As first reported by SNY.tv last month, Cincinnati freshman Shaquille Thomas has had his initial eligibility waiver approved by the NCAA and has been granted a full financial scholarship.
Thomas will be cleared for practice activities at the conclusion of the fall quarter in mid-December.
The 2011-12 academic year will be considered a redshirt season for Thomas, who will have four years of eligibility to play for the Bearcats starting in the fall of the 2012-13 school year.
“We are very happy that Shaq has been cleared to attend the University of Cincinnati,” Bearcats coach Mick Cronin said. “He is a wonderful young man as well as a great player. Obviously, we wish he could play this season, but the circumstances dictate he must focus on academics. I know Shaq plans on using this year to work on improving each day. It is nice to know we will have one of the best freshmen in the country playing for us next season.”
Thomas comes to Cincinnati after playing two seasons at NIA Prep in Newark, N.J., where he averaged 28 points and eight assists during the 2010-11 campaign. He was tabbed a four-star prospect by Rivals.com and Scout.com and listed as the 81st-best player nationally by Rivals.com. He is the nephew of long-time NBA veteran Tim Thomas and the half-brother of New York Liberty standout Essence Carson.