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Tag:NCAA Investigation
Posted on: November 3, 2011 12:05 pm
Edited on: November 3, 2011 2:06 pm
 

Withers, O'Brien exchange verbal jabs in rivalry

Posted by Chip Patterson

On Saturday, North Carolina and NC State will kickoff the 101st meeting of the in-state rivals. The Wolfpack have owned the rivalry as of late, with head coach Tom O'Brien boasting a 4-0 record against the Tar Heels. Former head coach Butch Davis always seemed to play down the rivalry between the two schools, which are separated by just 27 miles of Interstate 40. But interim coach Everett Withers has re-ignited the smack talk between he two schools, taking shots at NC State's academic environment in an appearance with Joe Ovies of 99.9 The Fan ESPN Radio - based in Raleigh, N.C..

“When you have as many schools in this state as you have and the recruiting base gets watered down a little bit, I think the kids in this state need to know ‘the flagship school,” Withers said in the Wednesday interview. “They need to know it academically. If you look at our graduation rates opposed to our opponent this week’s graduation rates for football, I think you’ll see a difference. If you look at the educational environment here, I think you’ll see a difference.” 

Interesting quotes from the head of a program that just a week ago appeared in front of an NCAA Committee on Infractions to address violations - some of which were related to academics. Perhaps Withers, a lifelong North Carolina native, is more passionate about the rivalry with the four in-state schools in the ACC than his predecessor. There are some facts behind his jabs (UNC boasts higher graduation rates in the football program) but the point seemed to be good old fashion smack talk.

This smack talk was not taken kindly by N.C. State head coach Tom O'Brien, who responded to the comments on Thursday following the Wolfpack's practice. O'Brien usually does not allow himself to get caught up in off-field matters like this, but he was clearly set off by Withers' comments

“As far as the flagship, here was a guy (Withers) who was on a football staff that ends up in Indianapolis." He went on to say, “You have an agent on staff, you are paying players & you have academic fraud. That's a triple play."

O'Brien also addressed the alleged academic issues at North Carolina, where players have been reportedly given plenty of exceptions from teachers and even department heads.

“At our school, number one, all classes have a syllabus. Our guys go to school, they are not given grades, and they graduate.” 

While North Carolina leads the rivalry 63-31-6, NC State has claimed 7 of the last 11 meetings. Five of the last eight contests have been decided by one score or less. But for the first time since John Bunting and Chuck Amato were on the sideline, this rivalry has hate once again.

Audio of the quotes can be found at WRALSportsFan.com

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Posted on: October 12, 2011 5:22 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2011 5:38 pm
 

No major violations in Auburn's signing of Newton



Posted by Tom Fornelli

It appears the Cam Newton Saga at Auburn has finally come to an end. The NCAA announced on Wednesday that it had found no major rules violations in Auburn's signing of Newton. The NCAA also announced that it had concluded an investigation into the claims of four former Auburn players on HBO's Real Sports that Auburn had provided the players with extra benefits, and again, the NCAA found no wrongdoing by anybody at Auburn.

"We appreciate the NCAA and thank them for their professionalism and thoroughness during this exhaustive investigation.  We are pleased to put this matter behind us," said Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs.

As for the Newton case, the NCAA said it interviewed more than 50 people to find out if Auburn had provided Newton or any members of his family with improper benefits, and that there was no reason to keep the investigation open because the NCAA's findings did not meet a "burden of proof" that Auburn had done anything wrong.

If you don't recall, Newton came under scrutiny last season when it was alleged that his father Cecil Newton attempted to collect $180,000 from Mississippi State to get his son to transfer there from Blinn College, where Cam had transferred to after being kicked off the team at Florida. Auburn always maintained that Newton never asked for money from the school, nor did the school ever pay him anything to attend Auburn.

So, good news, Auburn fans. That national championship is not going to be taken away.

Click here to read the letter the NCAA sent Auburn

Posted on: September 8, 2011 10:59 am
Edited on: September 8, 2011 9:50 pm
 

Report: LSU WR Shepard serving 3-game suspension

Posted by Chip Patterson

UPDATE: The suspension and Shepard's eligibility for the West Virginia game were confirmed by Michael Bonnette, LSU's SID, on Thursday.

After uncertain compliance issues held LSU wide receiver Russell Shepard out of the Tigers' opener against Oregon, local reports suggest the talented wide receiver is serving a three-game suspension and will return for the Tigers Sept. 24 matchup with West Virginia.

