UNC releases more NCAA probe records

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.  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.  Personally, I can’t help but to wonder about why that might be (roll eyes here).  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…

“We understand the public’s interest in this case, but from the very beginning, the University’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,” 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.  Pretty strong language.  And yet the university* knew nothing of this?  OK, I guess I went back on my word about not editiorializing…but damn.  Can’t see any way this was anything but easily known by university* and athletics officials.  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?  Yeah…exactly.

More….

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.

[snip]

One call was 69 minutes and another was 42 minutes, according to a transcript of the NCAA’s interview with Austin.

Maybe it was a wrong number…both times.  Or perhaps an ass pocket dial…both times.  Hey, it could happen ;)

Still more…

• 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 “prospective agent.” The investigation also showed that Little had not told the truth when first interviewed.

Dick Baddour, then UNC’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 “unduly harsh.” 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.  But the university’s* repeated attempts to pre-emptively undermine NCAA rules/minimum punishments is somewhat telling here…don’t you think?

• 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 “extreme amount of time.” 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 “understand how/why it took the Committee a month to come to the decision.”

UNC appealed, and a month later the NCAA made it official that McAdoo’s NCAA football career was over.

Even caught red handed, seems they still wanted to muck around anyway.  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.  So be sure to go here and follow the discussion there as well.  Also be sure to follow the link provided there (hat tip to SFN member seqouyah) for more “interesting” nuggets.

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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.  You’ll be glad you did.  And really, what else have you to do while you’re pretending to work?

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About Wufpacker

A 2nd generation alumnus and raised since birth to be irrationally dedicated to all things NC State. Class of '88 and '92.

UNC Scandal

22 Responses to UNC releases more NCAA probe records

  1. Alpha Wolf 11/05/2012 at 11:35 PM #

    Brazen, aren’t they? The minimum punishment? Too harsh, bro. Won’t you reconsider?

  2. Wufpacker 11/05/2012 at 11:45 PM #

    It still amazes me that this has been as quiet as it has been quite frankly. Don’t expect much to change with these latest revelations either.

    Their deny/deflect/delay techniques seem to hve worked to perfection.

    Can you imagine if we tried this chit? Not only would the athletics dept. have been shut down across the board, I’d fully expect a fleet of bulldozers waiting on Western Blvd. for the all clear to raze the entire campus to the ground.

  3. MrPlywood 11/06/2012 at 12:08 AM #

    I’m pretty much resigned to the fact that the only way State fans will feel like u*NX got what they deserved is to beat them on the court and on the field at every available opportunity. The football win streak made some of the Hole BS tolerable. That’s gone, so now it’s up to bball to start a run.

  4. BureauOfMines 11/06/2012 at 2:32 AM #

    The corruption of the NCAA, ACC and UNC mirrors the corruption in government and business today. Little surprise so many “leaders” get their start at UNC. The seeds of ruination were sown when UNC was established.

    NC State was created to correct the Chapel Hill mistake.

  5. Gene 11/06/2012 at 4:08 AM #

    I bet there will be a lot of *NC alums and national media, who keep talking about the great graduation rates and how the athletics department hasn’t whiffed scandal in over 50 years, despite all the damning evidence that comes out.

    After all *NC has the highest graduation rates in the ACC or something like to that effect.

    Expect Vitale, et. al. to harp endlessly about the integrity of *NC athletics.

    Also, I thought the reason *NC got a slap on the wrist was because they self-sanctioned themselves and now we learn they were trying to get the penalties reduced on players they supposedly disciplined in lieu of NCAA actions.

    Part of me respects those evil fucking geniuses in Orange County, like Baddour and Thorpe.

    They wanted to go big time in all sports and cheated to insure this and basically got away with it. Even as evidence comes pouring out about how crooked they’ve been and they look to continue their wicked ways in broad daylight.

  6. Gene 11/06/2012 at 4:09 AM #

    I bet there will be a lot of *NC alums and national media, who keep talking about the great graduation rates and how the athletics department hasn’t whiffed scandal in over 50 years, despite all the damning evidence that comes out.

