Kelly asks for release; Iowa not confirming or denying

Iowa sophomore Jake Kelly is leaving the Hawkeyes, his father, Bob, confirmed to me tonight.

Kelly has sought his release from Iowa but Bob Kelly said, “I don’t know if he’s gotten it yet.”

Kelly, led Iowa in scoring last year with 11.6 points a game. He averaged 20 points a game for Iowa’s last seven regular-season games. Twice he was named Big Ten Player of the Week and was an honorable mention all-Big Ten selection.

Iowa associate sports information director Steve Roe neither confirmed nor denied information about Kelly’s release.

“I’m not aware of that,” Roe said, “and Todd (Lickliter) has not addressed it. I have not been told about it.”

Bob Kelly said his son wants to play at Indiana State but has not spoken with anyone connected to the team about a possible roster spot. The Kellys used to have season tickets to the Terre Haute college when Jake was growing up.

Bob Kelly added that Jake plans to apply for a hardship through the NCAA to play right away. Bob Kelly said Jake has had a difficult time emotionally since his mother died in a plane crash last summer.

“The true reason is he wants to be closer to his family after the tragedy,” Bob Kelly said. “They’re not basketball related.

“He loved Iowa. He loves it there. He really liked Coach (Todd) Lickliter and the kids on the team. He really struggled with having the responsibilities of the school work and the test schedules and ball games and dealing with his mom’s death.”

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