DEVELOPING: UNC Suspends Four Football Players Amid Investigation – Click for Details

Jones Makes Third Charged in UNC Football Scandal

HILLSBOROUGH– Patrick Mitchell Jones of Cartersville, Ga. has become the third person indicted in the UNC football scandal.

This latest indictment was unsealed Monday morning. Jones was accused of persuading Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn to sign with sports agent Terry Watson. Jones did not comment after the hearing but will be hiring a lawyer in N.C. soon.

Jones’ bond was set at $20,000. And according to the indictment, Jones handed a third person $725 to aid Quinn.

Terry Watson and Jennifer Thompson, formerly Jennifer Wiley, are the other two indicted. You can read all the details here.

http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/jones-makes-third-charged-in-unc-football-scandal/

Second Indictment In UNC Football Scandal To Be Unsealed

HILLSBOROUGH – The second indictment of five in the UNC football scandal will be unsealed Wednesday.

Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall says one of the remaining four indicted is scheduled to turn him- or herself in. That person’s first court appearance is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. in Hillsborough.

He says between the time of the surrender and the court appearance, the additional indictments will be made public because of their connection to the person surrendering.

Jennifer Lauren Wiley Thompson appeared in court Thursday for her first appearance on charges of athlete-agent inducement, which breaks the Uniformed Agent Act. Those charges are the first in the history of the law that can be found, according to Woodall.

Thompson is alleged to have provided money and two round-trip plane tickets to former UNC football player Greg Littler in order to get him to sign a contract with an agent. If she’s found guilty, Thompson could face a maximum prison sentence of 15 months and up to a $25,000 fine.

For the full story on Thompson and the unprecedented nature of the indictments, click here.

http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/second-indictment-in-unc-football-scandal-to-be-unsealed/

Thompson Indictment First Of Its Kind

ORANGE COUNTY – Orange and Chatham District Attorney, Jim Woodall, says the charges against former UNC tutor Jennifer Lauren Wiley Thompson—commonly know during the investigation of the UNC football team as Jennifer Wiley—are likely the first of this nature handed out in the state and possibly the first in the nation.

“I’m about 99-percent sure in North Carolina, because we’ve not heard of anyone else doing it,” Woodall says. “And, I think if anyone else had done it, it would have gone through the Secretary of State’s office. And, we can’t find anywhere in the country that has indicted anyone under the Uniform Agents Act.”

Thompson is charged with four counts of athlete agent inducement.

Four other indictments have been handed out. Woodall says those records will remain sealed until the defendants have been served. At that time, a court date will be set.

Woodall says he was aware of the investigation by the Secretary of State, Elaine Marshall, that took more than three years, but he says didn’t get involved until about a year-and-a-half ago. He says the reason the investigation lasted so long was the sheer amount of information to go through as well as a few snags along the way.

“The Secretary of State’s office had to go to court to get information from the NCAA,” Woodall says. “There was information that the NCAA had that they did not voluntarily turn over. There were several court hearings that were required to get that information, and that took several months.”

An additional hiccup in the investigation came early on when the agent that was being investigated, California-based Gary Wichard, died about a year-and-a-half into the investigation and therefore could no longer be charged. The investigation has since found that Georgia-based agent, Terry Watson, was also involved. Investigators found that Watson sent $2,000, $150, and two round-trip airline tickets to Thompson who in turn passed the money along to former UNC football player Greg Little. The money was meant to entice Little to contact Watson and use him as an agent.

The Uniform Athlete Agent Act has been adopted by 40 states, including North Carolina, and says any agent must register with the state—specifically the Secretary of State in most cases—in order to act as an agent. Watson was registered in Georgia as a member of the Watson Sports Agency. The UAAA is designed to shield athletes from sports agents who would offer gifts to entice them to sign representation contracts while competing on the college level.

