When freshman Braxton Beverly signed up for summer classes at Ohio State, he never imagined that his studies would throw a wrench into his basketball career.
After verbally committing to Ohio State in October 2016, Beverly, a six-foot shooting guard out of Virginia’s Hargrave Military Academy, decided to get an early jump on his academics and signed up for summer classes in May.
But when Buckeyes head coach Thad Matta was fired on June 5, his replacement, Chris Holtmann, released Beverly from his commitment days later.
Beverly found a new home with North Carolina State in July and was preparing for the upcoming season when he learned that the NCAA was questioning his eligibility for 2017-18. On Friday, it was ruled that Beverly’s summer classes at Ohio State had triggered the NCAA’s undergraduate transfer rules, making him ineligible to play for any other team as a true freshman.
While Beverly can still play four seasons for the Wolfpack, he’ll have to wait until next fall to make his debut. The Kentucky native was disappointed with the ruling.
“I’m devastated by this decision, it’s incredibly unfair,” he said in a statement. “I appreciate NC State and the work being done here to appeal this decision. My hope is that it gets resolved and I can be eligible to play this season.”
While the school plans to appeal the ruling, the NCAA doesn’t appear inclined to grant any leniency in this case. According to Joe Giglio of The Raleigh News & Observer, Matta was convinced to write a letter to the NCAA on Beverly’s behalf, but it apparently did not influence the decision.
Beverly, a four-star recruit who once scored 70 points in a high school game, could have provided a nice boost to the Wolfpack, especially from beyond the three-point arc. After making four straight NCAA Tournament appearances between 2012 and 2015, NC State has gone just 31-34 over the past two seasons.
While being ruled against by the NCAA isn’t a great way to start a college basketball career, at least he was prepared for this outcome. He’ll spend the next year learning Keatts’ system and getting ready for next fall.
“If worst comes to worst, I have to sit out,” he said at NC State’s media day, per Giglio. “I knew that could be a possibility coming into this situation.”
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