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NCAA grants NC State guard Braxton Beverly immediate eligibility

The true freshman was expected to have to sit out this season.

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NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at North Carolina State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA has granted immediate eligibility for NC State guard Braxton Beverly, as announced on Tuesday evening before the Wolfpack’s third game of the season. Beverly was perviously ruled ineligible because he took summer classes at Ohio State, where he was once verbally committed.

Beverly, a former three-star shooting guard recruit from Kentucky, was supposed to be a freshman this season at Ohio State. But Buckeyes coach Thad Matta left the job in June, and new coach Chris Holtmann brought on some of his own players, and Beverly wasn’t going to be a Buckeye after all. The school released him from his Letter of Intent, and Beverly committed to play for NC State instead.

Before he left Ohio State, Beverly had started taking summer classes in Columbus. Because he was already enrolled, the NCAA decided to treat Beverly as a transfer, not a standard incoming freshman. And if he’s an undergrad transfer, per NCAA rules, he must sit a season in preparation before he starts his on-court career with the Wolfpack.

After the initial news broke in August, the NCAA officially denied Beverly’s appeal on last week. Beverly responded in an essay: “I’m trying to take all the positives I can out of a negative situation.”

Luckily, the NCAA did the right thing here.

The new coach at Ohio State, Holtmann, doesn’t have to sit out a year because he left another job at Butler to take over the Buckeyes. Nor does new NC State coach Kevin Keatts, who comes to Raleigh by way of UNC Wilmington. The NCAA’s longstanding policy has been to give coaches immediate freedom of movement but not players. But that’s not even what this is about, because Beverly’s situation is unique.

Whether you think it’s right or not to make players sit for a season, Beverly had little in common with the average transfer. He hasn’t spent an extended period of time getting acclimated elsewhere, and he’s not being uprooted in a tumultuous way that would impact his ability to go to school in Raleigh.

NC State is rebuilding, and for the Wolfpack’s purposes, it’s not a program-altering event that Beverly can suit up this season. Kudos to the NCAA for making the right call here with Beverly, who hasn’t done anything to deserve being sidelined for an entire season.