Nashville, TN – Vanderbilt center Festus Ezeli has been suspended for the first six games of the season for accepting improper benefits.
An internal compliance review by the university uncovered that the senior accepted a meal and a hotel room from an alumnus and Vanderbilt self-reported the violation.
Ezeli will be allowed to participate in the team's November 7 exhibition game against Xavier (La.) but will not be allowed to join the team in the regular season until a November 28 meeting against Xavier.
"Festus Ezeli is a good, honest student-athlete that accepted an act of kindness from a Vanderbilt alum and now faces the consequences," Vanderbilt vice chancellor David Williams said in a statement. "We have a very good compliance education process in place and this incident shows how easily someone can fall astray, even with the best intentions. We discovered this matter, reported it promptly and cooperated fully with the NCAA and its process and will abide by its conclusion."
Ezeli played in 34 games for Vandy last season, averaging 13 points and 6.3 rebounds.