October 9, 2012

Galasso Granted Release from North Carolina

by Matt Forman | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

North Carolina junior attackman Nicky Galasso has been released from his scholarship and is seeking transfer options.
© Peyton Williams

North Carolina junior attackman Nicky Galasso has been granted a release from his scholarship, and is free "to explore transfer options effective immediately," the school's athletics department announced Tuesday.

Galasso, widely regarded as the nation's No. 1 men's college recruit in 2010, attracted attention "from almost all the Division I schools" as a high-schooler, he told The Daily Tar Heel, the university's student newspaper. His potential re-recruitment could similarly draw a slew of suiters.

The school's release said Galasso will finish this fall semester at North Carolina before transferring.

The exact terms of the release are unknown, but Galasso likely will be permitted an opportunity to transfer to any school outside of the ACC, Notre Dame and Syracuse, if recent precedent holds. That leaves a number of options for the dynamic lefty, who could provide an immediate impact since he will not have to sit out a year, per normal NCAA transfer regulations.

Galasso, 6-foot and 190 pounds, totaled 56 points (24 goals, 32 assists) and was the Tar Heels' leading scorer as a freshman, earning All-American honors. He broke his foot last fall and never fully recovered during the spring, and he spent most of the year running through the box as an extra-man specialist.

Galasso did not play Sunday at the Capital Lacrosse Invitational with an apparent injury, though reports indicated he played at the program's alumni game in late September.

LaxMagazine.com spoke with Carolina coach Joe Breschi on Sept. 24, and at that time, there were no indications of Galasso's potential transfer.

"I know it was frustrating for him [last year], because he wasn't able to run or condition, so that compounded some things a little bit. He wasn't able to be himself, as he's been in the past," Breschi said then. "You break your foot, and that doesn't allow you to be in the best condition because you're not able to run, or get up and down the way you're used to, like the way he was his freshman year. But now, he looks great. He's physically fit. He's lost about 20 pounds, he said. He's running great.

"He's just a terrific player. There's no two ways about that. He's got tremendous talent, you saw it his freshman year. He led our team in scoring and did a great job. So we're hoping he has a lot of that, coming back at 100 percent, and is as effective as he was freshman year."

In that conversation, Breschi told LaxMagazine.com Galasso is "definitely an attackman, there's no doubt about that," regarding his plans for Galasso's role in 2013, playing alongside Marcus Holman, Jimmy Bitter and Joey Sankey.

Initial speculation suggested Galasso, of West Islip, N.Y., could seek to return to his native Long Island.

In The Daily Tar Heel's profile of Galasso, he said his favorite part of playing at Carolina was family feeling. But he also indicated it was challenging to leave home.

"Coming from so far away, Long Island, N.Y., it's definitely tough just to leave there," he told the school paper. "But once you're back, you don't even think about anything. It's just, 'Wow, I'm with my other family.'"

Press Release from North Carolina

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — University of North Carolina junior attackman Nicky Galasso (West Islip, N.Y.) has been granted a release to explore transfer options effective immediately, UNC head men's lacrosse coach Joe Breschi announced Tuesday.

Galasso has indicated he plans to complete the fall semester academically at UNC before transferring for the spring semester to another NCAA Division I lacrosse program.

"Obviously, it's disappointing to have a young man like Nicky leave our program. We appreciate all that he has brought to Carolina lacrosse over the past two years and we wish him the best of luck both academically and athletically at his new school. Nicky leaves here in great academic standing and we're proud of the way he achieved in the classroom at UNC," said Breschi.

As a freshman in 2011, Galasso was the ACC Freshman of the Year, just the fourth in UNC history, and a third-team USILA All-America at attack. He led UNC in scoring with 56 points that season including 24 goals and a UNC freshman record 32 assists.

After breaking his foot in November 2011, Galasso returned to the Tar Heels in February 2012 but was never at full strength during the course of the season. He saw action last year in a reserve role and as an extra-man specialist as junior Marcus Holman and freshmen Jimmy Bitter and Joey Sankey played the starting roles on the attack unit. All three of those players return to the Carolina lineup this season. Galasso had six goals and three assists for nine points while playing in 13 games last season.

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