Taylor follows Roberts out of Baylor

Updated: August 19, 2003, 6:04 PM ET

HOUSTON -- Junior forward Kenny Taylor said Tuesday that he is leaving Baylor's beleaguered basketball program, but is staying in the Big 12 by transferring to Texas.

Taylor's decision came a day after Lawrence Roberts, Baylor's top scorer and rebounder last season, transferred to Mississippi State.

Their departures from Baylor follow the school's self-imposed probation over major NCAA violations uncovered during the investigation of the disappearance and death of player Patrick Dennehy.

Taylor told KRIV-TV of Houston that he decided to go to Texas after making an unofficial visit there last weekend and talking to former Longhorns All-American T.J. Ford, his teammate at Willowridge High School in Sugar Land when they won back-to-back Texas Class 5A state championships. Taylor was Baylor's third-leading scorer at 11.8 points a game last season.

"After weighing all of my options, Texas is the best place for me," Taylor told the station. "I really didn't consider any place else. You can't get much better than Texas."

Texas spokesman Scott McConnell told The Associated Press that no paperwork has been signed, but confirmed that the school does have a scholarship available.

Baylor launched an internal inquiry in July into possible NCAA violations, after allegations surfaced of improper payments to players following Dennehy's disappearance. Coach Dave Bliss and athletic director Tom Stanton resigned Aug. 8.

The school then placed itself on a two-year probation and won't participate in any postseason tournaments next season, including the Big 12 tournament. All players were offered a release from their scholarships, allowing them to transfer to other schools.

Junior guard John Lucas III has also asked for his release, as have sophomore forward Tommy Swanson and junior college transfer Harvey Thomas. Incoming freshman Tyrone Nelson, a center, enrolled at Prairie View A&M.

Baylor has asked the NCAA to waive the transfer rule that would require players leaving the program to sit out a year before they could play at another school. The NCAA hasn't ruled on that request.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index