Auburn Tigers freshman Sharife Cooper cleared by NCAA, to make debut Saturday

Auburn freshman Sharife Cooper has been cleared to play by the NCAA and will make his debut for the Tigers on Saturday, the school announced.

"Sharife Cooper has been deemed eligible by the NCAA," the school said in a statement. "He will play Saturday vs. Alabama."

Cooper had sat out the first 12 games of the season while awaiting the findings of an NCAA investigation into his eligibility. ESPN reported in November that Cooper's representatives had contacted professional teams in Europe and Australia in case the NCAA did not clear him to play this season, but Cooper's desire was always to remain at Auburn.

Sources told ESPN that Cooper hasn't been practicing the past several weeks, but he's still expected to suit up on Saturday.

A 6-foot point guard from McEachern High School (Georgia), Cooper was a McDonald's All American and five-star recruit in the 2020 class. He was ranked No. 20 in the ESPN 100.