“Any time you have a law on the book—if it’s something that’s reasonable and it’s something that makes sense—if you have evidence that it’s been violated—and I do think we have evidence of violation—then I think it’s our duty to proceed and go forward on those kinds of cases,” Woodall says.

Wiley was placed under a $15,000 secured bond and is due in court again Oct. 15.

http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/thompson-indictment-first-of-its-kind/

Same Old, Same Old

The 208-page report released by UNC this week pertaining to the football scandal revealed few new facts and fewer names – thanks to heavy redaction in almost every document. What it did underscore was the gross lack of oversight in the entire mess.

From the first $67,000 paid to a Kansas law firm that was hired and still could not prevent loose lips that sunk some scholarships, to the naïve “c’mon in” attitude of the athletic department toward the NCAA, it has mushroomed into an academic scandal whose stench will last long after the three-year probationary period ends. And more legal bills will be coming for sure.

The media is – and continues to be – dogged in seeking the release of every public document pertaining to the scandal. That UNC won’t give up any of the names of players, tutors and others involved, citing FERPA privacy laws, is like dangling raw meat in front of a Tiger. That’s how hungry the so-called traditional media is to prove that it still has a place in the Internet-social media society of today.

Most of the impermissible benefits remain pretty petty. One case involves a couple of players who slept on a former teammate’s couch after a heavy night of partying instead of making it back to the hotel room they had paid for with their own money. Hotel, no violation; buddy’s couch, impermissible bennie. Silly rule.

The worst of it involves Marvin Austin, Robert Quinn, and Greg Little, three players who did take what they weren’t supposed to in travel and jewelry. Each committed specific crimes in the eyes of the NCAA as the scandal blew up.

Austin, of course, awoke the college watchdogs by tweeting from that South Beach bistro. Quinn gave up his cell phone that had calls and texts linking him to a Miami jeweler. And Little, who has never been able to keep his trap shut, first mentioned “Miss Wiley” to NCAA investigators, which allowed them to look at Jennifer Wiley’s university email account that contained hundreds to and from football players. That turned an NCAA investigation into an academic fraud case.

Granted, Carolina has had very little experience dealing with the NCAA on this side of the line; it has been 50 years since our last probation. But, until Bubba Cunningham arrived, the athletic department was pathetically myopic in not seeking advice from outside sources and convincing each other the Carolina Way will prevail and the worst is over. The Carolina Way is now a punch line.

One obvious transparency was bringing in the Kansas law firm that still could not prepare the players well enough for their inquisitions. Another is the university telling players NOT to get their own individual attorneys because it will “make you look guilty.” That lit a fire under Devon Ramsay’s mother, who lawyered up on her own and got her son off.

And now it’s clear that Carolina has slipped across the line that separates every major college athletic department from those with a rap sheet. Since the leather helmet days, football players have been taking $5-50 handshakes, free meals here and there, and steered toward courses taught by the “Easy B Nyang’oros.”

The depth of this probe has made it look like a rogue department and a Chair and associate who turned lecture classes into independent study courses (without teachers) in which tutors helped players write papers that would determine their grades. That part of the scandal is still under deep scrutiny and looks like it will have the most damning effect on the rep of a great university.

When 18 football players wind up in a course that was put onto the schedule at virtually the last minute, there had to be a conduit between athletics and academics to help those players needing to stay eligible. There is simply no other explanation, whether it was John Blake, the academic support staff or Butch Davis himself coming up with the solution. Eventually, someone else may pay for that.

Of course, Davis continues to claim he did nothing wrong and knew of nothing wrong.  Truth is, he did know a lot about what was going on at the academic support center, did not like some of it and butted heads trying to change it.

Whatever the well-known football fibber knew or didn’t know, the buck had to stop with the man making $3 million as CEO of the program. All this deny, deny, deny, and I didn’t know on You Tube is enough to make any caring Tar Heel sick to his stomach. Davis did lots of good with UNC football but apparently nothing bad.

