Marvin Bagley III cleared by NCAA, will play for Duke this season

The NCAA has academically cleared Duke freshman Marvin Bagley III to play college basketball this season, the school announced Friday. 

Bagley, according his father, officially graduated high school on Sept. 1. A source told CBS Sports that Bagley's amateur status also has been approved by the NCAA. So Duke and Bagley are good to go. 

"From the outset of this process, we were optimistic that it would end with the NCAA Eligibility Center certifying Marvin to compete for Duke University in 2017-18," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement. "We are thrilled for Marvin and the Bagley family. Their organization and efficiency were key to the successful conclusion of the certification process, as were the efforts of our Duke Athletics administration." 

The 18-year-old took online classes over the summer to make up the necessary coursework in order to qualify for 2017-18 matriculation at the college level. Bagley was rated as the No. 1 prospect in the class of 2018 before reclassifying to 2017. He is still considered the top player in his new class, and is the favorite -- heading into the season -- to wind up as the No. 1 pick of the 2018 NBA Draft.

The reclassification by Bagley became one of the biggest stories of this offseason, because the implications were that Bagley could change the landscape of the rankings. And so he has.

If you're curious as to how someone could decide to reclassify and make up a year's worth of schoolwork over the course of a 3-4 months, Bagley's father has spoken publicly on a couple of occasions about how his son's path was always going to track this way. The endgame was getting Bagley eligible for the 2018 Draft, college eligibility be damned. But because Duke was in early when it came to recruiting Bagley as a 2017 prospect, the family and Duke worked carefully and quickly in order to get Bagley's coursework finished. Bagley committed to Mike Krzyzewski's program on Aug. 15. On that day, he also signed a financial aid agreement. Now he can be on scholarship.

Here are the bars Bagley needed to clear, and has done so in the eyes of the NCAA. 

Duke is ranked No. 1 in CBS Sports' Top 25 (and one) and listed as the favorite to win the 2017-18 national title. The Blue Devils open their season Nov. 10 at home against Elon. 

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Norlander is a national award-winning writer who has been with CBS Sports since 2010. He's in his seventh season covering college basketball for CBS, and also covers the NBA Draft, the Olympics and... Full Bio

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