Days after former Xavier guard-forward Dez Wells announced his intention to play for the Maryland men’s basketball team, the school announced Friday that Wells has signed a financial aid agreement and has been admitted to the school. He will have three years of eligibility after enrolling for the fall semester.
“I have followed Dez for the past three years and I know he will be a good student-athlete and teammate,” Terps Coach Mark Turgeon said in a school-issued release. “[Assistant coach] Bino Ranson was very active in his recruitment at Xavier and has also built a strong relationship with Dez over the past several years. This is a new beginning and a fresh start for Dez at Maryland and were looking forward to him joining us on campus.”
Wells started 32 games for the Musketeers last season, averaged 9.8 points per game and was named the Atlantic 10 freshman of the year. But he was embroiled in an offseason scandal surrounding sexual assault allegations. As a result, Wells was expelled from the Cincinnati school, but a Hamilton County grand jury declined to indict Wells on the charges.
Because of the circumstances surrounding Wells’s departure from Xavier, Maryland will petition the NCAA for a waiver to its rules regarding transfers, who usually have to sit out two semesters. Turgeon said in a teleconference with reporters on Friday that it could be four to five weeks before the NCAA issues its ruling.
If the NCAA waives its transfer rules and allows Wells to play immediately, “this will be the first of its kind,” Turgeon said.
Turgeon added that, based on what he’s heard from Xavier, the Cincinnati school “won’t stop Dez from playing this year” during the waiver process.
“The last couple of weeks have been the toughest time in my life for my family and I,” Wells wrote. “I’ve learned that it is a major responsibility that comes with being a student athlete at all times. I’m thankful that God has blessed me with a second opportunity to continue my education.”
He arrived on campus Wednesday. Maryland did not make the news public until Friday.
“As a player, he is an athletic and powerful wing who can score in a variety of ways,” Turgeon said in the statement. “He is also an excellent individual and team defender. Dez has experience playing in the postseason, which will help show our young players what it takes to reach that level of success.”