Which new UNC-CH NCAA violation is most interesting to you? [8:00am Update]

What a night in the litany of major rules violations that continue to flow out of the UNC-Chapel Hill basketball program! I don’t know where to begin.

Iceburg Mouthguards & Party Promoting
Carolina damage control in full spin cycle, no doubt trying once again to come out clean on the other side.

who the hell buys a $1500 mouth guard anyway!

who the hell buys a $1500 mouth guard anyway?

Which might very well be why Leslie Vernard McDonald can no longer be found shilling $1500 mouthguards on the interwebz, but don’t worry we still have the pictures.

Looks like PJ does too!

Looks like Leslie does!

Accepting the $1,500 mouthguard would also be quite an NCAA violation. But, how could someone ever be able to prove that McDonald accepted such a gift? Oh, wait! Perhaps from McDonald’s own twitter account where (at 12:13am on February 22nd) McDonald thanks local party promoter @brintcitync of ‘KISS Entertainment‘ for his $1,500 mouthguard. Until Leslie tries to cover his tracks by deleting his tweets (as he did with the referenced picture of his mouthguard on Instagram), you can see for yourself below where the Carolina basketball player admits to violation. (Of course, deleting the tweet now would be futile since so many people have taken screen grabs of the admission.)

 

I’d just like to congratulate the UNC compliance office for the fantastic work they continue to do monitoring their athlete’s social media even while on NCAA probation that specifically cited the department for their failure to monitor. If one REALLY cares about compliance, how do you miss so many of these blatant and obvious admissions to breaking NCAA rules?

But, there is more regarding McDonald and the “Wheels for Heels” program directly related to PJ Hairston. The interwebz have a way of remembering stuff you don’t want them to….

^That video is a commercial. That video is a commercial promoting KISS Entertainment. KISS Entertainment. A commercial. That’s an NCAA compliance no no by the way.  A commercial to promote a product. A promotion kinda like to following screengrab from Iceburg Mouthguards‘ Facebook page:

Leslie McDonald promoting IceBurg Mouthguards

Is there even a single copy of an NCAA rulebook in Chapel Hill? It isn’t like anyone can claim that couldn’t know what was going on; if only they cared to pay attention. This stuff has all been out there in public view for months. Just take a look at the following screengrab of Twitter interaction between what appears to be a local dentist highlighting Leslie McDonald’s promotion of Iceburg Mouthguards with Tar Heel Monthly! That is also Tar Heel Monthly’s Adam Lucas inquiring into how he could get a mouthguard for his boy based on McDonald’s wearing of the product in the previous night’s game. I can’t wait for any version of the story that is not an admission that the gifting the $1,500 mouthguard to McDonald was not for the purpose of promoting the product.

Iceburg mouthguards - Leslie McDonald - Dr. Alex Gause

The entire circle of impermissible benefits is starting to connect. Certainly there’s a difference between tangible proof and the practically obvious transgressions, but this absolutely should be enough for the NCAA to initiate their burden-on-the-school-to-prove-compliance investigation. Not to mention, unless UNC can produce a receipt as proof that the university paid for McDonald’s and Hairston’s $1500 custom mouthpieces, that’s another $3000 (at a minimum) in impermissible benefits even without the fact that McDonald illegally promoted the product while allegedly an amateur. Could you imagine how the rest of the players on the team would feel if they didn’t receive an equal benefit of $1,500 from the program? Or, perhaps some non-basketball players also received $1,500 benefits from Iceburg Mouthguards — so, it obviously isn’t an NCAA violation!

Wheels for Heels
The last point that shouldn’t escape the masses from this story is that the guys with monetary interest in Iceberg Mouthguards have also been connected in numerous ways to Fats Thomas via Twitter and Facebook. You know, the same Fats Thomas whose rental cars have a way of ending up PJ Hairston‘s driveway. With that said, check out the following tweets from one of PJ Hairston’s boyz discussing the 2012 Mercedes Benz that Hairston brought to his house on December 30th.

PJ Hairston Driving Mecedes Benz

We previously made this point, but it worth repeating — this ‘car prong’ of NCAA violations should be no surprise to anyone. ‘Weird’ situations have revolved around cars driven by athletes in the UNC Basketball program for decades. It has been a secret to nobody. Hell, it has been so accepted by UNC students that I once had a very smart friend tell me that “It must be ‘legal’. They can’t be breaking any NCAA rules because everyone knows about it and they would’ve gotten into trouble by now”. Riiiiight.

