus and hasn't even been accepted," Chester Giles Sr. said last week. "It's not fair. This is leaving a bad taste in my mouth."
In releasing C.J. Giles, Miami AD Paul Dee said: "After reviewing the circumstances, and speaking with coach (Frank) Haith and the Giles family, we have concluded that it is in our mutual best interests to release C.J. Giles from his national letter of intent."
Giles now will be eligible to play as a freshman in the 2005-06 season. However, he can appeal for immediately eligibility to the letter of intent committee based in the Southeast Conference offices. Such appeals normally are granted.
Hairston close to decision?: Malik Hairston, a 6-5 senior from Detroit's Renaissance High, today is expected to choose either KU, Michigan, Ohio State, UCLA, Oregon, or Oklahoma with the help of his parents and AAU coach.
"Everything should be done tomorrow," Hairston's dad, Richard, told Shay Wildeboor of rivals.com Wednesday.
Later Wednesday evening, Malik Hairston didn't sound as optimistic as his father.
"I need to sit down one more time with my parents and coach to see if I can reach a decision," he told theinsiders.com. "It may take two more times. Actually I am going to take as many times as I need to make the right decision."
More on KU vs. Kentucky: The Jayhawks and Wildcats are continuing to discuss a home-and-home series, which would start next season in Lexington, Ky.
The schools have not agreed on financial terms or playing dates. Rob Mullens, UK's executive associate director of athletics told the Lexington Herald-Leader the schools want to play on a weekend in December on CBS.
But UK is committed to play at North Carolina on the first Saturday in December, against Indiana in Louisville the second Saturday and at Louisville the third Saturday.
"The initial discussions have been positive," Mullens said. "A lot has to happen to make it happen."
KU coach Bill Self told the Journal-World he is in favor of the series. UK leads the all-time set, 19-3.
Visitors: Alex Galindo, a 6-6 senior from St. Benedict's High School in New Jersey, and Tyler Hansbrough, a 6-9 junior from Poplar Bluff, Mo., will visit KU this weekend.
Micah Downs, 6-8 junior from Bothell, Wash., Mario Chalmers, 6-1 junior from Anchorage, and Terrence Williams, 6-7, from Seattle are slated to visit May 14-16. Williams is a teammate of Giles at Rainier Beach High. Tyler Smith, 6-7 of Pulaski, Tenn., is planning a visit to KU for Late Night in the Phog on Oct. 15.