Syracuse center Fab Melo, banned from the NCAA Tournament because of an eligibility issue, will enter the NBA Draft.

The sophomore intends to hire an agent, the school said Thursday, forfeiting up his remaining eligibility.

Melo said in a statement issued by Syracuse that he made his decision after meeting with his mother, his family and Orange head coach Jim Boeheim.

"Being able to play professional basketball has been my dream since I first starting playing this game and now I have the opportunity to accomplish that dream," said Melo.

"Coach Boeheim, (assistant) coach (Mike) Hopkins and the rest of the Syracuse staff have helped me develop as a player and as a man and I will always be appreciative for what they've done for me. I wish Syracuse University, the basketball program and the Syracuse fans nothing but the best."

Syracuse didn't provide details of Melo's ban from the NCAA Tournament, citing student privacy laws, but the ruling was related to an earlier suspension this season because of academics, according to reports at the time.

A source told CBSSports.com that the NCAA was looking into whether Melo did his own schoolwork.

The 7-foot center sat three games under his original suspension -- the Orange were undefeated at the time but lost to Notre Dame in their first game without Melo -- and missed all four tournament games.

Syracuse, as a No. 1 seed, lost to Ohio State in the East Regional final.

Melo started all 30 games he played this past season and averaged 7.8 points and a team-high 5.8 rebounds. He was honored as Defensive Player of the Year in the Big East, averaging 3.7 blocks during conference play.