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Giants wideout Hakeem Nicks was ineligible during final season at UNC

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer
Nicks was dominant during his time in North Carolina, but was ineligible his final year. (US Presswire)

In November of 2010, Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks got caught up in an investigation into an agent and academic scandal involving his alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Nicks was mentioned in the scandal for being one of three former players who gave improper benefits ($3,330 in Nicks case) to current players. As it turns out, the Giants star was actually ineligible during his final season at UNC, a school spokeperson confirmed to the Raleigh News & Observer.

The wideout, who had a monster postseason during the Giants Super Bowl run, received improper academic help during the spring of 2008 from a tutor. The N&O has since identified Nicks within the context of the NCAA's infractions report as "student-athlete 1" (the school could not confirm which student-athlete Nicks was) based on his timing at UNC and the benefits provided.

"Regarding student-athlete 1, a review of email communications revealed that on April 21, 2008, the former tutor wrote conclusion paragraphs for five of student-athlete 1's writing assignments in an education course,” the NCAA infractions report reads. “By the time the violations were discovered, student-athlete 1 was no longer enrolled at the institution, so no further action was taken."

Nicks is currently recovering from a fractured foot that's supposed to keep him out until at least training camp. The wide receiver couldn't be reached for comment by the News & Observer.

"We have no knowledge of that whatsoever," Nicks agent Peter Schaffer told the newspaper. "It's low on the totem pole of relevant issues."

Of course it is -- Nicks wants to recover from a serious foot injury and get back on the field so he can defend his Super Bowl title. Right now whatever happened in his college career relating to NCAA rules violations is nothing more than a distant speck in his rearview mirror, and the games he played in that season have already been vacated by the university.

The only issue for Nicks? Now any records he set at Carolina will be given an asterisk in the football program's media guide.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Will Brinson on Twitter here: @willbrinson.

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