University of Central Florida freshman center Tacko Fall has received official clearance from the NCAA to play in the Knights' season-opening game against Davidson on Saturday.
The program's official site confirmed the news Friday and passed along comments from the 19-year-old Senegal native about the opportunity to move forward after a period of uncertainty: "I am very thankful for the support from UCF, Dr. Hitt, my family and the media. I would also like to thank the NCAA for allowing me to continue to pursue my dream here at UCF as a student-athlete."
UCF head coach Donnie Jones stated Fall will travel with the team to face the Wildcats and is expected to play, per Shannon Green of the Orlando Sentinel. He also echoed Fall's sentiments.
"We're just excited for him to play and appreciate his handling everything with great patience and just appreciate the NCAA looking at his case and understanding his story and how it's been handled," Jones said. "We're just thankful for them giving him the opportunity to play."
Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com reported earlier this week that a dispute over the number of credits he received from core courses at Liberty Christian Preparatory School in Florida had left Fall sidelined. His guardian, Amanda Wettstein, told ESPN.com she would sue the NCAA if he didn't receive an academic waiver.
Now, the issue can be put to rest, as he's free to play Saturday and beyond. Fall is a highly intriguing prospect given his 7'6'', 300-pound frame. That type of size is obviously a major asset if he can adapt to the pace of Division I play.
It's probably going to take some time for him to get back up to speed after sitting out while awaiting the NCAA's decision. That said, he's definitely a player worth watching as the season wears on.