It became public knowledge TWO YEARS AGO that a single UNC basketball and football player received 93 parking tickets on FIVE DIFFERENT cars that had used NINE DIFFERENT license plates!? Nobody seemed to care that those tickets were paid by a woman who was on the personal payroll of the Head Football Coach. Money is fungible. How was it not an interest to the NCAA and the UNC system that that flow of thousands of dollars from the HEAD COACH ended up providing thousands of dollars monetary benefits to his players? And, clearly nobody cared to investigate how/why a single athlete could drive at least five different cars. (Remember, those are only the cars that got tickets.)

You should also check out this link from two years ago for even more review. You will see an awful lot about UNC Basketball star, John Henson’s car and ticketing issues in Chapel Hill. That is the same John Henson who shows up in tons of pictures and social interactions on FaceBook and Twitter with — you guessed it — Fats Thomas.

Think about it — the NCAA, the media, UNC-Chapel Hill and the UNC Board of Governors ALL chose to ignore the obvious questions about these vehicles when provided the opportunity to investigate two years ago. Why wouldn’t the UNC athletes continue to participate in the exact same practices that have never brought one ounce of trouble with them in the past?

———

Meanwhile, over in Orange County, UNC athletic director takes cautious approach regarding P.J. Hairston situation (Yahoo.com)

“The athletic department compliance staff and I are fully aware of recent media accounts related to our men’s basketball team,” Cunningham said. “We take these matters very seriously and are looking into these reports and the inferences they contain with all due diligence. It is my practice not to comment on the individuals involved or the details surrounding these reports until we have sufficient understanding of the facts involved. We are still gathering information, learning information from other sources, and we will not comment until we have a strong grasp of each individual situation.”

Uh huh.  So we can all rest easier now.  Bubba is on the case.

And since past indiscretions have been dealt with in such an upstanding way, of course there should be no doubts about the impeccability of “due diligence” in this case huh?

Speaking of past indiscretions, here’s more from the Forde article…

Sources with knowledge of the situation say the NCAA has not yet contacted North Carolina to begin investigating Hairston’s ties to the rental cars or Thomas, but they expect it to happen in the near future. UNC has looked into possible ties between Thomas and an agent who may be funneling impermissible benefits to Hairston, but sources say none has been discovered yet.

 UNC currently is on probation for wide-ranging major violations in football, including impermissible benefits from agents to players. The football program was given a postseason ban and other serious sanctions, and the scandal led to the firing of football coach Butch Davis, the retirement of athletic director Dick Baddour and ultimately played a role in the resignation of chancellor Holden Thorp.

In addition, the school has been rocked by an academic scandal that centered around bogus classes in the African-American Studies Department. A significant number of athletes – including many football and men’s basketball players – were enrolled in the classes. However, the NCAA has said the no-show classes were a university-wide issue and not specific to athletics, because regular students also took the bogus classes.

With that as context, the timing of a potential legal and NCAA issue involving the leading scorer on the 2012-13 Tar Heels basketball team is hardly ideal.

[snip]

 When [Haydn “Fats”] Thomas’ identity was made public as the renter of the Yukon that Hairston was driving, he initially denied knowing Hairston or having any connection to UNC athletes. After a string of social-media connections between Thomas and Tar Heels players was established, he backtracked on that denial but insisted his interaction with them was because of his work as a party promoter.

North Carolina coach Roy Williams refused comment Tuesday when stopped on the street by a local television station. Williams will have to repeat that comment often in the days to come, as he heads out on the July recruiting circuit this week.

It’s the NCAA’s move at this point. Either they are what they claim to be or they aren’t.

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UNC Scandal

54 Responses to Which new UNC-CH NCAA violation is most interesting to you? [8:00am Update]

  1. JohnGalt78 07/12/2013 at 12:13 AM #

    Is a mouthguard also know as a mouthpiece? If so, doesn’t that kinda wrap up the Hooker questions? It seems that mouthpiece is code for Hooker (perhaps with special talents)….and the going rate for such talent is $1,500. Damn that must be some good mouthpiece!

  2. MrPlywood 07/12/2013 at 12:39 AM #

    Danny Green (NBA, formerly of UNC )… looks like another trail to follow.

