The unfortunate case of former Ohio State guard Braxton Beverly has taken an interesting turn for fans of the Buckeyes.
Beverly, who enrolled at Ohio State during the spring but opted to withdraw and transfer to N.C. State after coach Thad Matta was fired in early June, has been denied a waiver to be immediately eligible to play for the Wolfpack this season.
Saturday, CBSSports college basketball columnist Gary Parrish posted to Twitter a screenshot of the letter Matta sent to the NCAA on Beverly’s behalf. Here’s what it said:
I’ve now obtained the letter Thad Matta sent to the NCAA in support of Braxton Beverly. How could a decent person read this and still deny? pic.twitter.com/2gRMHb5jMJ
— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) November 4, 2017
In the letter, Matta addresses the uncertainty surrounding his job position throughout what would be his last season and says that he assured Beverly that, especially with athletic director Gene Smith’s public show of support in early March, he would remain the coach. Beverly chose the Buckeyes for his desire to play for Matta, who was one of only a few coaches in America to believe in his potential.
Since Beverly graduated Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military Academy early after a postgraduate year, Matta encouraged him to enroll early at Ohio State. He did and began taking classes, but when Matta was fired – and that’s the language used in the letter to the NCAA – he advised Beverly to stay the course and remain in class.
Beverly considered playing for new coach Chris Holtmann but didn’t feel it was a good fit, particularly after Holtmann had recruited him at Butler but ultimately not offered him a scholarship. He decided to transfer to N.C. State, where his former coach, A.W. Hamilton, had just been named to the coaching staff.
Matta wrote the letter August 24.
“After spending 27 years in college basketball I sincerely hope you will consider granting this young man immediate eligibility due to a coach’s mistake,” he wrote.
Beverly’s family has made it clear they will continue to pursue further options, but it is increasingly doubtful that he will be able to play for the Wolfpack this season.