Sources have confirmed to both The Times Picayune and the Associated Press that Shepard's punishment for violation of an NCAA rule will be three games, including the opener against the Ducks. Shepard jeopardized his eligibility by discussing the details of an NCAA investigation with teammate Craig Loston. The investigation was centered around the infamous Will Lyles, who was paid by LSU - along with Oregon, Cal, and others - for recruiting services.

The touted junior will be an immediate upgrade to the Tigers' offense, which currently lacks that big-play threat that you would want on a National Championship contender. Everything else about the Tigers' performance on Saturday suggested that they deserve to be in that discussion, but there was not evidence that the offense is prepared to put up points quickly. Getting him back for the trip to Morgantown to face Dana Holgorsen and the high-powered West Virginia offense could end up being a difference-maker in an otherwise trap-game scenario.
Posted on: September 1, 2011 5:07 pm
Edited on: September 1, 2011 11:25 pm
 

Sources: USC coach resigns due to NCAA probe

Posted by Bryan Fischer

USC defensive backs coach Willie Mack Garza resigned from his position Thursday due to his involvement with a NCAA recruiting probe, two sources told CBSSports.com.

Garza cited personal reasons unrelated to the school as the reason for his departure in a statement but sources said his resignation was a direct result of his involvement with former scout Will Lyles and a related NCAA probe into possible recruiting violations.

Lyles interviewed with NCAA investigators for several hours with his lawyers present on Tuesday. During the interview, Lyles revealed that he had a "relationship" with Garza prior to becoming an assistant at Tennessee according to sources. USC officials were notified on Wednesday of the connection and moved swiftly to work out Garza's departure. 

NCAA enforcement staff is currently investigating Lyles' scouting service connections to several programs, including Oregon and LSU. A source said it was not related to Tennessee's NCAA case that was recently completed.

Garza, a former safety at Texas, followed head coach Lane Kiffin from Tennessee to USC in 2010 and was entering his second season with the Trojans before abruptly resigning. USC is currently on NCAA probation stemming from the school's major infractions case involving former running back Reggie Bush.




Posted on: August 31, 2011 11:40 am
Edited on: August 31, 2011 11:41 am
 

Report: Aldarius Johnson uncooperative with NCAA

Posted by Chip Patterson

In a joint release Miami and the NCAA announced the suspensions of eight different players in connection with impermissible benefits received from former booster Nevin Shapiro and university employees. The school also announced the indefinite suspension of senior wide receiver Aldarius Johnson. Miami spokesperson Chris Freet told the Sun-Sentinel onTuesday that Johnson's suspension was not-related to the NCAA investigation, but instead having to do with something he did recently.

But a source close to the NCAA situation told the Sun-Sentinel was "less than forthright" in his interviews with NCAA investigators, a stark contrast to the rest of the Miami players.

Johnson was singled out by Nevin Shapiro in the Yahoo investigative report as someone who received money "at least 10 times," often returning to ask for more from the former booster.

Somewhere between the report from the school and the one from the Sun-Sentinel's source probably lies the truth. Johnson has admitted himself that his success as a freshman (team-high 31 receptions in 2008) made him too comfortable with his position in the Hurricanes' rotation. But things have been different under new had coach Al Golden, and after an ankle injury this spring Johnson found himself absent from the depth chart heading into the summer.

"For whatever reason, he got off track," wide receivers coach George McDonald told the Palm Beach Post earlier this month. "The biggest thing I'm trying to do is get him back on track."

It seems that Johnson and the new Hurricanes coaching staff still aren't on the same page, in many ways. My guess would be that the former freshman standout has likely played his last game in a MIami uniform.
Posted on: August 30, 2011 5:32 pm
Edited on: August 30, 2011 7:21 pm
 

Eight Miami players suspended by NCAA

Posted by Chip Patterson

Miami head coach Al Golden hoped that he would hear from the NCAA "within 48 hours," and he did.

On Tuesday the NCAA ruled that eight members of the current Hurricanes football team must serve suspensions and repay benefits in order to become eligible again after receiving benefits from former booster Nevin Shapiro.

Senior quarterback Jacory Harris, wide receiver Travis Benjamin, defensive tackle Marcus Forston, defensive end Adewale Ojomo, and linebacker Sean Spence must all serve a one game suspension and repay their benefits. Converted tight end Dyron Dye and safety Ray-Ray Armstrong must serve a four game suspension while defensive end Olivier Vernon must miss six games of competition.

The school confirmed that all of the players with one game suspensions will serve them on Sept. 5 when the team opens the 2011 season against Maryland.