And yet, we’re still paying his full severance, even though it’s clear he and his agent are pulling a fast one with the wording of Davis’ new job description in Tampa Bay. PLUS, we invited his kid to join the football team as a walk-on, keeping his dad as part of the UNC Football Family. Not exactly what I’d call a fresh start and moving on.

As my friend BobLee says, “There has to be a better answer than our mess isn’t as bad as Penn State’s.”

If you want to read the acerbic version of the story from BobLee himself, click here. Laughing and crying out loud are both permitted.

http://chapelboro.com/columns/sports-notebook/same-old-same-old/

The Pros and Cons

What was Larry Fedora thinking when he agreed to give one of his “preferred” walk-on slots in the UNC football program to Drew Davis?

• Maybe he actually needed another quarterback, since the Tar Heels had only four on their roster – three on scholarship and one walk-on. Davis, who was a record-breaking passer at East Chapel Hill High School, makes five.

• Maybe it helped his relationship with East Chapel Hill coach Bill Renner, the father of Fedora’s starting quarterback, Bryn Renner, and Drew Davis’ coach for four years.

• Maybe it boosted the morale of the players he inherited from Davis, many of whom were expecting to have Drew as a teammate before his father was fired. Bryn Renner and Drew Davis are close friends.

• Maybe it was an attempt to close the divide with those fans who are still sore over Butch Davis’ firing and need to get behind Fedora and Chancellor Holden Thorp 100 percent.

• Maybe, after meeting with the young Davis, he was convinced that having him could help field a competitive scout squad and that Drew Davis would not be a distraction to his program.

• Maybe he thought the fair thing was to give the kid a shot, and if he doesn’t live up to the new standards Fedora has set on and off the field for his entire team then Drew can transfer or play club football at Carolina.

• Maybe he wanted tickets to the Panthers-Tampa Bay game this season (JK).

What Larry Fedora must have forgotten, or did not realize, when he offered Drew Davis a walk-on slot:

• That this kid is Butch Davis’ son, making the Davis parents part of the Carolina football family, insuring that the media and message board gooks would make it a distraction for his program.

• That UNC wants a complete, uncompromised separation from the Butch Davis era.

• That it might be risky to take the son of a coach who was fired and is still vindictive toward the Chancellor and others he believed had him dismissed unjustly.

• That the chance any controversial information that leaked out of his locker room would be linked to Butch’s kid, fair or not.

• That it would bring scandalized tutor Jennifer Wiley’s name back into play because Drew studied under her when he was in high school.

• That it would royally toast those supporters who have since turned on Davis and now see him as a mistake hire who led a program to NCAA probation and is keeping the $1.8 million balance of his severance over a carefully worded new job description with the NFL Bucs.

• That this is Chapel Hill (with Duke eight miles down the road and N.C. State 20 miles away), where no one lets you forget anything.

http://chapelboro.com/columns/sports-notebook/the-pros-and-cons/

Nyang'o-Who U?

Although the deposed Julius Nyang’oro had been teaching at UNC for 20 years, during which time taking Swahili had become somewhat of an inside joke among athletes, the period about to go under the microscope of the SBI is the summer of 2007 through the end of 2009.  

Julius Nyang’oro

Coincidence, or precisely between when Butch Davis began coaching at Carolina and his program fell under investigation by the NCAA? The very first piece of this so-call academia was Marvin Austin’s “B” grade in an upper level course he took the summer before enrolling as a freshman at UNC in 2007.  

Nyang’oro was supposed to have taught that course, but it is still unclear whether it was one of the 45 that the former department chair arbitrarily turned from accelerated summer lectures into, “There will be no classes, just come back at the end of the semester with a paper about a prominent black leader.”  

Or some such non-sense.  

Austin then enrolled as a full-time student. One of his first-semester courses in the fall of 2007 had the adjective “remedial” attached to it. From advanced to remedial in one easy lesson, which is that a number of unqualified “student-athletes” Davis signed should have been at lesser schools or junior college somewhere.  

