A former Xavier University basketball star, expelled for a student code violation but cleared of criminal charges, will be heading to the University of Maryland. Desmine Wells reportedly chose the Terps over Memphis, Oregon and Kentucky, according to CBS Sports.
He made the decision via Twitter this morning. "The last couple of weeks have been the toughest time in my life for my family and I," Wells said. "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."
It's still unclear whether the 6-foot-5 sophomore will receive a waiver to play this season for Mark Turgeon, but sources told CBSSports.com it's likely he'll have to sit out this season and have three years left starting in 2013-14.
Last week, officials with Xavier University said their decision to expel Wells for violating student conduct will stand, despite a call by the Hamilton County Prosecutor to reconsider. Joe Deters says a grand jury did indict Desmine Wells on criminal charges-and he pushed the University to readmit the sophomore.
But the University issued a statement saying, "Federal Law (Title IX) and Federal Regulations and Guidances prohibit Universities from ceding student conduct matters to the criminal justice system. The Federal Law requires schools to act quickly and all schools, by law, must use the “preponderance of the evidence” standard, whereas the criminal justice system uses the “probable cause” standard to indict, and the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard to convict."
"The process used by the Xavier University Conduct Board is the standard used in American universities. The XU Conduct Board heard evidence that may or may not have been heard by the Grand Jury. After the Conduct Board reached its decision, the matter was considered and upheld by an appeal board of members of the student body, faculty and staff and is final."
Wells was expelled last month amid allegations of sexual assault, which were sent to the Grand Jury, which ignored the charges. Deters says he assigned senior members of his staff to investigate the matter and, after reviewing the evidence, he felt Xavier should reconsider the decision to kick Wells out of school.
Merlin Shiverdecker is Well's lawyer. He spoke with Local 12's Brad Johansen after the decision and said that Dez was thrilled to be exonerated and glad that Joe Deters reviewed the evidence, presented it to the grand jury and had the courage to step forward and make a bold statement.
Shiverdecker goes on to say, "They (Xavier) seem to be committed to the process and not the fairness or equity of the outcome of the process. It appears to me that do there past sins they have thrown Dez Wells as a sacrificial lamb under the bus."
"This was the only place Dez wells ever wanted to go to school. He loves his teammates, his coaching staff and university until they turned their back on him and threw him under the bus. He was devastated.. Devastated to think that anyone would ever accuse him of such an offense yet alone when they went through that farce of hearing to be found guilty and expelled from school."