  3. bill.onthebeach 07/12/2013 at 12:54 AM #

    Hmmm…

    those little flashy ‘ice things’ ain’t going to cut it…..

    most of these guys will have a $300/hour “mouthpiece” and a day in “court” before this is over….

  4. PackerInRussia 07/12/2013 at 2:58 AM #

    “the school has been rocked by an academic scandal that centered around bogus classes in the African-American Studies Department.”

    I don’t know about “rocked.” Pebbled, maybe.

  5. GAWolf 07/12/2013 at 6:26 AM #

    That video is a commercial. That video is a commercial promoting KISS Entertainment. KISS Entertainment. A commercial. That thing is wrought with NCAA issues.

  6. GAWolf 07/12/2013 at 6:29 AM #

    Not to mention, unless UNC can produce a receipt as proof that the university paid for McDonald’s and Hairston’s $1500 custom mouthpieces, that’s another $3000 (at a minimum) in impermissible benefits even without the fact that McDonald illegally promoted the product while allegedly an amateur.

  7. GAWolf 07/12/2013 at 6:34 AM #

    The last point that shouldn’t escape the masses from this story is that the guys with monetary interest in Iceberg Mouthguards have also been connected to Fats via Twitter and Facebook.

    The entire circle of impermissible benefits is starting to connect. Certainly there’s a difference between tangible proof and the practically obvious transgressions, but this absolutely should be enough for the NCAA to initiate their burden-on-the-school-to-prove-compliance investigation.

    It’s the NCAA’s move at this point. Either they are what they claim to be or they aren’t.

  8. BJD95 07/12/2013 at 6:53 AM #

    This all depends on the NCAA asking questions, or even not sticking its fingers in its ears as the answers are shouted. Not holding my breath.

  9. Fastback68 07/12/2013 at 7:05 AM #

    UNX is to collegiate sports as Lance Armstrong is to the sport of biking. Lance would have fit in nicely at Chapel Hill with a mouthpiece labeled Douche Bag. Thanks for the summer entertainment Hairston.

  10. wolfonthehill 07/12/2013 at 8:09 AM #

    Even WITHOUT the compliance aspects, that video is an embarrassing mess. If one of our guys consciously involved himself in the making of a video with liquor and “big booty ho’s” as the entire theme, I’d be fine yanking his scholarship and moving on. I don’t care who he is.

    These guys are the most visible faces of their university*, and this is what they give back??? I just don’t understand the loyalty (and vigorous defense) that *nc-ch continues to show these guys. It makes no sense…

  11. Seventy Eight 07/12/2013 at 8:12 AM #

    Yeah, it’s all bad. But those mouth guards are more like $150.00. Let’s not put out corrupt information.

  12. Wufpacker 07/12/2013 at 8:17 AM #

    “Even WITHOUT the compliance aspects, that video is an embarrassing mess.”

    At least the ‘Dog has some Shorties now. :D

  13. JohnGalt78 07/12/2013 at 8:21 AM #

    A couple of things…

    Yes, the vid looks like an ad, but for Red Solo Cups, not mouth-guards.

    I saw a lot of mouthpieces but not a single mouth guard.

    I’m getting old I guess, but wasn’t the Longbranch where fake cowboys go to drink beer and spit?

    My wife asked me what I wanted for my birthday instead of the usual Home Depot gift card. I told her to check Amazon for Big Booty Hos. I’ll let ya know if she comes through with that one.

  14. GAWolf 07/12/2013 at 8:36 AM #

    Someone find the ad for that party set up by KISS. I’m sure they don’t throw the parties for free. If Leslie didn’t pay to get in… illegal benefit. While perhaps minor alone, collectively it adds another chink in the crippling armor of any possible UNC defense.

    The patients are running the asylum over there and have been for decades.

  15. Texpack 07/12/2013 at 8:37 AM #

    We’re looking at violations here that will force Roy to not play Hairston for the first 5 minutes of the game against UNC-G. Anything more than that will be gravy.

    This is where the years spent building the Carolina Way myth really pays off for them. Most people have spent their lives believing that the Carolina Way was reality. You have to tear down the perceptions that have been built up over decades before you can even make a small dent in the reputation of UNC-CH.

  16. wolffpride 07/12/2013 at 8:42 AM #

    It’s Friday, this will all be over :(

    Fun ride though

  17. Nigel Tufnel 07/12/2013 at 8:52 AM #

    ^^^ GA Wolf

    How many AFAM grades did they forge / change? IIRC it was over 500. If they need to provide receipt as proof of purchase for these mouth guards – I don’t see that being an issue. They will come up with something.