Austin, of course, was the centerpiece of Davis’ first freshman class, for which fired assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator John Blake took and got most of the credit. Austin had been highly sought around the country after a star high school career in Washington, D.C., but not by Carolina. Yet the smooth-talking Blake waltzed up there and bagged the big guy.  

That turn of phrase reminds me how one former UNC assistant coach under Dick Crum cracked over the summer, “Hell, everyone knew Blake was the bag man.”  

Anyway, enough of that.  

After Blake signed up Austin, you can envision a parallel conversation going on between the Davis camp and Nyang’oro that went something like: “We’ve got this stud defensive tackle coming in and he’s going to play for us right away. We need to kick start his GPA so there is no chance of him being ineligible after his first season.”  

Sounds like a summer school course from “Easy B” Nyang’oro was the answer.  

With so many classes that were supposed to be lectures turning into “come back with a paper” capers, it’s easy to see how tutors like Jennifer Wiley were pressed into overtime duty. Of course, the most publicized of which was Michael McAdoo’s plagiarized piece that got him thrown off the field by the NCAA and kicked out of Superior Court after he filed suit to regain his eligibility.  

The time frame of all this is so curious one has to wonder why the preceding football regimes at UNC only had passing knowledge of Nyang’oro and his department in the first place. One former UNC coach remembers watching a game on TV and seeing a player’s bio come up on the screen with the major “African Afro-American Studies.”  

He said, “What the hell is that?”  

Carolina grad and Orange/Chatham County District Attorney Jim Woodall has called on the SBI to investigate this era of Davis, who by the way UNC still owes $1.8 million in severance pay even though the Butcher has taken another job with the Tampa Bay Bucs. But not to coach, only advise.  

Sure, let’s pay Davis the 1.8 mil and then ask him to cover Carolina’s legal fees in this last episode of the scandal that clearly crossed the line.  

All former football coaches and players know that summer has been the time for getting/keeping kids eligible, all the way back to when I was in school. In my day, it was Portuguese and education classes taught by Dr. Unks and Dr. Lovingood to beef up your GPA. Now, it’s Swahili and a bunch of other “Easy B” courses where athletes seem to migrate.  

But as Roy Williams said snippily a week or so ago, “They went to class and did the work that was assigned to them.” Maybe all the basketball players did, but apparently not all the athletes enrolled in Nyang’oro U.  

African Afro-American Studies is, or was, a legitimate major at UNC in the College of Arts & Sciences. Chancellor Holden Thorp was the Dean of Arts & Sciences for the 2007-08 school year, when the big trouble was just brewing. The notion that Thorp’s job could be in jeopardy is ludicrous, since it was obviously a football-engineered scam that turned the department into a sham over the last four years.  

The most recent annual salary for Nyang’oro, who is being forced into retirement as of July 1, was $159,000 plus a $12,000 stipend for chairing the department. He also made $12,000 a summer for courses he was supposed to be teaching. The News & Observer reported last week that Nyang’oro was paid $120,000 for summer school work during his tenure. Some of which was never actually done. Some of which was taught outside the course description. Some of which resulted in grades that were changed and faculty members’ names forged on the forms.  

All to be untangled by Woodall and the SBI, which can find criminal fraud if any of the cheating was conducted on state property or equipment.  

Let’s hope it happens quickly and the right people are held accountable.

http://chapelboro.com/columns/sports-notebook/nyango-who-u/

It Would Be Hog Heaven!

The University of Arkansas has a perfect solution to its problem with philandering football coach Bobby Petrino. Fire him and hire Butch Davis.

Think about it. Davis is an Arkansas grad and former player there (until injured early in his career) and has since been a coaching “fixer” for problem college and pro football programs.

