Guard/forward Dez Wells was cleared to immediately join the University of Maryland basketball team after being dismissed from Xavier University in a sexual-assault case.
Transfers usually are required to sit out a season. Maryland appealed to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, which granted the waiver, the College Park-based school said on its website.
Wells was expelled from the Cincinnati, Ohio, school in August following a sexual-assault allegation. An Ohio grand jury chose not to prosecute.
“At the end of the day, the NCAA made the right decision,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said in a statement. “This has been a long process for him and his family, and we’re grateful he can put it behind him.”
Wells also was one of eight players suspended following a bench-clearing brawl during a Dec. 10 game between Xavier and the University of Cincinnati. A chest-to-chest shouting match between Xavier’s Tu Holloway and Cincinnati’s Ge’Lawn Guyn escalated when Wells shoved Guyn. He received a four-game ban.
Wells, a 6-foot-5 sophomore, started all 32 games he played at Xavier last season, averaging 9.8 points and 4.9 rebounds per contest.
The Terrapins open their season Nov. 9 against the defending national-champion University of Kentucky at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. It’s the first college basketball game at the new arena.
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