Shannon Sharpe will not play at Colorado next season.

The redshirt sophomore has returned to Southern California to take care of "family responsibilities," according to head coach Tad Boyle.

Sharpe, who did not return a message left by Buffzone.com on Wednesday, indicated to Boyle that he is looking to transfer to a program closer to his Corona, Calif., home.

With Sharpe's departure, following the graduation of Austin Dufault, Trey Eckloff and Nate Tomlinson, the only remaining Jeff Bzdelik recruit in the program is junior-to-be Shane Harris-Tunks.

Boyle plans to bank the extra scholarship for the 2013 class unless CU is able to attract an "impact" transfer this summer.

Colorado’s Shannon Sharpe walks to the bus as the University of Colorado men’s basketball team heads to Albuquerque to play UNLV in Boulder,
Colorado's Shannon Sharpe walks to the bus as the University of Colorado men's basketball team heads to Albuquerque to play UNLV in Boulder, Colorado March 13, 2012. CAMERA/MARK LEFFINGWELL ( MARK LEFFINGWELL )

After CU won the Pac-12 Tournament and made its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2003, Boyle said there was a chance a couple of players would decide to transfer.

Sophomore center Ben Mills has some "things in the works" concerning a possible program change. In the meantime, the Buffs' seldom-used 7-footer is enrolled in CU's "Maymester" and working out per usual with athletic trainer James Hardy.

"I'm still loving it," Mills told Buffzone.com after averaging 1.0 points, 1.1 rebounds in seven games last season. "I just want to get bigger and stronger and continue to contribute for next year."

Boyle said there is a chance Mills could remain at CU. Sharpe sounded uncertain about his future after the Buffs' run in March.


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"As of now, I am coming back," Sharpe said then.

During the memorable 2011-12 campaign, Sharpe saw action in only 16 games, averaging 1.1 points and 1.0 rebounds.

But Sharpe isn't leaving just to look for more minutes somewhere else.

During high school, Sharpe lost both of his parents to heart failure. His mother, Monique, died in January 2007, less than two years after his father, Jude, died -- both at the age of 46.

Sharpe's grandmother, Doris Moore, moved from Cleveland to Corona to raise him and his younger sister, Shari.

Now Shari has graduated from high school and getting ready to head off to college. Moore would like to move back to Ohio.

Sharpe has expressed to the coaching staff that he plans to attend to the family home and continue his education and basketball career in Southern California.

When Bzdelik landed Sharpe there was a lot of excitement surrounding the explosive 6-0 guard's arrival due to his impressive YouTube clips from the AAU circuit.

There were a few highlight reel dunks from Sharpe over the last two seasons. With the improvement of Tomlinson and the emergence of freshmen Askia Booker and Spencer Dinwiddie, he was running the point for the scout team last season.

Bzdelik really needed an athletic guard in 2009-10, but Sharpe had to sit out his true freshman season after sustaining a knee injury during his first CU practice.

"It's nothing too big to me," the affable Sharpe said at the time. "Life always hits you with minor setbacks."