Posted on: December 21, 2011 12:52 pm

UNC WR Dwight Jones cleared to play in bowl game

After being suspended by his team Tuesday, North Carolina wide receiver Dwight Jones was reinstated this morning by the NCAA and will be allowed to participate in the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl December 26 against Missouri, according to Tar Heels' head coach Everett Whithers.

The Tar Heels suspended Jones, the ACC's leading receiver, yesterday after a flyer surfaced online advertising a New Year's Eve birthday party honoring Jones were discovered. The flyer, shown below, identifies Jones by name and uses a picture of him in his North Carolina uniform. The NCAA prohibits athletes from using their name and likeness as part of a for-profit venture.

Upon discovering the flyer, UNC officials decided to suspend Jones and ask the NCAA to considering reinstating him after investigating the matter further.

 1st Annual Dwight Jones New Years Birthday Celebration

Jones, upon hearing of his suspension, apologized. 

"I apologize to my teammates, the coaching staff, and the university for the poor decision I made to allow my likeness to be used in the promotion of a party given by a family member while still a part of the Carolina football team," Jones said in a prepared statement. "I should have asked the coaching staff or administration before allowing this to happen."

From an NFL draft perspective, the suspension and subsequent reinstatement isn't likely to mean much. Jones was never accused of any criminal acts. Had he advertised the party in the days after his final game rather than before, this wouldn't be a story. Jones, after all, as a senior has no eligibility remaining.

Jones led the ACC in both receptions (79) and receiving touchdowns (11) this season. He finished third in receiving yardage (1,119) and has emerged as one of the more intriguing senior receiver prospects in the country. Blessed with surprising speed and after-the-catch skills for a receiver of his size (6-4, 225 pounds), Jones is currently rated by NFLDraftScout.com as the No. 5 senior receiver in the draft.
Posted on: August 28, 2011 12:00 pm

NCAA all-purpose yardage record holder suspended

Most fans outside of Conference USA football have probably never heard of Tulsa's Do-Everything Damaris Johnson.

This, despite the fact that he was a Second Team All-American last season and enters his senior campaign having already set NCAA records for the most kickoff return yardage (3,417) and all-purpose yardage (7,796) for a career. Far from a one year wonder, Johnson has been a superstar since first stepping onto the field as a true freshman for the Golden Hurricane. He led Conferece USA with 2,475 all-purpose yardage in 2009, leadng the team with 10 touchdowns and producing 51 plays of 20 yards or more. Johnson enjoyed his best season to date as a sophomore, averaging a gaudy 224.4 all-purpose yards per game before "dropping" to 202 yards per contest last year. He was his most lethal last year in terms of turning yardage into touchdowns, however, scoring a career high 13, including seven rushing, four receiving and one each on kickoff and punt returns.

The 5-7, 172 pound Johnson isn't viewed as a potential high draft selection by NFLDraftScout.com regardless of his production. In fact, at this time, he's rated by NDS as the 37th best WR prospect in the country and a likely late round or free agent prospect. He does have good timed speed (4.42) and lateral agility to make defenders miss, however -- traits that could lead him to success in a limited role at the professional level.

Unfortunately, for as good as Johnson has been on the field, he's not so good as to justify receiving over a thousand dollars worth of goods from a local Macy's store and be only charged 34 cents -- precisely what authorities are accusing he and his girlfriend (who worked the register at the store) of doing.

The girlfriend -- Chamon Jones -- was booked into Tulsa County Jail at 3 am Friday, according to this report from Eric Bailey of The Tulsa World. Bailey cites the police report which asserts that Johnson used his girlfriend's debit card twice in the week prior to her arrest to purchase goods. He purchased $1569.09 worth of merchandise but was charged only 12.91 by Jones. He also purchased 1,238.75 worth of goods on another occasion, but was charged only the 34 cents.

Jones has since been released on bail. She is officially been charged with embezzlement.

Johnson has not been officially charged with anything, but that didn't stop Tulsa head coach Bill Blankenship to suspend his All-American indefinitely.

"They [police] hardly even know anything more. We're just operating on what we know at this point in time," Blankenship said. "We're going to let it all fall and we'll talk about it on Monday."

Tulsa opens their season Saturday at top-ranked Oklahoma.

Unfortunately, they made be doing so without their best weapon.

Posted on: February 14, 2011 5:19 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2011 5:20 pm

NFL Reverses Field on Weslye Saunders

Former South Carolina tight end Weslye Saunders will, indeed, be eligible for the 2011 NFL draft after the NFL overturned their previous decision to deny him entry.

Saunders had multiple run-ins and suspensions with South Carolina coaches during his time in Columbia before being suspended and then dismissed by the school in August 2010. That suspension did not even come as a result of his part in a NCAA investigation involving agents last summer.

Saunders and his people did not file the paperwork to be included in this year's draft, likely because they figured he was a fifth-year senior and not among the many underclassmen looking at early entry. But since Saunders could have returned to college football in 2011, whether to USC or a lower-division school, the NFL initially ruled Saunders had additional eligibility remaining, thus the need for him to apply as a early entrant.

Scouts consider him talented but would rather not use a high pick on a player with his track record of suspensions. Some teams will not have him on their boards at all, but his 6-6, 270-pound frame and receiving ability, could entice a team to select him in the fifth-to-seventh rounds.

--Contributed by NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst Chad Reuter

Posted on: August 26, 2010 9:58 pm

Details sketchy, but clear UNC in real trouble

University of North Carolina Chancellor Holden Thorp, Athletic Director Dick Baddour and head coach Butch Davis met with the press Thursday evening to announce that they were broading the NCAA investogation into their program due to their discovery of “possible academic misconduct involving a former undergraduate tutor and student-athletes on the football team.

The tutor, according to this report by Joedy McCreary of The Associated Press , was employed by the university and worked with Davis' son.

Prior to the press conference, there were initial reports that the Tar Heels' starting cornerbacks Kendric Burney and Charles Brown were among those suspended.

Baddour, however, declined to identify any of the players involved in their investigation or even how many players the school was investigating.

Baddour did not provide a true time table for the investigation either, but did say, ""it is likely that the review would extend beyond the start of the season."

According to those I've spoken to who were at the press conference, the mood in the room was grave. There was a sense that this could grow into significantly more than just a player suspension or two.

McCreary, in fact, notes the concern from Chancellor Thorp to end his article:


Chancellor Holden Thorp — who began the news conference by saying "to everyone who loves this university, I'm sorry about what I have to tell you" — vowed that administrators are taking the probe seriously but expressed hope that its scope ultimately would be limited.

"We will find out what happened. We will do everything we can to keep it from happening again," he said. "And we will not let these mistakes define our university and what we stand for."


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com