Braxton Beverly Cleared by NCAA to Play Immediately

The NCAA did something right! I wrote an article a couple weeks ago ridiculing the NCAA for the way they handled the Braxton Beverly situation. For those that do not know, Beverly originally enrolled at Ohio State when Thad Matta was still the coach. Beverly started taking summer classes, Matta resigned and Beverly looked to transfer. He ended up at NC State, but because he was taking classes in Columbus, was ineligible for this year.

Many people jumped to Beverly’s defense, calling for him to be able to play immediately. The NCAA held there ground however, and denied Beverly’s appeal on two separate occasions. However, thanks to “additional information,” the NCAA reconsidered their decision and granted Beverly his eligibility for the 17-18 season.

“Braxton is absolutely thrilled with the NCAA’s decision to make him immediately eligible to compete for NC State this season,” his attorney, Scott Tompsett, said in a statement. Beverly suited up and was active for tonight’s game versus Bryant. He finished with 2 points on 1-7 shooting, 2 rebounds, 2 steals and an assist.

Credit should go to the NCAA in reversing their call. While many will argue the reversal only occurred due to public scrutiny, the fact is that it happened. Whatever the reason behind it was, the NCAA opened their hearts and felt a tiny bit of sympathy for a kid who got thrown a curveball early in his college career.

So for tonight, there’s no NCAA bashing. Instead just happiness that a college freshman gets to play out his dream of playing Division 1 basketball this year.

NCAA Embarrasses Themselves Again: Suspends UH Guard Rob Gray

Opening night in college basketball an exciting night for everyone. Fans, coaches and especially players relish in the feeling of their team taking the court for real, for the first time. After all, you only get one opening night a year, unless you are Houston guard Rob Gray.

Gray, who was the leading scorer in the AAC last season, did not get the same opening night experience his teammates did on Friday. He was suspended one game by the NCAA for playing in a church league basketball game this summer. According to NCAA, Gray’s participation in this game violated their rules. This suspension just further proves the NCAA seems to have no grasp on handling situations of this nature. Don’t worry though, Jay Bilas is making sure everyone knows how dysfunctional they are.

So far this year we have seen a player forced to sit out the year for enrolling in classes early. We have seen a program get away unharmed for players taking fake classes. And now, we have a player suspended for (gasp) playing basketball. Does any of that make sense?

The answer it no, it does not make sense. You can make a case about Braxton Beverly deserving to sit this season after enrolling at one school and transferring to another to try and play. You’d be wrong, but you can make a solid point. You can say UNC is a big money maker so of course they just got a slap on the wrist for making up classes. But how can you justify suspending a player for playing in a rec basketball game?

At this point players should just sit at home all off-season. Don’t practice, don’t study. Heck, don’t eat because you never know where that food came from and who served it to you. The “by the book” mentality that Mark Emmert and the NCAA is adhering to is starting to become a joke, and it’s affecting hard working players.

Jahvon Quinerly Decommits From Arizona in Midst of FBI Investigation

Jahvon Quinerly, an ESPN Top 25 recruit, is back on the market. Quinerly announced last night that he will not attend the University Arizona, as they continue to be a part of an ongoing FBI investigation. Arizona’s highest rated commitment in the class of 2017, according to ESPN, he announced his decision last night via his Twitter account.

Quinerly was linked to the bribery scandal currently that is shadowing over college basketball right now. Federal documents revealed that former Arizona assistant ‘Book’ Richardson, who was arrested last month, arranged a $15,000 bribe for a player who committed to U of A around August 9th. Quinerly pledged his allegiance to the Cats on August 8th.

For now, Sean Miller still holds commitments from Shareef O’Neal and Brandon Williams in the 2018 class. However, it’s hard to deny that Arizona, like Louisville, is now feeling the effects of being tied up in this FBI investigation. As Evan Daniels notes below, the investigation has now impacted the recruitment of 17 players, most of which are elite level talent.

For Quinerly, he will once again find a lot of teams fighting to land his services. This summer, he chose Arizona over top programs such as Kansas, Virginia and Villanova, among others. If Quinerly is directly linked to this investigation it could have a huge impact on his recruitment. The last recruit Arizona lost as a result of this scandal wound up at North Carolina. Don’t be surprised if Quinerly joins the ACC himself and commits to Tony Bennett and Virginia.

