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Coach Jim McElwain acknowledged Saturday that Donnell Alexander has been granted a release from his scholarship but did not rule out the possibility of the running back returning to play for CSU.

Alexander indicated a desire to be closer to home, McElwain said, because of some "personal issues," and was granted a release to talk to one school about transferring there. Releases could be granted to other schools.

"I'm aware of one for sure," McElwain said after a morning practice. " ... Like I told him, wherever we can facilitate you getting closer to home, feeling better and being at peace with the things you're dealing with, I'll help you."

Alexander, a junior from Blue Springs, Mo., participated in the first day of spring practices with the Rams on Tuesday but hasn't practiced since.

McElwain said he still considers Alexander, the Rams' leading rusher as a redshirt freshman in 2012 and second-leading rusher last season, part of the Colorado State University program because he's still on scholarship. He will take classes at the school for the remainder of the spring semester. McElwain said he wants to make sure Alexander stays on top of his work academically "to be eligible to take whatever course he wants to take."

Alexander's mother, Kim Alexander, told the Coloradoan on Friday that her son "didn't get any support from CSU" following a "tragic event" involving his sister and that he will not play football again for CSU. Alexander's father, Pro Football Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas, died in 2000.

Follow reporter Kelly Lyell at twitter.com/KellyLyell and facebook.com/KellyLyell.news.

(Copyright © 2014 Fort Collins Coloradoan, All Rights Reserved)

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