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TOP25 Standings
 1 Virginia 17-1 (28-2) 
 2 Michigan S 17-3 (29-4) 
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 5 Duke 13-5 (25-6) 
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 9 N.Carolina 11-7 (22-9) 
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 19 Arizona 14-4 (23-7) 
 20 W.Virginia 11-7 (22-9) 
 21 Nevada 15-3 (24-5) 
 22 St.Mary's, 17-3 (26-5) 
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 24 Middle Ten 16-2 (23-6) 
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NCAA's denial of waiver for NC State - Nov 2, 2017


POSTED BY:
RICK ROSS
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Courtesy of cbssports.com
It's been a rough few weeks for the NCAA -- starting with the FBI exposing the underbelly of college basketball in a way that proves its grip on amateurism is outdated and ridiculous. That was followed by the North Carolina case coming to a close without any penalties for a school that essentially got away with more than a decade of academic fraud because of what amounts to a loophole in the rulebook. And that was followed by last week's decisions to punish Oakland's Jalen Hayes and Colorado's Evan Battey in ways that make no sense to any sensible person.
Consequently, nobody (in sports, at least) needs a public relations win right now more than the NCAA. Somebody in that big building in Indianapolis must be wise enough to realize as much. And yet the NCAA blew it again with NC State's Braxton Beverly. Incredibly and shamefully, the NCAA blew it again.
"Disappointed would be an understatement for how I feel for Braxton," Wolfpack coach Kevin Keatts said Monday after the NCAA denied Beverly's waiver request to compete as a freshman. "He's devastated. This is a situation where adults failed a young man, and he's the one paying the price."
Unless you're a diehard college basketball fan, it's possible you're unfamiliar with Beverly's story. So let me walk you through it so that you'll know exactly how wrong the NCAA just did him.

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Beverly is a three-star prospect from Kentucky who committed to Ohio State last October and signed a national letter of intent with the school the following month. He was recruited by Thad Matta. He wanted to play for Thad Matta.
"Once I met Coach Matta, me and him clicked instantly," Beverly told Cleveland.com last year. "We have the same vision, same goals, same work ethic. I feel like he's definitely gonna get the best out of of me and take my game to the next level."

NC State's Braxton Beverly will have to wait until next season to play for NC State. 247Sports
After Beverly said those words, and signed his papers, Ohio State went on to finish 10th in the Big Ten, which led to speculation that Matta, who was also dealing with health problems, might not return for a 14th year. But during the Buckeyes' final game, athletic director Gene Smith told The Columbus Dispatch that Matta would unequivocally get at least one more season. And that, it seemed, was that. So Beverly enrolled at Ohio State as planned and started taking a class called Rural Sociology and Life Span Human Development on May 10, you know, because he's a real student who wanted to get a head start on his academic workload.
Then Ohio State abruptly fired Matta on June 5.

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It was a surprising move because, again, Smith had previously said Matta would return for the 2017-18 season but also because it happened two months later than most basketball programs change coaches unless the change is scandal-induced. Matta's termination was not scandal-induced. Smith simply decided, on second thought, he didn't like the direction of the program and made a change. So the coach Beverly planned to play for was suddenly gone. Reasonably, Beverly decided he wanted to be gone too.
So Beverly asked Ohio State for a release.
And the release was granted without issue -- at which point Beverly enrolled at NC State and was subsequently declared ineligible to compete as a freshman strictly because he'd taken that one class at Ohio State. It was weird but mostly no big deal. Because just about everybody assumed it was merely a by-the-book ruling that would be overturned with a waiver because why in the world would the NCAA punish a player who did nothing but try to get a head start on college only to have his coach ripped away a few weeks later? Had Matta been fired at a normal time in the calendar, Beverly would've asked for a release, received it and been free to play anywhere without penalty because it would've happened before he enrolled in a class. Everybody concedes that point. Which means Beverly was tripped up by little more than the combination of Smith's oddly-time reconsideration on Matta and his own ambition to go ahead and knock out at least one class before the fall semester got started.
This was the easiest waiver ever.

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So NC State filed it. And a source told CBS Sports that even Ohio State let the NCAA know it supported it. So literally nobody would've been bothered by the NCAA granting the waiver and releasing a statement that read something like this: "Braxton Beverly has made it clear he only went to Ohio State to play for Thad Matta, and the fact that Matta was removed at an unusual time relative to most coaching changes, and just a few weeks after Beverly started a class at Ohio State, shouldn't be something that prevents him from playing this season at NC State. Ohio State supports the waiver. And we have granted the waiver because we always strive to put the student-athlete first, and doing anything other than granting this waiver would fly in the face of common sense and decency."
But do you think the NCAA released that statement?
Nope!
It instead denied Beverly's waiver -- meaning he will not be allowed to play this season because he dared to start taking a class at Ohio State two months after Ohio State's athletic director told the world Ohio State's coach would remain Ohio State's coach. Totally ludicrous. And the optics for the NCAA are just absolutely terrible. Less than a month after nobody at North Carolina was punished for years of academic fraud, a student-athlete at NC State is punished only because he enrolled in a real class with a real professor.

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If I've said it once, I've said it a million times: The NCAA has a waiver process for a reason, and it should always be used with common sense and decency. I'm not sure how anybody could disagree with that sentence. And yet there's nothing decent or sensible about the way the NCAA handled the cases of Jalen Hayes and Evan Battey last week. And now the NCAA has doubled-down on stupidity and punished Braxton Beverly for reasons that even Duke fans find appalling.
Which is perfect, isn't it?
The NCAA's handling of this case is so indefensible it has Duke fans taking up for an NC State player. Thus, the people who reached this conclusion should be embarrassed and ashamed. Braxton Beverly deserved better. And if the folks who handled his waiver are too dumb to realize that -- and too tone-deaf to avoid yet another public relations hit -- then perhaps they should be replaced by decent humans who actually put student-athletes first the way the NCAA has forever pretended to do but so rarely actually does.
  




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