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Dez Wells wins appeal, gains eligibility
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On November 7, 2012 @ 12:00 pm In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Nicole Auerbach, USA TODAY Sports
Two days before it opens the season against defending national champion Kentucky, the Maryland basketball program received some big news: Ex-Xavier guard/forward Dez Wells will be eligible to play.
Wells, who was expelled from Xavier for violating the code of student conduct, was originally denied when Maryland filed a waiver on his behalf. The school appealed the decision, and the NCAA Division I Legislative Council Subcommittee for Legislative Relief, which is comprised of athletics administrators from around the country, overturned the NCAA staff decision denying the waiver.
“We’re excited for Dez because at the end of the day, the NCAA made the right decision,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said in a statement. “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.”
Wednesday morning’s news came as a bit of a surprise to those outside the Maryland program. Wells’ appeal was unique, and many fans and reporters didn’t think the NCAA would allow a player who was expelled in the midst of sexual assault allegations to transfer and play right away.
It certainly helped Wells’ cause that the grand jury that heard the sexual assault allegations declined to charge him, and that the Hamilton County (Ohio) prosecutor also released a statement encouraging Xavier to revisit the situation and consider re-instating Wells in school. When Xavier did not re-instate him, Wells transferred to Maryland.
Wells’ eligibility instantly raises expectations for this Maryland team. Instead of a middle-of-the-pack Atlantic Coast Conference team, the Terps could now have the talent to compete with the top teams — North Carolina State, Duke and North Carolina — and perhaps finish ahead of the likes of Miami (Fla.) and Florida State.
Wells made the Atlantic 10 all-rookie team last season after averaging 9.8 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.
“We’re very happy for Dez … [For more on Maryland's Dez Wells wins appeal, gains eligibility, click here.]
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