For the first time in about a month-and-a-half, Brent Arrington got a good night's sleep.
Since late May, Arrington has patiently waited for Mississippi Valley State to release him from his scholarship. His request was repeatedly denied, making what should have been a relaxing summer break an exceedingly stressful time for the Lansdowne grad.
But last Friday, after his father spoke with someone from the NCAA and pleaded Arrington's case, the 6-foot-2, 182-pound guard was released from his scholarship. Arrington's first days free from his scholarship were something to savor.
"I feel great," Arrington said. "The first night I had the release I could actually fall asleep. I slept the whole night, no headaches. I'm just ready to play ball right now."
Arrington, who averaged 6.8 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.1 assists in 22.3 minutes per game as a freshman, will resume his college basketball career at Morehead State. He will play for former Mississippi Valley coach Sean Woods, who guided the Delta Devils to a SWAC tournament championship and an NCAA tournament berth.
Arrington said he was surprised that his release came without transfer restrictions. He didn't necessarily expect to be able to follow his old coach to Morehead, and was considering interest from Vermont and Dayton, among others. But those programs had scholarship crunches, and Morehead offered him the chance to continue in a system he had a good bit of success in as a freshman.
"[I'm hoping to come in and] be the starting point guard here … next season," Arrington said. "[Woods] just really wants me to take over the team and show them how to run the offense."
Had Arrington received his release soon after he requested it, it's possible that other schools would have gotten involved. An integral part of an NCAA tournament team, Arrington's individual highlight of the 2011-12 season was scoring 33 points against then-No. 1 North Carolina.
Arrington said "the basketball part" of his freshman season was "probably the best part" of his experience at Mississippi Valley. But Woods left for Morehead, and Arrington – a 3.43 student in accounting – wanted a greater academic challenge.
Arrington will be the second Baltimore-area player at Morehead next season. The former Lansdowne star will join Jourdan Stickler, an All-Metro shooting guard from Annapolis, on the Eagles' roster. Stickler will be a freshman this season.
"Me and Jourdan are cool with each other," Arrington said. "Actually, we trained together for a few months back during his junior year, my senior year."
Arrington is spending some time at Morehead before heading back to Baltimore later this month. He'll rejoin the team in the fall and work out during the season as a redshirt freshman. Arrington can't wait to get started at his new home.
"It's kind of surreal," Arrington said. "Now that [Mississippi Valley] let me out, I can put in the work and get [ready] for the season to start."