The NCAA deemed that three players (Dye, Armstrong, and Vernon) received "substantial benefits" as prospective student athletes from Shapiro and school employees.  These benefits have been deemed by the NCAA as "serious recruiting violations."  According to the official release the NCAA is categorizing these players differently from the other five, who received impermissible benefits while already enrolled at Miami.

"The NCAA has informed the University of Miami of their decisions regarding the reinstatement of eight student-athletes who were declared ineligible by the University last week,” Miami athletics director Shawn Eichorst said in the official release. “The student-athletes involved have acknowledged receiving improper benefits and will now be responsible for restitution and, in some cases, the student-athletes will also serve game suspensions. They understand that their actions demand consequences."

"We appreciate the diligence and understanding of the NCAA staff and its handling of the student-athlete eligibility issues in an expeditious manner. I would also like to thank Coach [Al] Golden and his staff for their professionalism and leadership over the past few weeks."

Miami also announced that four members of the football team have been cleared by the NCAA to play, but must repay amounts of less than $100 in impermissible benefits. Brandon McGee, JoJo Nicholas, Micanor Regis, and Vaughn Telemaque will all be eligible for Monday's opener against Maryland. Senior defensive end Marcus Robinson has been cleared by the NCAA but will not face any penalties or have to repay any benefits.

One interesting development from the school was the indefinite suspension of senior wide receiver Aldarius Johnson. Johnson had slowly fell behind other wide receivers on the depth chart after suffering an injury in spring practice. He was singled out by Shapiro in the Yahoo! report as someone who received money "at least 10 times" but his suspension is officially for "violation of team rules."

The NCAA found that Oliver Vernon received more than $1,200 in benefits primarily from Shapiro during recruitment. This includes meals, transportation, and "entertainment" at nightclubs, among other allegations. Armstrong was found to have received approximately $788 in extra benefits from Shapiro and personnel, while Dye received approximately $738. Those were listed by the NCAA as impermissible lodging from Miami staff during unofficial visits, transportation, meals, and entertainment at a gentlemen's club.

Meals, transportation, entertainment, night club/gentlemens club cover charges appear to be the common benefits for the five players serving a one game suspension. The NCAA estimates Forston received $400 in benefits, Spence's were valued at $275, Ojomo's total was $240, with Andre Benjamin and Jacory Harris rounding out the group at $150 and $140 respectively.


Posted on: August 30, 2011 2:26 pm
 

Golden: Players need NCAA ruling by Thursday

Posted by Chip Patterson

Miami head coach Al Golden once again met with the media on Tuesday with no depth chart to release. The first-year Hurricanes coach is maintaining his stance that he will not release a depth chart to the media until the NCAA has made a ruling on the players the school has declared ineligible.

CBSSports.com's Brian London writes that Golden called reports of eight ineligible players "inaccurate." So far Golden has refrained from commenting on the investigation or any eligibility details, just that the school has ruled players ineligible and he hopes to get a ruling in time for the Hurricanes opener against Maryland on Monday.

Golden also told reporters that if the ineligible players have not been cleared by Thursday, they will not play against the Terrapins. That way the coaching staff can spend the final practices of the week with the personnel that will be on hand Monday night.

The report that included the "eight players" did not list any specific names other than senior quarterback Jacory Harris. A total of 12 current Hurricanes were listed as allegedly receiving benefits from former booster Nevin Shapiro in the Yahoo report. Some current players not on the Hurricanes roster also listed in the report, such as Purdue quarterback Robert Marve, have been cleared to play by the NCAA.
Posted on: August 29, 2011 10:34 am
Edited on: August 29, 2011 10:37 am
 

Golden expects to hear from NCAA within 48 hours

Posted by Chip Patterson

Miami head coach Al Golden has delayed the release of the Hurricanes' week one depth chart due to the eligibility questions surrounding eight current players and potential violations committed with former booster Nevin Shapiro. The school filed the official paperwork to declare the players ineligible late last week, with hopes the NCAA will make a ruling on their eligibility before the Hurricanes' open the season on Labor Day against Maryland.

According to CBSSports.com's Brian London, Golden was on local radio Monday morning and expects to get a ruling by the NCAA "within 48 hours." The new Hurricanes coach did say that he would coordinate with Maryland's Randy Edsall on the official release of the depth chart, but was hoping to learn the fate of the reported eight ineligible players.

Among those eight players reportedly includes senior quarterback Jacory Harris, who has engaged in a fierce position battle with sophomore Stephen Morris. Both players have received praise from coaches and teammates alike for their performances in fall camp, and Golden even described the race as a "dead heat." Harris confidently told reporters at the team's media day on Saturday , but did not elaborate further on the status of the NCAA investigation.

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