NC State's Keatts on Braxton Beverly: 'He deserves to play'
Twice the NCAA said Braxton Beverly is ineligible to play basketball for N.C. State this season.
That doesn’t mean Beverly, his family or Wolfpack coach Kevin Keatts have given up all hope in the freshman guard playing this season.
“Even though we’ve filed the waiver and the appeal,” Keatts said Wednesday, “a piece of me is holding hope out that someone sees that this kid deserves to play.”
A 6-foot freshman guard, Beverly signed with Ohio State and enrolled in summer school last May. When Buckeyes coach Thad Matta was fired in June, Beverly left Ohio State for N.C. State.
Because he started classes at Ohio State, Beverly is considered an undergraduate transfer under NCAA rules and is not eligible to play this school year.
While Keatts said there’s nothing more N.C. State can do to get the NCAA to reconsider the case, Beverly’s family is mulling other moves.
“I think Braxton and his family are going to look at different options,” Keatts said. “I don’t know what that is. I haven’t had a chance to talk with those guys about it. I know they are disappointed with the outcome.”
The NCAA denied Beverly’s initial waiver on Oct. 13 and turned down his appeal on Monday.
Keatts said again Wednesday that he is “disappointed” with the NCAA’s ruling, but he’s yet to discuss with Beverly what his role would be on this year’s team while not playing games.
“I don’t want to go down that road with the young man,” Keatts said. “He just found out a couple of days ago. He’s thinking that he’s got a great opportunity to be able to play this year. Then this happens.”
The NCAA’s reasoning in denying Beverly’s request for immediate eligibility is because he received athletic aid from Ohio State, Keatts said.
During the waiver process, Matta wrote a letter to the NCAA on Beverly’s behalf that explained that Beverly enrolled early at Ohio State because Matta’s staff thought they’d still be at the school coaching. “(Matta’s) staff made him come early because they got a vote of confidence that they were going to return,” Keatts said.
Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann, hired to replace Matta, gave Beverly a release, and the school supported Beverly’s request to play immediately at N.C. State.
“If he didn’t start summer school or if Ohio State didn’t pay for him to start summer school, then he would be eligible anywhere in the country,” Keatts said. “To me, that just doesn’t sound right.”
Beverly practiced with the Wolfpack on Wednesday afternoon but was not made available to speak with reporters.
A three-star prospect by 247 Sports, Beverly averaged 20.3 points and 7.1 assists in leading Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy to a 90-3 record the past two seasons.
N.C. State has two other transfers sitting out this season – C.J. Bryce from UNCW and Devon Daniels from Utah. They both played at their previous schools last season.
“I think Braxton is being held up on a technicality,” Keatts said.
N.C. State plays its lone public exhibition game Friday night against Mars Hill at PNC Arena. The Wolfpack open the regular season Nov. 10 at PNC Arena against VMI.