And Davis has some recent history with Arkansas, leveraging an alleged opportunity to return there after his first season at Carolina (2007) to get a $291,000 raise and contract extension. Some people said it was a head fake by Davis’ new agent Jimmy Sexton, but nevertheless it proved effective enough to extract the contract bump following an inaugural 4-8 record with the Tar Heels.

And the head-coaching careers of both men run strangely parallel.

Petrino was 41-9 in four seasons at Louisville, then hired by the Atlanta Falcons where he quit in the middle of his first season, which star quarterback Michael Vick missed after being suspended for his role in an illegal dog-fighting ring in Virginia. He bolted the Falcons to take the Arkansas job, and left a livid locker room behind.

Petrino was hailed as the savior of Razorback Nation and has challenged Alabama and Auburn in the murderous SEC West, going 20-5 the last two seasons. But his career is in serious jeopardy after covering up that he had a 25-year-old woman employee of the football program on the back of his motorcycle when it crashed in rural Arkansas last weekend. Petrino, 51 and married with four children, has since apologized for an “inappropriate relationship” without elaborating further. The story seems to get more damning for Petrino every day. 
 
Davis’ first head-coaching job was at Miami, where he cleaned up a probation-laden program left to him by predecessor Dennis Erickson. By the time he fled five years later, Miami had been ranked as high as No. 2 in the country, played in the Sugar Bowl and had a roster of stars that would win the national championship in 2001 under his successor Larry Coker. Davis then went to Cleveland in the NFL and left midway through his third season amidst a maelstrom, his players saying the same uncomplimentary things about him as the Falcons heaped on Petrino. In 2006, Davis arrived in Chapel Hill as the savior of Carolina football, and you know the rest of that story.

Davis did not have the success on the field that Petrino has had at Arkansas, but he signed great recruiting classes and won eight games his last three seasons. His controversy, the NCAA scandal that led to his firing last July, also involved a woman in her 20s, the infamous tutor Jennifer Wiley who wound up in the middle of UNC’s academic fraud while also employed by Davis and his wife as a private tutor for their teenage son Drew. At worst, you can call Davis’ relationship with Wiley as “professionally inappropriate” and nowhere near what could turn out to be the case with Petrino and former Arkansas volleyball player Jessica Dorrell.

But Arkansas AD Jeff Long may find himself in the position where he has to fire Petrino if, according to a clause in the coach’s contract, he “negatively or adversely affects the reputation of the (university’s) athletics programs in any way.” I would say Petrino wiping out on his chopper with a girl half his age riding shotgun and then apologizing to everyone in sight violates that contract.

What is it with these multi-million-dollar coaches who do such stupid things? And I do not include Davis in that group, because his sins may have been more of omission than commission in overseeing a program that is now on a three-year NCAA probation.

How can they be so dumb to put themselves in a position that could not only jeopardize their careers, but their families? From the late Joe Paterno to the still very-much-alive Rick Pitino, errors in judgment occurred that makes you wonder whether some coaches believe they are either above the law and/or rules or oblivious to them.

Google “coaching scandals” and the list runs from household names to less-known coaches who were no less stupid. Petrino is the latest, and whether he keeps his job or not the respect he has built in Arkansas will be largely eroded. How many times will he have to confront the question in the homes of recruits?

That could cause Long to fire him, after all.

If Long then hired Davis, who has since taken a nebulous job with the Tampa Bay Bucs because he wants back in college coaching someday soon and would be a hero coming home to rescue the program, it would be a win-win for him and his old school. As the new head coach at his alma mater, Davis would let UNC off the hook for the $1.8 million in severance pay he is still owed.

Hog heaven for everyone except Petrino.

http://chapelboro.com/columns/sports-notebook/it-would-be-hog-heaven/

Unanswered Questions

The NCAA’s 38-page report on the Carolina football sanctions is detailed in its outline of violations by the school and the individuals involved (although no names are mentioned; just Student Athlete 1, Student Athlete 2, former assistant coach, former tutor, etc.). But it, as the entire investigation has over the last 22 months, leaves many questions unanswered. Here are a few:

1) Why has the implicated former tutor, exposed many months ago as 2009 UNC graduate and current Durham elementary school teacher Jennifer Wiley, refused to be interviewed by UNC and/or the NCAA or make any public comment of explanation or in her own defense?

