The NCAA declared Maryland swingman Dez Wells eligible to immediately play after his transfer from Xavier earlier this year.
Wells, who was expelled from Xavier for a violation of the school’s code of student conduct, was earlier denied a waiver to compete immediately. A Cincinnati grand jury rejected criminal charges of sexual assault against Wells.
It’s a massive development for the Terrapins, who went 17-15 a season ago and suddenly have significantly more backcourt depth.
“I think it helps us a lot,” coach Mark Turgeon said last week when asked how Wells could change his team. “Just his experience alone will help us right away. He’s a very good defender and he has a great feel for the game. Therefore, it gives us tremendous depth at the guard so if certain guys aren’t playing well, it gives you more options.”
Wells averaged 9.8 points and 4.9 rebounds last season for Xavier. He has three years of eligibility remaining at Maryland.
More to come on this later.
Here’s the full release from Maryland:
The University of Maryland athletics department on Wednesday morning announced the NCAA has approved the appeal on the waiver allowing Dez Wells to be immediately eligible for competition.
The appeal decision was provided by the NCAA Division I Legislative Council Subcommittee for Legislative Relief, which is comprised of athletics administrators from around the country, and overturned the staff decision denying the waiver.
“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.”