We know this investigation is going to go on forever. It will change a lot of programs; In fact, it already has at Louisville. While Arizona is different from Louisville in that there are no direct ties to their head coach, they are suffering in the recruiting game all the same. Louisville lost three Top 100 recruits. Will the Wildcats have the same fate?

Nasir Little’s Commitment Proves Change Coming in College Recruiting

Last evening, Nasir Little, a Top 15 recruit in the Class of 2018, committed to the University of North Carolina. A top recruit committing to a college basketball blue blood is nothing new. However, Little’s commitment holds a little more significance given the cloud hanging over the college basketball world. Little chose North Carolina over numerous schools. Included in this group was Miami and Arizona, two programs who recently grabbed headlines for roles in a NCAA corruption scandal.

By now most everyone knows that former Arizona assistant “Book” Richardson was one of 10 people arrested in the NCAA bribery scandal. Shortly after, Miami was informed they were under investigation for the same potential issues with a certain recruit. The recruit in question was said to be Nasir Little. A report filed stating that a “University-7,” was trying to give $150,000 to an unknown player in the Class of 2018. University-7 was described as a private research university in Florida with approximately 16,000 students and over 2,600 faculty members, The same report also mentioned that a “University-4, was already promising the recruit money. Little was the only player being recruited by both schools.

Nasir Little is not the first, nor the last to be involved in this scandal

Days after the reports surfaced, Little removed both Miami and Arizona from consideration, opening the door for the Tar Heels. While Little is not the only player to be brought up in these allegations, his swing in recruitment symbolizes a trend that is sure to happen in college hoops. Miami and Arizona were the favorites to land Little’s services, in part for the reason above. Amid controversy however, Little removed himself from the picture, hoping to avoid the same mess Brian Bowen finds himself in currently.

The question in recruiting has changed. Views on coaches and programs are going to change based on the reports that surface from this investigation. As more schools step into the limelight, the recruiting landscape broadens. Schools that once competed for the top recruits will now be in the mix for less and less. While Miami expects full exoneration, they already saw multiple recruits withdraw consideration just for association. Louisville has also lost their top recruits in 2018 because of the scandal. This opens the door for those schools dubbed “clean” to bring in top classes.

College basketball recruiting is going to be different. That’s the purpose of this investigation. The programs that lost out on McDonald’s All-Americans for playing by the rules now look like prestige institutions. And while every “dirty” program may not get caught, they will come off cleaner than those that get exposed. Thus far, Miami, Louisville and Arizona have been reported. Assistants from Oklahoma State, Auburn and USC were also arrested initially. Those schools have a little bit more to worry about at the moment than recrutiing, but last night’s commitment marked a change in tide.

Let’s root for basketball season to come sooner.

Rick Pitino Firing is Just The Beginning of College Basketball Change

March 19th, 2017. That is the last time anyone will have seen Rick Pitino on the sidelines coaching at Lousiville. I hate the use the cliche, but unless you have been living under a rock the past two days, you know college basketball is about to change. That first change came today when Pitino was fired by the University of Louisville. School Athletic Director Tom Jurich was also relieved of his duties. The firing comes a day after the FBI dropped an atomic bomb on the basketball world. The Bureau handed out 10 arrests, and announced they had been undergoing a two year undercover investigation of corruption within college basketball. Coaches from Arizona, USC, Oklahoma State and Auburn were arrested yesterday. Later on in the day, news regarding Louisville broke.

The news surrounding the Cardinals consisted of an assistant coach, a representative from Adidas, and $100,000. The money was for a recruit, as a way to influence him to committing to Louisville. The FBI has recordings and text messages of the exchange, making it a very clear cut case. The announcement of corruption in college basketball is sadly not shocking news. The involvement of the FBI, and their desire to keep the NCAA in the dark, is the surprising bit. Yesterday, the FBI said the investigation is still ongoing and they are conducting interviews “as we speak.”

While Tuesday’s news was enough to talk about for two weeks, this news is probably just the beginning. Earlier this morning forward EJ Montgomery withdrew his commitment to Auburn, following yesterday’s news. You can count on the recruiting world to take a complete 180 in the coming days. While the firing of a Hall of Fame coach on the tails of corruption is groundbreaking, it appears to be one of the early dominos to fall in what could be a very long game.

Update: Wednesday 2:00 pm – 2018 recruits Anfernee Simons and Courtney Ramey have withdrawn their commitment to Louisville amid scandal.