Rebels basketball:

UNLV incoming freshman Anthony Bennett is cleared by the NCAA

The coaching staff will try to get Bennett eligible to participate in the August trip to Canada, too


Christopher DeVargas

Findlay Prep’s Anthony Bennett before a ceremony March 21, 2012, to honor his selection to the McDonald’s All-American team.

McDonald’s All-American forward Anthony Bennett has been cleared to play this fall, UNLV coach Dave Rice confirmed Thursday.

“We are excited for Anthony and for our team,” Rice said. “(Senior Associate Athletics Director/Compliance) Eric Toliver and (Director of Student-Athlete Academic Services) David Jackson worked very hard on the waiver.”

Bennett, the centerpiece of the Rebels’ incoming recruiting class, was awaiting a decision by the NCAA Eligibility Center. Bennett went to school in his native Canada before transferring to Henderson-based Findlay Prep two years ago. Attending high schools in multiple countries is one way to raise a red flag in the eyes of the NCAA.

The rest of the recruiting class — Katin Reinhardt, DaQuan Cook, Savon Goodman and Demetris Morant — has been on campus at least a couple of weeks taking summer classes. Bennett had planned to come to campus at the same time and start taking classes starting July 9, but he couldn’t attend summer school until he was cleared, so he stayed at home in Toronto.

UNLV is trying to get Bennett caught up on classes so that he can take part in the exhibition tour in Canada from Aug. 16-22. Student-athletes must complete at least three course credits to participate.

If UNLV can’t get him eligible for that trip, then he will enroll in the fall. Either way, the decision means that he’s cleared to take a full slate of classes this fall and should be a full participant once the regular season starts.

Bennett, listed at 6-foot-7 and 230 pounds, is an excellent rebounder who can stretch the floor on offense. His interior skills should help the Rebels stay strong inside as junior Mike Moser transitions to a more perimeter-based game.

Bennett played on the same AAU team as sophomore forward Khem Birch, who should be eligible after the first semester.

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Taylor on Twitter at

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  1. Great news, I'm surprised the NCAA acted so quickly.

  2. 3 credits, that can be done with one class in about 2 weeks during the summer. Come on UNLV get him in a class and Mr. Bennett let's get studying so UNLV can Run as One during the Canadian trip!!!!

  3. The Running Rebels are back. They should be exciting.

  4. You can't Run as One when Birch isn't eligible to participate in the Canada trip.... This is a big boost however.

  5. We need a new photo of AB to use :)-

  6. Birch is still a Freshman

  7. Good news

  8. Birch is a sophmore, same situation as Reggie Smith Last year, mid year transfers basically lose a year of eligibility.