It has been several months since the last University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill sports scandal (of course, school was out for the summer). But the school is making up for lost time with a doozy.
At first we heard a walk-on football player was given a concussion in some type of hazing incident. Then we heard that somehow it was a fight over a girl. Then we heard four players had been suspended. Then, the older brother of the injured player tweeted that it was not just four players that assaulted his brother, but a whole lot more—“4 players isn’t even 25% of the group that assaulted my brother.” And that it was not a minor concussion after which the injured player got up and walked around—his brother said he had been knocked unconscious in the altercation with a serious concussion. If true, jail sentences may be in order.
…the incident occurred on August 4; the school took no action for several weeks until Yahoo! Sports broke the story on August 26. Fedora knew enough about it to have suspended four players once the story became known, as did Cunningham and Folt. It is very likely he and his superiors were hoping it would go away without anybody noticing—only after it became a major story in the North Carolina media did the school act in any way. This approach of ignoring unethical and immoral activities until forced to respond by the media has sadly become the real “Carolina Way.”
Also, all four of the players suspended for the assault, sophomore Des Lawrence, redshirt freshman Donnie Miles, freshman M.J. Stewart and sophomore Brian Walker, were recruited in the Larry Fedora era. Fedora was the coach brought in to set the program back on a proper course after the scandal-ridden Butch Davis era—does anybody else see a potential problem here?
Just as UNC was starting to achieve what it has tried to accomplish with four years of stonewalling and rugsweeping tactics—making the athletic scandals go away—this new scandal broke.
Does anybody expect anything more to come of it than the current punishment for four players—suspension for one game against a relatively weak opponent (final score: UNC 56, Liberty 29)? Fedora has already said doesn’t expect any more to come of it, although the school claims to be looking into it further.
..But UNC is the one that keeps making headlines for egregious breaches of proper conduct, so it’s the school that most needs to reform. Unfortunately, that would mean an admission by top school officials that something is seriously wrong, and it appears that they lack either the common sense or the moral fiber to “know from shoe polish.”
But, God forbid…whatever you do…please remember that 30 years ago Chris Washburn stole a stereo (that got him suspended fo was suspended for an entire semester) and Charles Shackleford was supposedly really dumb and said some stupid things on his way to NOT GRADUATING from NC State. Gee, what a novel idea…academically inadequate players NOT being handed a degree?