The NCAA has approved the appeal on the waiver to allow sophomore forward Dez Wells to play for the Maryland Terrapins this season, according to the University of Maryland athletics department in a news release.
The NCAA initially denied Maryland's original request to waive the usual transfer rules requiring athletes to sit out a full year after transferring to a different school. The Division I Legislative Council Subcommittee for Legislative Relief overturned the NCAA's decision, allowing the transfer from Xavier to play immediately. Wells will be able to play in the regular season opener against Kentucky on Friday in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
"We're excited for Dez because at the end of the day, the NCAA made the right decision," said Maryland men's 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."
The Terps will be getting a big boost with the addition of Wells this season who was a member of the Atlantic 10 all-rookie team. He averaged 9.8 points and 4.9 rebounds a game in his freshman campaign, but was expelled from Xavier after sexual assault allegations surfaced. A grand jury later decided that Wells should not be prosecuted on the allegations, but Xavier would not readmit their young star, leading him to transfer to Maryland.
Wells could end up being a starter for the Terps sometime this season, if not for the season opener. Already very physically talented, Wells also demonstrated a command of Turgeon's game plan, performing well in the open scrimmage and showing off his athleticism for fans at the annual Maryland Madness celebration.
The Terps will face on the defending national champions, the Kentucky Wildcats, in their season opener at 8:30 p.m. Friday in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.