UNLV fans received the good news they’ve been waiting for since Findlay Prep product Anthony Bennett decided to become a Runnin’ Rebel, as he was cleared to join the program on Thursday afternoon.
Bennett had already been admitted by the school but in order to be able to play this season he needed to get through the NCAA Clearinghouse.
This news allows Bennett to join fellow freshmen Daquan Cook, Demetris Morant, Katin Reinhardt and Savon Goodman on Dave Rice’s loaded roster.
“We’re excited for Anthony, but we’re also very excited for our team,” Rice said. “A lot of credit goes to (compliance director) Eric Toliver and (student-athlete academic services director) David Jackson for their hard work in the waiver process.”
Unfortunately for the Brampton, Ontario native this news likely comes too late in regards to UNLV’s upcoming exhibition trip to Canada.
Incoming freshmen can take part in such off-season trips provided they’ve been enrolled in summer school and completed coursework, and Bennett did not take any courses while awaiting the clearinghouse’s ruling.
The other UNLV freshmen began classes for the third and final summer session on July 9, and the last day for late enrollment was July 10, according to UNLV enrollment services. The UNLV staff plans to explore options in terms of getting Bennett caught up to the point where he can complete the course work he would have had he been cleared by the NCAA in time to be enrolled with the rest of the freshman class.
If UNLV is successful in the quest to get Bennett eligible for the trip to Canada, which they’ll prepare for with ten practices beginning on August 4, that would be an added bonus for a team that enters the 2012-13 season as the favorite to win the Mountain West.
But the most important thing is that they now know for sure that Bennett will be able to play from the start, and with his talent level not getting him game action until November is a minor inconvenience.