Posted on: September 13, 2010 12:20 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
The North Carolina Tar Heels were the most successful team in the ACC Coastal division this week, as they were the only team within the division that didn't manage to lose a game . Of course, the Tar Heels didn't play this weekend, but these days in the ACC Coastal, bye weeks are all it takes to win. Using that logic you might think that UNC is the clear cut favorite to win the division because every week they actually do play, they've got 13 players who aren't dressed thanks to that little matter with the NCAA.
Well, the Tar Heels division championship hopes took a hit on Monday morning when the school cleared one of those 13 players to return .
UNC has cleared senior running back Shaun Draughn for Saturday's game against Georgia Tech , according to the depth chart released this morning.
Draughn, the team's leading rusher in 2008, is listed third on the depth chart for the GT game, behind Johnny White and Athony Elzy .
Draughn was one of 13 UNC players who missed the Sept. 4 loss to LSU because of the NCAA investigation into the program. He was the only player of the 13 cleared as of this morning.
Draughn was never actually suspended for the LSU game, but was instead held out of the game for precautionary reasons pending the NCAA's investigation. The fact that he's been cleared to play this week is a pretty good indication that Draughn hasn't stepped outside the NCAA's guidelines.
As for Draughn's twelve other teammates who are still waiting to be cleared, Butch Davis gave no news as to when or if they'll be cleared. He did say that eleven of the twelve are practicing with the team this week, and that Marvin Austin is the only one not practicing. So take that as you will.
Posted on: September 3, 2010 3:28 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
LSU fans who spend the week chuckling at the misfortune of Butch Davis and the Tar Heels, who are missing somewhere between 12-15 players for tomorrow's game in Baton Rouge, should heed a little caution and consider a sobering fact: Butch Davis has, on multiple occasions, come very close to being the head coach at LSU.
The Shreveport Times detailed the Tigers' extended courtship with Davis, noting that before hiring Nick Saban in 1999 and then Les Miles in 2005, LSU came very close to taking Davis instead; in '99, Davis had been too open about his interest to eventually coach in the NFL, and then health problems derailed what would have been a sure hire by the school in '05.
This is not to insinuate that LSU is a crooked school or that they would have intentionally courted the type of academic malfeasance that has been alleged with the Tar Heels today, of course. It's not like Butch Davis interviewed with North Carolina and told them "I'm planning on farming out my players' classwork to my kids' tutor."
And seriously, LSU fans; do not mock Butch Davis this weekend or thereafter, because you are tempting the mischievously cruel football gods if you do. After all, Les Miles' job isn't completely safe, and do these sound like the words of people who are trying to put any distance between their former school and Davis?
In reference to the '99 opening:
"We interviewed Butch before we talked to Nick [Saban]," former LSU Board of Supervisors member Charles Weems of Alexandria said this week. "We really thought he was great."
And from the '05 opening:
"It was too bad," [former LSU AD Skip] Bertman said. "I would've taken Butch in a heartbeat."
Posted on: August 31, 2010 1:29 pm
Edited on: September 1, 2010 2:37 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
It's a rather precarious situation in Chapel Hill these days. UNC coach Butch Davis is under heavy fire for allegations of academic impropriety, evidence of which was uncovered while the NCAA investigated a separate issue: whether some Tar Heels had received improper benefits from agents. Not good.
The academic allegations just came down last week, and now as many as a dozen unnamed players are in limbo as the school awaits the results of NCAA investigations. The NCAA doesn't have long--the Tar Heels' season starts on Saturday against No. 21 LSU, so every second that UNC can get with the final verdict known helps their preparation for the game.
Thus, shouldn't North Carolina take the precautionary step of indefinitely suspending every athlete involved until they're cleared (or, y'know, not) by the NCAA? Yes, in some sense, that's a presumption of guilt before innocence, but that's the position the school's basically forced to take. After all, if the Tar Heels win but use even one guy who's found to be ineligible, that game's getting forfeited--and make no mistake, the NCAA will likely not be in the mood to grant UNC the luxury of merely "vacating" the win.
So why not prepare like they're all shelved and make a public stand in defense of your academic department's integrity? Granted, "UNC and academic impropriety" is a bell that's not getting unrung, but the redemption's got to start sometime--it might as well be as soon as possible.