  18. GAWolf 07/12/2013 at 8:53 AM #

    Texpack: Valid points. Butif that’s all that comes from this, that the Carolina Way myth continues to be exposed for just that — a myth, it’s a start.

    Take your points along with the “tendencies” statement by Clougharty and the ACC Officials and you have proof positive of the phenomena you describe.

  19. gumby 07/12/2013 at 8:54 AM #

    Somehow they will still wiggle out of this mess. Those Holes are slicker than snot on a doorknob.

  20. ClassOf91 07/12/2013 at 8:56 AM #

    The article switches between referring to Fats Haden and Fats Thomas. I recommend being consistent and using Fats Thomas or Fats Hayden Thomas.

  21. GAWolf 07/12/2013 at 9:01 AM #

    Nigel: I agree.

    But here’s where that gets interesting… if they provide a receipt for the mouth guards, then BrintCity likely becomes affiliated with either the University and/or the Iceberg/Dental regime on paper since he’s the one who delivered the product after purchase.

    Thus any illegal benefits, if any, he is deemed to have given any of the players… even if just free admission to one of his parties… becomes a gift from someone with clear connections to the University and therefore a much larger deal to the NCAA than just a random gift from a random party promoter.

    That’s where UNC is getting very close to being between a rock and hard place on this mouth guard issue and where the otherwise perhaps minor/coinci”dental” (it’s okay to laugh at that but that’s perhaps UNC’s pitch) connections start to become a huge deal.

    The social circle, if nothing else, that has been established by social media becomes huge when talking about the mouthguards. Huge. As a result, the mouth guards are likely much more problematic than the cars themselves. But in reality, to the rest of the practical world neither of the UNC nor NCAA camps, that’s what brings the vehicles back into the fold as a bigger deal.

    One has to look at the totality of the circumstances to get the full picture always. The “Little” things of the past connected to the new things coming out now connected to the mouth guards and their NCAA-rules-inappropriate promotion to the benefit of UNC alums combine to make a nasty web of irreconcilable violations it would seem.

  22. tuckerdorm1983 07/12/2013 at 9:21 AM #

    newly released video of the UNC Wheels for Heels Scandal. Note the car in this video was rented by someone in Durham who has the same address as “Fats”

  23. Nigel Tufnel 07/12/2013 at 9:24 AM #

    GA

    I hear you and I hope you are right. It’s just with what they have gotten away with so far I am really starting to lose hope.

    Tami and Kupec fly around the country to watch games. Ahhh… pay it back. AFAM department changes 500 grades. Ahhh… make people come back to UNC. I have a feeling that if anything comes of this, they will make someone pay back a little money and call it a day.

    A little about me though. I am fascinated by serial killers. What happened to them to drive them to that?? But how they were caught interests me as well. Son of Sam was caught via parking ticket. Joel Rifken was caught because he had an issue with his license plate. Green River Killer was caught with a 15 year old DNA sample. BTK was caught because of a floppy disk. You never know what piece of evidence will pay off.

    Again, I hope this is the one that gets them.

    Also: coinci”dental”… nice

  24. Khan 07/12/2013 at 9:26 AM #

    Once again, more fun stuff to look at and read about, but just like last time, nothing meaningful will come of it.

    Short of Roy walking an agent onto the court at the with a clipboard and actively signing up players at the halftime of the Duke game, it’ll all be explained away, swept under the carpet, or otherwise dismissed.

  25. ryebread 07/12/2013 at 9:32 AM #

    The NCAA simply doesn’t care. They get the majority of their revenue from basketball. They don’t from football which is why they’re much more likely to levy sanctions on a football program (e.g. Penn State) as long as that program isn’t tied to an equally untouchable entity like Nike (quack, quack).

    UNC basketball is effectively untouchable with the NCAA. The whole scandal has obviously been deeply tied to basketball from the very beginning. That’s why UNC and the NCAA handled the football situation the way that they did. Nothing will come of this no matter how damning the evidence is.

    Burn the whole thing down. Yank athletic scholarships. Let the kids go pro at any time. The professional leagues can set up and stock their own minor leagues. I’d personally be fine with watching Lewis Skolnick throwing the ball to Lucas.

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