Tag:North Carolina football
Posted on: October 9, 2010 1:57 pm
Edited on: October 9, 2010 2:07 pm

Source: UNC FB held out due to NCAA investigation

Posted By Chip Patterson

North Carolina fans will be glad to see starting safety Deunta Williams back on the field for the Tar Heels on Saturday afternoon in Chapel Hill.  Williams has completed the four game suspension issued by the NCAA as punishment for improper contact with persons classified as an agent.  But just as the Tar Heels get a player back from NCAA restrictions, they lose another.

Sources are reporting that junior fullback Devon Ramsay will be held out of Saturday's game against Clemson for his involvement in the academic prong of the ongoing NCAA investigation.  Although Ramsay has yet to log a rushing attempt in the 2010 season, he serves as the starting fullback in the Tar Heels' pro-style offense.  Ramsay, along with the offensive line, helped pave the way for 263 team rushing yards in the Tar Heels 42-17 win over East Carolina.  

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Posted on: September 30, 2010 4:21 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2010 4:37 pm

UNC's Searcy cleared by NCAA for ECU game

Posted by Chip Patterson

Until Thursday afternoon, the North Carolina athletic department had not had a very good day.  It began late Wednesday night, when a Yahoo! Sports report traced a paper-trail that linked NFL agent Gary Wichard to recently resigned assistant coach John Blake and Marvin Austin.  Then on Thursday, highly touted basketball recruit Austin Rivers cancelled his final visits with North Carolina and Kansas, verbally committing to Duke.

But there was some good news from Chapel Hill on Thursday, with the Tar Heels learning that senior safety Da'Norris Searcy had been cleared by the NCAA and will be on the field Saturday when the Tar Heels host the East Carolina Pirates.

Searcy was one of ten players still waiting for a verdict on their eligibility due to the ongoing investigations into academics and improper contact with agents.  Fellow defensive backs Deunta Williams (four games) and Kendric Burney (six games) received suspensions, but are appealing them on Friday.  

While North Carolina has been competitive through the first three games of the season, the secondary has been sorely missed.  Losing all four starters put inexperienced defensive backs on the first team defense earlier than head coach Butch Davis had hoped, which led to holes in the special teams which needed to be filled by potential redshirts.

North Carolina's appeal on Friday will be for shorter suspensions for Williams and Burney.  As it stands, Williams will be back on the field October 9 against Clemson, while Burney will be out until October 23 against Miami.

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Posted on: September 28, 2010 10:44 am

Tar Heels could lose two more starters to injury

Posted by Chip Patterson

The Tar Heels have dealt with serious personnel issues the entire season, arguably an issue that has cost them at least one victory out of their 1-2 start.  With the status of ten players still undetermined, and defensive backs Kendric Burney and Deunta Williams suspended for at least another week (Burney is out for three more games), the last thing North Carolina wants to hear is the word "injury."

But with running back Johnny White and starting linebacker Quan Sturdivant both suffering injuries in the Tar Heels 17-13 victory at Rutgers, an already weakened starting lineup looks like it could be even thinner.

White turned his right ankle in the third quarter, and Sturdivant tweaked his left hamstring tackling quarterback Tom Savage in the fourth.  Neither starter returned the game, and head coach Butch Davis is unsure whether if they will be available against ECU on Saturday.  

"We'll get a much better, clearer picture as to their availability probably by Thursday," Davis said Monday. "They'll get all the treatment that they can and we'll have a better idea later on in the week."  

With 12 players still sidelined by an NCAA investigation, UNC can't afford to lose any available starters, not ones as valuable as White and Sturdivant, senior quarterback T.J. Yates said.  

"To not have one of those guys would be big for us, especially Quan on defense," Yates said. "He's the guy that gets everybody going; he's the quarterback over there."

"I'm pretty confident Johnny will be back," Yates said. "We would be fine rolling with Shaun, but I think the defense would struggle without Quan."

Sturdivant was cleared to join the team just hours before they kicked off the season against LSU in Atlanta, so North Carolina has not had to play without the team's leading tackler yet this season.  He will likely be replaced by Zach Brown if he is not cleared to play.  Brown saw significant time against LSU and has been a frequent contributor on special teams.

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Posted on: September 22, 2010 4:28 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2010 6:02 pm

UNC's Burney, Williams receive NCAA punishment

Posted by Chip Patterson

North Carolina defensive backs Kendric Burney and Deunta Williams are the first Tar Heels to officially receive punishment from the NCAA regarding improper benefits from agents.  They are two of the 12 players who have missed the first two games of the season already, and in addition to missing more they will both have to repay the value of their contributions.

via University of North Carolina release:  
Burney, who received $1,333 in benefits, must miss six games and make repayment of $575.19 to a charity of his choice. Williams, who received $1,426 in benefits, must miss four games and make repayment of $450.67 to a charity of his choice. Both student-athletes already have sat out two games.

"We plan to appeal the length of the suspensions," says Dick Baddour, North Carolina Director of Athletics. "While I respect the NCAA process, I believe the penalties to be unduly harsh given the individual circumstances in these cases."

The university declared both student-athletes ineligible for violations of NCAA agent benefits and preferential treatment rules. According to the facts of the case submitted by the university, these benefits in part included trips to California, Atlanta and Las Vegas for Burney and two trips to California for Williams. The majority of the benefits Burney received were from an individual who meets the NCAA definition of an agent.

The good news for Williams and Burney, both preseason all-conference selections, is that they will get to see the field this season.  Hopefully, it will be in time to make a difference for the 0-2 Tar Heels.  North Carolina has been completely depleted in the secondary, with all four original starters being in the group of players held out of games.  