    After all *NC has the highest graduation rates in the ACC or something like to that effect.

    Expect Vitale, et. al. to harp endlessly about the integrity of *NC athletics.

    Also, I thought the reason *NC got a slap on the wrist was because they self-sanctioned themselves and now we learn they were trying to get the penalties reduced on players they supposedly disciplined in lieu of NCAA actions.

    Part of me respects those evil geniuses in Orange County, like Baddour and Thorpe.

    They wanted to go big time in all sports and cheated to insure this and basically got away with it. Even as evidence comes pouring out about how crooked they’ve been and they look to continue their wicked ways in broad daylight.

  7. Old MacDonald 11/06/2012 at 6:19 AM #

    I cannot for the life of me understand the viewpoint that UNC “got away with it,” I mean, they have been humiliated in the local and national press for over two years now. And counting. Their academic cheating systems have been severely compromised. The NCAA hit them about as hard as they have in similar cases…the NCAA penalties were never going to be crippling because the NCAA got out of that business years ago.

    I think there is something in some State fans that just requires the perception that UNC “got away with it,” no matter what happens.

  8. Old MacDonald 11/06/2012 at 6:28 AM #

    I should have added that the NCAA penalties, as far as I know, only contemplate the extra benefits stuff. The academic wrongdoing is still an open investigation as far as I know. The NCAA will wait for all of the ancillary investigations to wrap up before they get into that…the NCAA does not have the staff to perform serious investigations anymore…they let others do the work for them.

  9. Wufpacker 11/06/2012 at 7:06 AM #

    Your points are well taken Old Mac. I think a lot of the issues I personally have over this stem from the differences in how they’ve been handled/treated in/by media (nearly a media blackout on the matter until there was so much that it couldn’t be ignored), versus how the media jumped up our asses back in ’89-’90 for nothing more than a leaked dust jacket of a yet to be released error-riddled book, and the resultant black eye it gave us that we still carry today somewhat.

    But you are unfortunately correct that times have changed and this ain’t your father’s NCAA any longer.

  10. Gene 11/06/2012 at 7:32 AM #

    “The academic wrongdoing is still an open investigation as far as I know. ”

    So far the NCAA had decided there isn’t enough evidence to hand down further punishments.

    Secondly, the only reason academic fraud ever saw the light of day was because of McAdoodle’s Swahili paper being made public record and the folks at Pack Pride pointing out it was mostly plagiarized.

    Otherwise the academic improprieties at *NC was limited to a misguided tutor.

    My gut feeling is *NC has gotten away with it and the long term damage from this amount of rampant cheating will be minimal.

    So far it has done very little to hurt its reputation. I don’t agree it has humiliated *NC. Unless you are a hardcore college sports fan, you will know very little about the various scandals in Chapel Hill.

    It’s not getting mentioned on Sports Center on ESPN, for example, which is where a lot of folks get their casual updates of what’s going on in the world of sports.

    The veneer of being the most ethical athletics program in the world hasn’t really been scratched off for the casual sports fan, the way schools like FSU or Miami (FL) are generally believed to be able and willing to bend the rules to win.

    In short, public perception about Chapel Hill hasn’t changed much and I’m not optimistic the NCAA has the will or incentive to do anything else in Chapel Hill, as well as the North Carolina BoG, the UNC-CH BoT, or the ACC to demand anything more from the UNC-CHeat administration because of the current set of revelations.

    They got away with it. They are evil geniuses.

  11. highstick 11/06/2012 at 7:48 AM #

    I heard Thorpe’s name mentioned tonight in a “search process” for the President at another university. Luckily, the Chmn of the Board gave me a grin of disbelief too!

  12. blpack 11/06/2012 at 7:55 AM #

    They absolutely got away with it. It’s a shame the NCAA cares little about academic fraud while enforcing the APR charade. It is up to the SBI now to make people talk and expose the truth.

  13. packalum44 11/06/2012 at 9:19 AM #

    The benefits of cheating were well worth the cost. I think that’s what most mean by “getting away with it”. That just from a football and Butch Davis perspective and time-frame.