Wiley is widely held responsible for the damning tag of “academic fraud” in the first seven pages of the NCAA report, and anyone in her place should be seething that she was thrown under the bus for every picayune and confusing allegation of student-athlete academic misconduct.

Wiley received a letter of disassociation from the university, yet she continues to be represented by noted Raleigh attorney and UNC graduate Joe Cheshire, who defended one of the wealthiest former Duke lacrosse players falsely charged with rape in 2006.

Cheshire did not return phone calls or emails this week after making a statement to WRAL’s website in which he called the NCAA report “not completely accurate” and categorized Wiley as having a “big heart that caused her so much pain” who now wants to get on with her life. So disgraced by her alma mater, why is Wiley refusing to tell her side of the story? Is there legal action coming from Wiley and her family?

Cheshire also represented fired football coach Butch Davis, who is further tied to Wiley because he and his wife hired her as a private tutor for their teenage son, Drew. Wiley’s only public statements have been of regret over her role in the scandal and support of Davis.

Attempts to reach Wiley at her home, school and via email have been unsuccessful. Her parents must be both heartbroken and furious, yet her father Stewart Wiley of Matthews, N.C., also refused to talk when contacted. He maintained his daughter has nothing more to say.  

Cheshire told the News & Observer Friday that the $1,789 she gave a former UNC player (Greg Little) to pay off his unpaid parking tickets was a loan that was paid back right away, and that every other favor she did for football players was out of friendship to help them fulfill their dream of playing in the NFL someday. 

2) Will John Blake continue to be silent after denying all charges against him (allegations that were not refuted by UNC in their official response to the NCAA) and receiving a three-year “show cause” penalty that will keep him from coaching college football for at least that long?

Blake has told several acquaintances that he was fired as a scapegoat in September of 2010 and a number of former UNC players, coaches and administrators knew of his relationship with deceased agent Gary Wichard, including Davis. Blake appeared before the NCAA Committee on Infractions at the same hearing where UNC responded to the nine allegations last October.

Blake has also retained counsel who said they are contemplating an appeal. He could also sue both the NCAA and UNC. If he has more damning evidence and UNC truly wants to put the scandal in the background, he could be in a position to get more money from his former employer. Blake was paid a pro-rated 2010 salary of $75,000 when fired.

Former Southern Cal assistant coach Todd McNair filed suit against the NCAA in 2011, claiming libel, slander and misconduct in implicating him in the investigation of USC Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush, which landed the Trojans on probation, including a two-year bowl ban. 

3) During Monday’s teleconference, veteran sportswriter and Orange County Commissioner Barry Jacobs asked how Butch Davis, the man who oversaw the Carolina football program for four and a half years, could escape to Tampa unscathed and, in fact, even wealthier with a $2.7 million contract buyout for being fired without cause?

Adam Gold of 99.9 FM radio pointed out that Davis’ contract states that he could be fired “with cause” if one of his assistant coaches committed an NCAA violation. Davis also used a loophole in his contract to receive his full severance after taking a job as a “special assistant” to new Tampa Bay Bucs coach Greg Schiano. Davis claims he will do no coaching in his new NFL job, but many stories since his hiring by Schiano have referred to Davis as a “defensive coach.”

In response, former Athletic Director Dick Baddour maintained Davis cooperated fully with the NCAA and UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp said paying Davis off was “our best option.” Does that mean refusing to pay Davis invites a lawsuit from the deposed coach that would be costly to defend and keep the scandal in the news?

In fact, Davis did not “cooperate fully.” He hid his cell phone use with a personal phone to the total exclusion of the cell phone and land line provided by UNC, then promised his cell phone records to the media, then stonewalled, then when fired went away and never produced anything.