Athletic director Dick Baddour did admit that there would be suspensions, and they would be announced on a case by case basis.  The announcement of Burney and Williams may mean that we could be seeing more (or even the remaining) punishments handed down in the coming weeks.

Unless the length of the suspensions are successfully appealed, Williams' first game back in uniform will be October 9 when the Tar Heels host Clemson  and Burney's will be October 23 at No. 19 Miami (FL) .


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Posted on: September 20, 2010 1:09 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2010 1:11 pm

North Carolina is the only winless BCS AQ team

Posted by Chip Patterson

The North Carolina football program has stayed in the national spotlight for most of the last three months thanks to a string of off-field issues that has resulted in 12 players still being held out of the lineup due to eligibility concerns.

North Carolina has started the season 0-2 after a pair of 30-24 losses to LSU and Georgia Tech.  The Tar Heels have only been able to clear one player, running back Shaun Draughn, since opening the season September 4 in Atlanta for the Chick-fil-A Kickoff.  Unfortunately, their off-field issues do not work as an appropriate excuse for shortcomings on the field.

The Tar Heels started the season ranked No. 18 in the AP Poll, but now stand as the only team from a BCS AQ conference without a win.  Entering this weekend only North Carolina, Vanderbilt, Oregon State, Virginia Tech, and UCLA were lacking in the W column.  Each of those teams were able to pick up that elusive first win except the Tar Heels.

"We don't play for moral victories," head coach Butch Davis said after the LSU game.  

No, but for a team that was expected to be playing in the postseason, they need to start collecting real victories soon.  

North Carolina's next three games are crucial for salvaging the 2010 season, and they will not be easy.  The Tar Heels play at Rutgers on September 25 before hosting a talented ECU team and Clemson in back-to-back weeks.  The 2-1 Pirates gave a scare to Virginia Tech and Clemson is beginning to look like the new favorite in the ACC.  If North Carolina does not win two of those three games, they will put themselves in serious jeopardy to reach the postseason, a task that Butch Davis has accomplished the last two seasons.

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Posted on: September 3, 2010 10:02 am

12-15 Tar Heels will not play against LSU

Posted by Chip Patterson

When North Carolina departed for Atlanta on Friday morning, there a few faces missing from the group.  

Head Coach Butch Davis had already announced that Marvin Austin was suspended indefinitely and sources revealed late Thursday that Greg Little also would not make the trip.  Austin and Little were both central figures in the NCAA's initial agent-related investigation earlier this summer.

But the worst-case scenario for North Carolina came true on Friday morning, with the official announcement from the university that a minimum of 12 and potentially 15 players would not be playing against LSU.

The University of North Carolina has declared six student-athletes on the football team ineligible for Saturday's season-opening game for violating school and/or NCAA rules. The University is also withholding at least six other student-athletes from Saturday's game while the investigation continues.

The six ineligible student-athletes include: defensive tackle Marvin Austin, cornerback Charles Brown, cornerback Kendric Burney, wide receiver Greg Little, defensive end Michael McAdoo and defensive end Robert Quinn.

Six other student-athletes who will be withheld from Saturday's game include: tailback Shaun Draughn, defensive end Linwan Euwell, safety Brian Gupton, tailback Ryan Houston, safety Da'Norris Searcy and safety Jonathan Smith.

The number of games that those 12 student-athletes may miss has not been determined at this time. The investigation continues to include both agent-related and academic issues.

The University also continues to work today with the NCAA to determine the eligibility status of three other student-athletes. Those three will not accompany the team to Atlanta on Friday morning. Further information will be announced when a decision on their status for the game is reached. 

Posted on: September 2, 2010 8:25 am
Edited on: September 2, 2010 2:25 pm

Report: UNC could be missing up to 16 on Saturday

Posted by Chip Patterson

Yesterday we received the news that Marvin Austin would not be suiting up for the Tar Heels' opener against LSU in Atlanta.  No one was surprised, as Austin's eligibility has been questioned since the beginning of NCAA investigations in Chapel Hill earlier in the summer.  But late last night, ESPN's Joe Schad began reporting that up to 16 players, including both the first and second string running backs, could end up sitting for Saturday.

Here are the reports, via Joe Schad's Twitter

Joe Schad Twitter 

While as many as seven members of the starting defense have been speculated to be in jeopardy because of a recent move to the scout team, this is the first time that mention of Shaun Draughn or Ryan Houston (running backs) have been mentioned.  Another interesting note from the reports is North Carolina's possible exploration of alternative punishments.  Such action could suggest the Tar Heels are expecting to receive more than just a few minor punishments, and are already strategizing a way to best salvage the season.

Again, these are all reports and the only official word is of Marvin Austin's indefinite suspension.  There are also a lot of qualifiers in those reports ("may," "possible," "exploring"), but for North Carolina the news seems to be getting worse before it gets better.

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Posted on: September 1, 2010 3:40 pm
Edited on: September 1, 2010 4:32 pm

UNC's Marvin Austin suspended indefinitely

Posted by Chip Patterson

marvinNorth Carolina star defensive tackle Marvin Austin was the first Tar Heel under fire when the NCAA began investigating the North Carolina program earlier this summer.  Now he is the first one to receive a punishment.

However, head coach Butch Davis says the suspension is not related to any of the allegations regarding agents or academic improprieties.  

"The decision is not a result of the ongoing NCAA review," Davis said.  "Marvin has violated team rules and neglected his responsibilities to the team."

No time table has been set for the suspension, but he will not play against LSU on Saturday in Atlanta.

We will update the story further as more details are revealed.
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