Tom Gabbard, Tech's associate athletic director in charge of basketball, said Finney-Smith's mother, Desiree Finney, requested her son's release last weekend in a meeting with Gabbard and new Hokies coach James Johnson.
Previously, Johnson had met with Finney-Smith and Desiree Finney, according to Gabbard.
"J.J.'s position is going to be if you don't want to be at Virginia Tech and you're unhappy here, we don't want you here," Gabbard said. "We're trying to build something. You only go through this (playing college basketball) once, and you need to be happy."
Gabbard added that Tech will grant Finney-Smith his release to a school "not in direct competition" with the Hokies, meaning an ACC rival.
Finney-Smith averaged 6.3 points per game and 7 rebounds per game in his freshman season with the Hokies. His versatility will be sorely missed at Virginia Tech where Finney-Smith could play all 5 positions.
With the internal hire of James Johnson, the hope was that Virginia Tech would avoid transfers and keep their incoming recruits. With the transfer of Finney-Smith and both recruits on the fence one has to question the hire of Johnson.