4) What exactly does the vacating of 16 wins from the 2008 and 2009 seasons mean, with regard to UNC records, Butch Davis’ coaching record and career statistics of those (ineligible?) players who participated in those games?

Kevin Best, UNC’s Director of Football Communications, says the victories will be erased from those seasons and Carolina’s all-time total, but not converted to losses (such in forfeits). Thus, UNC’s official record for the 2008 and ’09 seasons will be two 0-5s in forthcoming media guides.

Under NCAA guidelines, Davis’ overall record at Carolina will be changed from 28-23 to 12-23, and Davis will not be allowed to claim those vacated victories on personal resumes, interviews and applications or in media guides of teams and schools he works for in the future.

Best said that he is clarifying how the individual statistics of players who were in those vacated wins will be handled in the official UNC records and media guides moving forward. Carolina has 45 days to submit a compliance report on all of these changes to the NCAA.

5) In light of the decision to not let former linebacker Ebele Okakpu, who was dismissed from the football team last season for a series of program violations, participate in UNC’s pro timing day in front of NFL scouts, why were Marvin Austin, Greg Little and Robert Quinn allowed to audition for the NFL after being ruled permanently ineligible by the NCAA?

New Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham and new coach Larry Fedora have denied Okakpu’s request to appear at the timing day. Cunningham said they are trying to set a new standard of accountability for the football program, obviously wanting to distance the new coaching staff from anything related to the Davis regime.

Certainly understandable, but it raises the question of why the other three former players were allowed such access. Okakpu’s agent Lance Courtney has said “the entire situation is very strange to me and it appears to be strange to every NFL person I speak with regarding Ebele.”

Was UNC afraid that Austin, Little and Quinn had more information about NCAA violations that they threatened to expose if not permitted at the pro timing day? Austin implied as much after former teammate Michael McAdoo’s lawsuit was dismissed, saying he was ready to “spill the beans.”

6) Are there any other skeletons in the Carolina closet that will come out in the weeks and months to come, regarding Davis, Blake and the last football regime?

At one time, apparently, a half dozen former players were considering legal action against the university for lost playing time during the 2010 season that could have affected their chances to play professional football. Devon Ramsay won such a suit after missing nine games in 2010, had his eligibility restored for 2011 and received a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA after tearing an ACL in the season opener against James Madison. Ramsay, apparently, had six commas changed or added to a paper by Wiley or another tutor.

McAdoo, a defensive end, sued the NCAA and UNC for losing his eligibility, forced a telephone hearing with the NCAA and when his eligibility was not restored saw his lawsuit dismissed in North Carolina Superior Court. McAdoo, who entered the NFL supplementary draft and subsequently signed with the Baltimore Ravens, is appealing the dismissal because his family says it wants to keep public attention on the procedures and policies of the NCAA.

7) What additional questions do you have? Log in as a Chapelboro insider and post your questions at the bottom of this column.

http://chapelboro.com/columns/sports-notebook/unanswered-questions/

Davis Should Go — Now

UNC can still begin moving beyond its regrettable football scandal of the last year, regardless of its final fate from the NCAA. Ohio State has conveniently provided Carolina with the model it should use in order to separate a scandalous past from a brighter future.
 
The Buckeyes, whose transgressions aren’t nearly as severe as those charged to the Tar Heels, immediately looked ahead by removing decorated head coach Jim Tressel after he bore responsibility for the violations by several of his players. The school installed assistant Luke Fickell as interim coach for the 2011 season.
 
The dirty laundry Ohio State still must deal with is off to the side and out of the public’s face, while its fans can focus on the new season without the controversy hanging over their heads on a daily basis. And perhaps Tressel’s firing and the Buckeyes vacating all of their 2010 wins, including the Sugar Bowl championship, may lessen their forthcoming NCAA penalties.
 
