Maryland got some very good news just two days ahead of its season-opener against defending national champion Kentucky at the Barclays Center.
The school announced that the NCAA has approved the appeal on the waiver allowing Dez Wells , a 6-5 transfer from Xavier, to be immediately eligible for competition.
“We’re very happy for Dez as the NCAA legislative relief process provided him with complete and fair due process,” said director of athletics Kevin Anderson. “Our staff was personally invested in the NCAA waiver and appeal process because it was in the best interest of our student-athlete. We’re pleased that Dez will be able to move forward and experience all the opportunities that come with being a student-athlete at the University of Maryland.”
“We’re excited for Dez because at the end of the day, the NCAA made the right decision,” said basketball head coach Mark Turgeon. “Our staff did an incredible job in putting this NCAA waiver appeal together on Dez’s behalf. Dez has been a welcomed addition, a great teammate, and has made a seamless transition in getting acclimated to our campus. This has been a long process for him and his family, and we’re grateful he can put it behind him and focus on being a student-athlete at the University of Maryland.”
Wellls averaged 9.8 points last year at Xavier and chose the Terps over Memphis. He also visited Kentucky and considered Oregon.
He was expelled from Xavier Aug. 3 for a violation of the school’s code of student conduct.
But a Hamilton County (Ohio) grand jury opted not to indict Wells on a sexual assault charge.
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.