However, at that point, Hearlihy had not yet said whether he would grant the Utes a release from the agreement, although he did say in a statement this week that he was "concerned about putting myself in an environment where I'm not wanted."
Krystkowiak said told The Tribune that Hearlihy was not forced out because of another, better player waiting in the wings "That couldn't be further from the truth," he said and that he did not question the player's ability.
"I wouldn't bet against the kid in terms of at some point being able to contribute," Krystkowiak said. "It was just a real tough stiatuion for us at this point, in our situation, wanting him to get healthy start enjoying the game again and seeing what opportunities are out there again."Hearlihy will soon undergo another procedure on his knees, Krystkowiak said, and that will keep him out of the April recruiting period. He may play in the summer and angle for a scholarship from another school then, or play a year at a prep school to rebuild his recruiting image.
"There's usually quite a few kids in the summer that things didn't work out and kids go out and open up their recruiting," Krystkowiak said.
Hearlihy's release means the Utes currently have three scholarships available for the 2012-13 season. The late signing period ends May 16.