Carolina should do the same – immediately – before practice begins in August. Few objective observers truly believe that Butch Davis will survive the NCAA and academic allegations, for which he bears responsibility as the head coach and CEO of the football program but has yet to admit. Chancellor Holden Thorp, to this point a staunch supporter of Davis, told the Raleigh News and Observer that the Michael McAdoo plagiarism case “is another sad part of the whole episode.”
 
So Carolina’s leadership has two choices:
  1. Allow Davis to coach the 2011 season under constant inquiry and suspicion over what else may come out and what will result from the October 28 hearing with the NCAA.
  2. Remove Davis as head coach, let coordinators John Shoop and Everett Withers coach the team and give the players and fans a break from the non-stop controversy.
If Davis coaches this season, he will face the media at least 50 times after the Operation Football press confab on July 25 in Pinehurst — between training camp, weekly teleconferences and live press conferences and after each of UNC’s 12 games, home and away. There will be constant questions over what has transpired, what may yet be revealed and the NCAA hearing. It’s unreasonable that Davis and Carolina can stonewall their way through such an inquisition.
Even if they can, does the team really need that distraction?
 
If Davis were removed, UNC’s pile of dirty laundry would be “off to the side” and the Tar Heels could play football out from under the cloud of controversy. How refreshing that would be at this point. Whatever advantage UNC has by Davis’ presence would be negated by the side show he will create after emerging from being virtually underground for the last 7 months.
 
Making such a move would also give Carolina a chance to plan for the future, and there is an obvious way to do that, as well. Whoever’s in charge at UNC these days (and that’s debatable) should say, “Enough is enough” and start repairing a tarnished image.
 
“That so many who have nurtured and protected that reputation for so many years . . . haven’t publicly called for Davis’ head is the saddest part of the whole sorry episode.” – Scott Mooneyham, Greenville Daily Reflector

Dick Baddour, who is in the last year of his contract, could announce his retirement effective next June 30 and spend his remaining time in office dealing with the dirty laundry and preparing for October 28. UNC could begin a search for a new athletic director, whose first duty would be to hire a head coach. The next AD should come from the outside with experience in hiring coaches and overseeing those hires when necessary, an area where Baddour failed miserably.
 
Carolina has a history of no contingency plan that has resulted in the hiring of Carl Torbush, Matt Doherty and John Bunting, all of whom were eventually fired.
 
Where will UNC be if, next December, the NCAA hands down the major penalties that most knowledgeable pundits are predicting? Georgia Tech received four years of probation and a $100,000 fine for one player receiving impermissible benefits totaling $312. Two years ago, Michigan got three-year probation because its coaches exceeded the weekly 20-hour limit for practice. Clearly, the Tar Heels’ violations are more numerous and egregious.
 
“Butch Davis and North Carolina could face NCAA penalties more severe than USC even received.”Sporting News

No school has ever been charged with its associate head coach and recruiting coordinator (John Blake) being a paid by an agent while on the university payroll. Since that is unprecedented, there is no telling what kind of sanctions will follow. Also, the academic fraud among players and accused tutor Jennifer Wiley being hired privately by Davis are serious sins in the eyes of the NCAA, according to reports.

 
“ . . . if proven, those violations rank alongside any of the last decade.” – Sports Illustrated, July 11, 2011
 
By the terms of his contract and from the hue and cry of alumni, whose university’s reputation and integrity have been seriously compromised, Davis could never be retained if Carolina receives a major NCAA probation. But if UNC waits until November or December to fire Davis and does not have a new athletic director in place by then, what coach would want to come under such a chaotic situation? Certainly, a lame-duck Baddour hiring the fourth football coach of his tenure is not an option.
 

It is time for UNC to take stock of its current position and begin planning for the future. The Ohio State model looks like a good one to emulate.

That’s my opinion on the UNC football scandal, what’s yours? Comment below.

http://chapelboro.com/columns/sports-notebook/davis-should-go-now/