Sophomore guard Shaun Lawton has become the fourth member of the 2013-14 University of Maine men’s basketball team to fill out a transfer release form in order to leave the program for another institution.
Eileen Flaherty, associate athletic director for compliance at the university, said Thursday that Lawton has filled out his transfer release form and it is being reviewed.
Once the form is returned to him, he can explore other opportunities.
If he stops participating in workouts or announces he is leaving the team, he will forfeit his athletic scholarship.
Lawton joins sophomore guard Dimitry Akanda-Coronel and junior point guard Xavier Pollard in the recent exodus out of Orono. They were three of the top four scorers off this past season’s team.
That brings the number of players who have left early over the past year to seven.
Freshman Mitch Worcester of Washburn, who was a redshirt walk-on this season and didn’t play in any games, has also decided to transfer.
If the players transfer to another Division I institution, they will have to sit out a year as required by NCAA guidelines. Players who transfer to Division II or III schools can play immediately as long as they are in good academic standing, according to Flaherty.
The 6-foot-5 Lawton led the Black Bears in assists (4.2 per game), steals (2) and turnovers (3.2) this past season. He ranked fourth in scoring at 8.1 points per game.
The Black Bears went 6-23 this past season, the fewest wins for a Maine men’s basketball team since 1956-57.
UMaine also lost its playoff opener for the ninth straight season.