Martin to visit I-AA schools

Updated: December 1, 2003, 9:31 PM ET
Associated Press

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida Gators quarterback Ingle Martin has asked to be released from his scholarship so he can transfer to another school.

Gators coach Ron Zook said Monday that Martin, who started the first four games of the season before losing his job to Chris Leak, wants to leave the program.

Martin will leave the team before its bowl game.

"I need the time to figure out what I'm going to do," Martin told Florida Today. "I felt like that there was no other choice. I didn't feel like I was done yet. I wanted to play and I feel like I can play."

No. 16 Florida (8-4) will head into its bowl game with freshman Gavin Dickey as its backup. Dickey once considered transferring at the beginning of the season but decided to stay.

The quarterback's father, Harry, said that Martin would visit five Division I-AA schools: Furman, Richmond, Pennsylvania, Yale and Samford.

By transferring to a Division I-AA school, Martin would be able to play next fall and would have two years of eligibility remaining. If he transferred to a Division I-A school, he would have to sit out one season under NCAA rules and would have only one year of eligibility left in 2005.

Martin went 2-2 as a starter, completing 61 percent of his passes with three touchdowns and two interceptions while sharing time with Leak. But the redshirt sophomore never played again after Zook named Leak the full-time starter after a 24-10 loss to Tennessee.

Leak, a freshman, has led Florida to a 6-2 record, a three-way tie for first in the Southeastern Conference's Eastern Division and a likely January bowl game.

Martin, from Nashville, Tenn., will be the second Florida quarterback to leave this year. Patrick Dosh transferred to East Carolina at the end of spring drills.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press