    The basketball program is the real boon here. They have been cheating for decades and won multiple national championships during that period. That is worth tens of millions of dollars, monetized through television rights, fan support, alumni donations, media attention, increased national exposure and perception from normal students and higher application rates and therefore academic talent.

    The sad truth is, if we cheated in the same manner, our University would be much better off.

    Similar to steroid use. Those that don’t use it can hold their head high, but those that do can reap the rewards. If caught, they are shamed for a few days, and can console themselves in their piles of money (latest example of Armstrong).

  14. state73 11/06/2012 at 9:38 AM #

    Yes. unc-cheat got away with cheating with only a token slap on the wrist. To them it was well worth it, they have the banners hanging in the Dean Dome to prove it. Screw them along with the ncaa and the acc!

  15. Pack84 11/06/2012 at 10:18 AM #

    Unless and until those fradulent banners hanging in the Nose Dome come down you’re damn right they got away with it.

  16. coach13 11/06/2012 at 11:03 AM #

    Yet the media still makes light of it all in UNC’s defense. Radio guy calling part of the transcripts laughable. Media and UNC downplaying everything and NCAA goes along. I just don’t see how anybody can get busted for anything moving foward. The offenses and the punishments WILL be studied and used by teams, and their staff, and the precedence of weak punishment set for UNC’s multiple scandals will be used against the NCAA as to why they will not be able to punish teams moving foward.

  17. Gene 11/06/2012 at 11:51 AM #

    “The basketball program is the real boon here.”

    There are only a handful of nationally prominent college sports programs in this country.

    UNC’s men’s basketball is among those.

    You can find UNC gear in a Lids-type store that sells hats/gear of mostly local teams, with a few national college programs and UNC is usually one of those.

    The ability of the university to drill into people that Jordan went there has also helped immensely. In raising their national exposure and this scandal hasn’t made a dint in it.

    ***************************************

    What gets me about this scandal is unlike the mea culpa NCSU had 20+ years ago in castrating our men’s basketball program, there’s no indication UNC-CHeat will do anything it isn’t forced to do by the NCAA or other authorities, which is to say they wanted to be a big time football program under Davis and they’ll give Fedora the same level of relatively unconditional support.

    We can’t afford to be treading water with our football program, because UNC-CHeat sure as heck isn’t going to be accepting mediocre seasons from theirs, even if they are on NCAA probation.

  18. Wolf74 11/06/2012 at 5:19 PM #

    I did all I could today, I VOTED. My view, too many UNC-CHeats grads in the government that never learned to do an honest days work so I did my homework and voted for anybody running against a UNC-CHeats grad. The only thing I could do. I am sick of their good ole boy system, lies and deception.

  19. TruthBKnown Returns 11/06/2012 at 5:36 PM #

    Wolf74, I voted last week. I looked at the voter guide that came with the N&O to read up on the background of the non-partisan races. I had no idea who to vote for, and all I could read about them was pretty much their education and work experience, and their comments about themselves.

    In races where I didn’t see anything that really distinguished the two candidates for a given seat, I made a point NOT to vote for the candidate that graduated from U*NC-CH.

    Maybe that’s wrong, I know. But all I could think about was the BoG and how they seem so corrupt, and a part of the good ole boy network. And that is because of the elected officials.

  20. Wolf74 11/06/2012 at 6:15 PM #

    TruthBKnown Returns, I see nothing wrong with that at all. There are issues with the government in NC and in particular the way the University System is operated. Time for a change. One group has had control for too long and now we see that their chosen school has taught them very little with regard to integrity.

    Everyone can make their own decision but integrity is probably the top of my list for items to look for in a politician and I see none of that at that university and since I know only one of the politicians personally, I can only base my decisions on what I know.

  21. Primewolf 11/06/2012 at 6:35 PM #

    Truth. Didn’t you get your R voter guide on your front door. I also got one at my. Voting place.

  22. TruthBKnown Returns 11/07/2012 at 9:44 AM #

    Prime, no. I never got an “R” voter guide this year.

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