Miami junior forward Dewan Hernandez announced Monday that he is entering the 2019 NBA Draft after he was ruled ineligible for the rest of this season and 40 percent of next season by the NCAA for entering into an agreement to accept benefits from an agent.
Hernandez was held out of games by the school since the start of the season after his name was linked to agent runner Christian Dawkins in November. The NCAA announced its ruling on Monday, and Hernandez followed by declaring for the draft hours later.
“According to the facts of the case, which were agreed upon by the university, Hernandez agreed to receive monthly payments from an agent and accepted other benefits from the individual,” the NCAA said in a statement. “According to the guidelines adopted by NCAA membership, the starting point for these violations is permanent ineligibility, but the NCAA staff recognized mitigating circumstances based on the specific facts of the case when making its decision.”
Hernandez, a Miami native, said he was “saddened by the NCAA’s decision” and is looking forward to the future.
“I was advised of the NCAA’s decision about my eligibility and am very disappointed with the outcome,” Hernandez said in a statement he posted on his Twitter account. “I do not believe that the NCAA treated me fairly, and it is with a heavy heart that I have decided to withdraw from the University of Miami to prepare for the 2019 NBA Draft.”
Though the NCAA statement said the university agreed on the facts, Miami athletic director Blake James said otherwise in a critical statement about the process.
“Today’s decision by the NCAA regarding Dewan Hernandez is not only disappointing, but unfair,” James said in a note posted on his Twitter account. “Based on the totality of the facts, the University is not in agreement with the decisions and interpretations of this case and made it well-known to the NCAA staff that we have many reservations about the reliability of evidence and ultimate conclusions.
“Dewan was cooperative throughout this process and was transparent about what had occurred, admitting to mistakes that he made.”
Per an ESPN report in November, Hernandez (formerly known as Huell) was one of 19 players listed in a business plan that was emailed by Dawkins.
The plan showed Dawkins was to pay Huell $500 per month from September 2017 through January 2018, and $1,000 per month until April 2018. If Hernandez left Miami after the 2017-18 season, he wouldn’t have to pay the money back, according to the email.
But if Hernandez elected to return to the Hurricanes for an additional season, the payments would be converted to a loan, according to the plan.
Hernandez, a former five-star recruit, averaged 11.4 points and 6.7 rebounds last season as a sophomore.
Dawkins, a former runner for agent Andy Miller, was found guilty on two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in October during a college basketball corruption trial in New York.
—Field Level Media