Beverley Reverses On Ineligibility Reason

FAYETTEVILLE — Patrick Beverley now says he'd consider a return to the Arkansas basketball program.

The Razorbacks guard told last Friday that he had signed with sports agency BDA Sports and intended to pursue a professional career overseas. But his story was different on Monday when a Sporting News Today article quoted him saying he hadn't signed with an agent and he may come back to Arkansas.

He said his mother, Lisa, would be in charge of meeting with potential agents this week.

"My mom is taking care of all of that," said Beverley, who also said his "first choice is still to go back to Arkansas."

The Morning News hasn't been able to reach Beverley and has left repeated phone messages with his mother, Lisa.

Beverley, the 2007 SEC Freshman of the Year, also revealed that he didn't mean what he said last Friday when describing why he would miss the 2008-09 season. Beverley told Sporting News Today that his ineligibility stemmed from an issue pertaining to a class paper, in contrast to his previous comments to that "it had nothing to do with academics."

That might help to explain why Arkansas decided to keep Beverley out for the entire 2008-09 season.

A one-year suspension normally isn't given to a student-athlete who become academically ineligible. In most of those situations, student-athletes can limit their suspension to one semester by improving academically.

The university hasn't commented about the situation since its 34-word release on Aug. 8 that stated Beverley "will not compete for the Razorbacks in the 2008-09 season." University officials cited student privacy laws that prohibit them from discussing the academic situations of athletes.

The same laws also keep officials from addressing Beverley's reported admission of an NCAA rules violation. In the report, Beverley said he had "violated NCAA rules."

Arkansas coach John Pelphrey, who hasn't spoken publicly about Beverley's status since the UA sent out the news release on Aug. 8, continues to be unavailable for comment.

Beverley averaged 12.1 points — the most by any returning player — and a team-high 6.6 rebounds last season as a sophomore. And he remains a member of the basketball team, as his name is still listed on the basketball team's roster on the school's athletic Web site.

Ryan Blake, assistant scouting director for the NBA, said he couldn't comment specifically about Beverley when asked to gauge his options of playing professionally overseas. Blake did say more opportunities exist abroad for American basketball players than ever before.

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