Tom Sorensen

Getting nailed for going to class? NCAA earns another low grade in N.C. State case

N.C. State guard Braxton Beverly did what student-athletes do before transferring from Ohio State, and the NCAA nailed him for it.
N.C. State guard Braxton Beverly did what student-athletes do before transferring from Ohio State, and the NCAA nailed him for it. ehyman@newsobserver.com

Let’s pretend we’re having a tournament to find organizations that people respect, and in the first round the IRS plays the NCAA. The IRS would eliminate the NCAA, and run up the score.

Braxton Beverly is a freshman guard from Kentucky who shoots as if he spent his childhood slinging jump shots at a driveway hoop. Thad Matta recruited him to Ohio State.

Beverly reported to Ohio State in May and went so far as to take classes. Matta, however, walked (under pressure) on June 6. Chris Holtmann replaced him as head coach. Beverly asked to be released and, to the credit of Holtmann and Ohio State, they let him go.

Beverly transferred to N.C. State. He should be a freshman this season. But the NCAA said he had to sit out a year. Beverly appealed. The NCAA ruled Monday that there would be no change and he had to sit out the 2017-18 season.

I feel bad for new N.C. State coach Kevin Keatts. I feel worse for Beverly. When you’re young, you want what you want when you want it. Patience does not apply. The transition from high school star to college player is a reward. And, because he went to class, Beverly’s reward has been pushed back a year.

I won’t go (again) into the academic scandal a half hour away in Chapel Hill. But the Tar Heels walked. Beverly will sit.

The NCAA’s rule is understandable. Players can’t jump from school to school as if they’re shopping. But all Beverly did in Columbus, Ohio, was to take classes. He established no roots, never ran the Ohio State offense, never hit a high-arcing 3 for the Buckeyes from the top of the key.

He did what student-athletes do, and the NCAA nailed him for it.

What are you in for, kid?

I went to class.

Tom Sorensen is a retired Charlotte Observer columnist. Sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on Twitter: @tomsorensen

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