Butler University women’s basketball player Haley Howard has decided to transfer to another Division I program.
The Whiteland Community High School graduate started 26 of the Bulldogs’ 31 games during the 2013-14 season, averaging 6.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists as a redshirt sophomore.
“There’s just a lot of things in the program that sort of went against my moral compass. I stuck it out, played this season, and things didn’t really change the way we were told they would,” said Howard, the Daily Journal’s Player of the Year in 2011. “There were a lot of outside influences I didn’t really agree with.”
The 6-foot forward notified Butler coach Beth Couture last week of her decision.
“I hope the best for Haley as she continues her academic and athletic careers,” Couture said in an email.
Howard verbally committed to Butler as a high school sophomore. Her first season with the Bulldogs (2011-12) was successful as she averaged 7.7 points a game.
A stress fracture in her left femur forced Howard to redshirt during the 2012-13 season.
Working her way back to form this winter meant doing so in the newly revamped Big East Conference after Butler spent last season as a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference.
Butler finished with a 10-8 record in the Big East and 15-16 overall. The Bulldogs played in the Women’s NIT Tournament but lost at South Dakota State, 78-61, in the opening round March 20.
It would be Howard’s final game in a Butler uniform. Playing 15 minutes, she scored six points, grabbed two rebounds and dished out two assists.
By transferring to another Division I program, Howard would be required to sit out the 2014-15 season and then have one year of athletic eligibility remaining. She might try to file a waiver to the NCAA in attempt to gain a sixth year of eligibility.
Dayton, Stetson, Wichita State, Indiana and Bowling Green have shown interest in Howard, though no decision of where she’ll transfer has been made at this point.
“I’ve learned my lesson. I’m going to take my time with the recruiting process,” Howard said. “Secondly, I just want to get away. I’ve never lived away from the Greenwood or Indianapolis area. My parents don’t want me to leave Butler, but they just want me to be happy.”