NC State

Why Dereon Seabron can’t play basketball for NC State this season

N.C. State didn’t have senior guard Markell Johnson, junior forward D.J. Funderburk or freshman guard Dereon Seabron available to play in Tuesday’s loss to Georgia Tech.

Wolfpack coach Kevin Keatts said he is hopeful both Johnson, who missed the game with an ankle injury, and Funderburk, who is serving an indefinite suspension, will be back with the team soon.

The Wolfpack hosts Detroit Mercy on Sunday (4 p.m., PNC Arena).

Seabron will have to sit out the season as an “academic redshirt.” The NCAA changed its terminology in 2016 and how it handles athletes who don’t make it completely through the Clearinghouse process.

Under the new rules, Seabron is allowed to practice with the team, receive his scholarship money and retain four years of eligibility but he can’t compete during his first academic year in school.

“We obviously tried to appeal to the NCAA about it and we lost the appeal,” Keatts said on Tuesday after the 82-81 overtime loss to Georgia Tech.

New NCAA rules to help players like Seabron

Seabron is the only true freshman on scholarship on the Wolfpack roster. He was signed in the same class as guard Jalen Lecque, who was able to enter the NBA draft due to a fifth-year loophole.

Lecque went undrafted but signed a free-agent deal with the Phoenix Suns and is on their G-League team roster.

Like Lecque, Seabron spent four years in high school and then went to prep school for a year. The 6-7 guard went to Lake Taylor High in Norfolk, Va. and then Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock, Va. for a post-grad year.

The NCAA had an issue with Seabron’s transcript and denied Seabron’s status as what it now calls a “final qualifier.”

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The NCAA’s change in its academic status system has helped players in Seabron’s situation. Virginia Tech forward Landers Nolley sat out last season under similar circumstances and is a freshman for the Hokies.

Under the old NCAA rules, if you didn’t qualify through the NCAA Clearinghouse, you would have lost a year of eligibility and would not be eligible to receive scholarship aid during the year you have to sit out.

Seabron was rated as the No. 129 player in the country, according to the 247 composite rankings. He was the Virginia high school 4A player of the year in 2017-18 and led Lake Taylor to a state title.

He would have given Keatts some versatility behind Johnson, Braxton Beverly and wings C.J. Bryce and Devon Daniels. N.C. State’s bench has been shortened. Backup guard Blake Harris left the program on Oct. 24.

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Joe Giglio has worked at The N&O since 1995 and has regularly reported on the ACC since 2005. He grew up in Ringwood, N.J. and graduated from N.C. State.
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