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N.C. State freshman Beverly sandbagged by NCAA, ruled ineligible in transfer dispute

NCAA Basketball Tournament - UNC Wilmington v Virginia

ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 16: Head coach Kevin Keatts of the North Carolina-Wilmington Seahawks reacts against the Virginia Cavaliers during the first round of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Amway Center on March 16, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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On the same day that the NCAA announced that they will not be handing down any punishment of note to North Carolina for an academic scandal that helped keep players on two different national title-winning teams eligible, they also alerted N.C. State to the fact that incoming freshman Braxton Beverly will be ineligible to play this season for going to class.

Here’s what happened.

Beverly, who is not a top 100 prospect but a three-star point guard, signed an LOI with Ohio State in November of last year. After Thad Matta was fired, he asked for, and received, a release from the Buckeyes. A month later, signed with the Wolfpack; his head coach at Hargrave Military Academy, A.W. Hamilton, was hired as an assistant coach by new N.C. State head coach Kevin Keatts, who was himself the head coach at Hargrave until 2011.

The problem here is that the coaching change at Ohio State happened in early June, nearly a month after Ohio State’s summer sessions began on May 10th. Beverly, who received his release on June 30th, attended summer classes in Columbus on the assumption that the coaching staff that had recruited him to Ohio State would be coaching him at Ohio State. Since he attended those classes, he is no longer a prospect asking out of an LOI. In the NCAA’s eyes, he’s a freshman looking to transfer.

Firings don’t typically happen in June, and they don’t typically happen three months and zero games after an athletic director unequivocally states his support for his head coach.

That’s what happened with Ohio State.

Beverly was duped.

But since the NCAA makes it so clear that nothing matters to them more than the sanctity of being a student-athlete, Beverly, barring a victory in appeal, is going to have to spend his freshman season riding the pine.