UNC-CH grudgingly turned loose their death grip on some more records produced during the 2010 NCAA investigation into allegations related to agents and academic improprieties earlier today.Â While rather damning, let us not forget that at this point the NCAA considers this a dead issue.
Nonetheless, Dan Kan and J. Andrew Curliss of the N&O still saw fit to put together a summary anyway – UNC releases more records on NCAA probe.Â Personally, I can’t help but to wonder about why that might be (roll eyes here).Â Seems if nothing else, preferential treatment was somewhat in play here.
Not going to go into a lot of editorializing here, as I think it’s unnecessary, but here’s some nuggets…
â€œWe understand the publicâ€™s interest in this case, but from the very beginning, the Universityâ€™s position has been based on the principle that we have a responsibility to protect the privacy rights of all students, not just student-athletes,â€ Chancellor Holden Thorp said in a statement accompanying the document release.
The documents provide a window into an intense period for UNC as NCAA investigators began looking at Austin and others who had popped up at a pool party attended by NFL players in Miami in May 2010.
Austin was interviewed extensively by NCAA investigators. One of the two interviews spanned two days as investigators repeatedly asked him about trips to South Florida, Southern California and Washington, D.C. The interviews indicate that agents, financial advisers and other businessmen were swarming around Austin, a defensive star who was seen as a first-round draft pick.
Swarming.Â Pretty strong language.Â And yet the university* knew nothing of this?Â OK, I guess I went back on my word about not editiorializing…but damn.Â Can’t see any way this was anything but easily known by university* and athletics officials.Â Only way they didn’t know was if they didn’t want to know.
And the fact that the NCAA interviews pretty much showed this, and yet the relative slap on the wrist?Â Yeah…exactly.
Austin at first said a longtime friend and NFL player, Vontae Davis, paid for trips to the Miami area, but later acknowledged it might have been Todd Stewart, whom the NCAA identified as a prospective agent. Austin also acknowledged that Stewart put as much as $1,000 in one of his bank accounts.
Austin said he assumed Stewart was serving as a pass-through from Vontae Davis or his brother, Vernon, another NFL player.
Austin said Kentwan Balmer, another NFL player and former UNC star, helped pay for two trips to Southern California to attend a training camp. But NCAA investigators confronted Austin with a list of phone calls between him and a cell phone belonging to Wichard, who represented Balmer and several other NFL players.
One call was 69 minutes and another was 42 minutes, according to a transcript of the NCAAâ€™s interview with Austin.
Maybe it was a wrong number…both times.Â Or perhaps an ass pocket dial…both times.Â Hey, it could happen
â€¢Â A reinstatement request for former player Greg Little, who was banned from play by the NCAA along with teammate Robert Quinn. Records released late last month showed that the university sought to reinstate Quinn with a punishment that was less than the NCAA minimum.
The new records show the university had a similar position with Little, who received cash and gifts from former UNC star Hakeem Nicks and a financial adviser described as a â€œprospective agent.â€ The investigation also showed that Little had not told the truth when first interviewed.
Dick Baddour, then UNCâ€™s athletics director, wrote to the NCAA two games into the 2010 football season and acknowledged that the rules required a minimum suspension for Little of 80 percent of the season, according to the new records. Baddour wrote that the punishment would be â€œunduly harsh.â€ In a letter to the NCAA on Sept. 24, 2010, he sought a suspension for Little of 60 percent of the season.
Two weeks later, the NCAA declared Little and Quinn permanently ineligible.
At least the NCAA has some grown ups somewhere in the organization.Â But the university’s* repeated attempts to pre-emptively undermine NCAA rules/minimum punishments is somewhat telling here…don’t you think?
â€¢Â Email messages that show UNC wanted answers as questions swirled around former player Michael McAdoo in early 2011. The NCAA had found that McAdoo received improper help from a tutor and that he received impermissible benefits. UNC wanted him to play again, and sought an answer about whether he could return or would have to enter the NFL draft.
Amy Herman, an assistant athletic director for NCAA compliance at UNC, wrote to the NCAA on Jan. 13, 2011, as the NFL draft deadline approached, saying the deliberations had taken an â€œextreme amount of time.â€ An NCAA official wrote her back later that day and relayed that a committee had decided McAdoo would not be eligible to play.
Herman responded that UNC did not â€œunderstand how/why it took the Committee a month to come to the decision.â€
UNC appealed, and a month later the NCAA made it official that McAdooâ€™s NCAA football career was over.
Even caught red handed, seems they still wanted to muck around anyway.Â Again, it’s a good thing there were at least SOME adults in positions of responsibility with the NCAA.
There’s obviously a lot more that was released…2500 pages worth.Â So be sure to go here and follow the discussion there as well.Â Also be sure to follow the link provided there (hat tip to SFN member seqouyah) for more “interesting” nuggets.
And while you’re there, why not hang around awhile and get in on some of the many other interesting and entertaining (and sometimes funny, if often unintentionally so) topics being discussed on the SFN Forums.Â You’ll be glad you did.Â And really, what else have you to do while you’re pretending to work?