Dez Wells, eligibility issues, and the chance for a waiver?
If there is a silver lining to what’s happened to Dez Wells at Xavier, it’s that he gets to experience the recruiting process in all of its grandeur again.
As everyone has been reporting over the last 24 hours, Wells spent last night in Lexington on the Kentucky campus. He’s also scheduled to visit Memphis and Maryland at some point in the very near future, although I can name at least one college basketball blogger (that’d me be) that doesn’t expect him to end up anywhere other than Kentucky.
But here’s the question that everyone is looking for the answer to: can Wells acquire a waiver from the NCAA to become eligible immediately. The NCAA’s rule on this matter is clear cut with absolutely no room for interpretation. According to Rule 18.104.22.168 from the NCAA rulebook, “A student who transfers to any NCAA institution from a collegiate institution while the student is disqualified or suspended from the previous institution for disciplinary reasons (as opposed to academic reasons) must complete one calendar year of residence at the certifying institution.”
There’s not much wiggle room there.
Then again, there haven’t been many situations like the one Wells is dealing with. Yes, he was expelled from Xavier for what the University termed “serious violation of the Code of Student Conduct”, and which Wells later admitted was another student accusing him of sexual assault. But not only did a grand jury fail to charge him with any crime, the prosecutor went Rambo on Xavier’s decision-making process on the radio.
Most believe that Wells got railroaded by Xavier because the University was dealing with past instances where they mishandled sexual assault allegations. If the NCAA believes he was railroaded as well, will they throw him a bone?
Weirder things have happened.
There are a couple of more issues that will have to work themselves out in this case. For starters, according to Kentucky’s academic calender for the 2012-2013 school year, the last day to add classes was August 28th, also known as Tuesday. Thursday was the final day for late registration at Memphis. He would have until September 12th at Maryland.
A bigger issue?
If Wells doesn’t get a waiver from the NCAA and he enrolls after the 12th day of classes, the semester doesn’t count towards the year he has to sit out.