I have followed message boards of different college programs around the country for almost 15 years(mainly NC State, UNC and Wake Forest). Message boards are often ridiculed by the print/television/radio media, coaches, athletic directors, and even message board posters themselves. While sometimes these forums are criticized for good reasons, in regards to major news stories sometimes message boards are the only and/or best source of information. Obviously, the print/radio/television media have specific professional standards to follow when presenting information. It is the nature of their format. However, the anonymous nature of message boards has given people a forum to share information they come across or discover on any particular story. In that particular example provided in the link, a poster discovered that a former UNC graduate and ex-UNC football player works for the NCAA investigative team…something that one might expect a local professional media person to already have discovered and dismissed as being irrelevant in the paper, radio or on TV.
Most websites have now transformed into a “premium format” where subscribers are allowed access to the “premium board”. In theory, subscribers can access more information from site administrators and “board insiders”. While it is true that premium forums have more information, I have found “premium boards” often to be slanted and at least filtered so that only “positive” information is leaked while potential “negative” information is ignored or quickly dismissed until the story finally breaks. For example, the injury to NC State’s Rashad Smith was being ignored by the “premium” sites(HIPPA/privacy concerns for the student-athlete), yet the rumor was definitely out on the various message NC State message boards that exist.
“Free boards” of the various websites are generally looked down on by the premium subscribers. While the various free sites are over the top at times and often sources of bogus information, these “free forums” still have a role as information about major news stories comes out. Because the information isn’t filtered by websites with media access to protect or by “insiders” who are close to people at the university, information on potential “negative” stories flows more freely than on “premium” sites. However, deciphering fact from fiction is difficult and can be almost impossible at times.
I thought it might be interesting to look back at the original message board post on InsideCarolina that broke the news of the NCAA’s investigation of UNC. Below I am going to quote posts from people that are totally anonymous to us. These posts were selected not because they are true, but when this story broke they were definitely the most interesting as this particular thread developed as far as details that were shared and the sources that were being claimed by these posters. To stress again, these posts aren’t being presented because of their accuracy, but just to provide a partial glance at how this particular major local story broke on the message board at InsideCarolina.
The full 35 page thread can be viewed here.
Posted: 7/15/2010 4:19 PM by Greg Barnes – IC Staff
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Inside Carolina has learned that the University of North Carolina’s football program is under investigation by the NCAA.
6 minutes later Heelacrosse guesses the reason for the investigation:
Posted: 7/15/2010 4:23 PM
Can we assume this is for illegal contact with agents?
First denial by a Heels fan(GoHeels2199):
Posted: 7/15/2010 4:25 PM
That would be the likely first thought. But I doubt that. Butch doesnt let things like that happen
An acknowledgement that something might have happened by Mendel:
Posted: 7/15/2010 4:28 PM
The fact that there is an investigation certainly must make us consider that possibility that Butch does let some things happen that shouldn’t happen. We shouldn’t indict him or anyone else while things are still in the investigational stage, but honestly, at this point, the “Butch doesn’t let things like that happen” defense isn’t very reassuring
First poster with an inside source, Stuartheel, correctly states the reason for the investigation:
Posted: 7/15/2010 4:53 PM
I have just heard that it has to do with the fact that the NCAA is concerned about contact with agents on the part of some of their potential-NFL draft picks that came back to school this year. Apparently there is no accusation of any wrongdoing at this point, but the NCAA has concern that it feels the need to address with UNC.
A wild accusation that has since never been verified from firecoach:
Posted: 7/15/2010 5:12 PM
I have heard that Blake is the center of the investigation and his players are being interviewed.
More information about the investigation from MamaDips12 only 57 minutes after the first post:
Posted: 7/15/2010 5:14 PM
I am not going to post what I was told from someone today or am I going to debate a sources credibility, but they have met with several players and one for around 3 hours. I will say that I didn’t like what I heard.
Posted: 7/16/2010 3:11 PM
Ive heard it is an accidental violation by a current player who went on a trip with a former player, who is now a pro. The former player paid for pretty much everything because he has a good amount of money. Apparently the current player didnt even know he was violating an NCAA rule, never even occured to him. This will be done and over with quickly if you ask me.
TheExplosiveHakeemNicks(1906 posts) with a supposed source inside UNC’s athletic department:
Posted: 7/16/2010 3:49 PM
I have a friend that interns in the athletic department and have been trying to get in contact with him since yesterday when this broke. Finally got an answer. The feeling around the department doesn’t expect anything to happen. Know it isn’t a sure thing source but just saying what I’m hearing from the department.
TheExplosiveHakeemNicks remains confident:
Posted: 7/17/2010 1:26 PM
Nothing will come of this guys. Worst case, Marv gets 1 or 2 games. That is the WORST case scenario.
And again TheExplosiveHakeemNicks:
Posted: 7/17/2010 1:47 PM
Same story. The people around the football program understand the seriousness of the situation but are very confident that EVERYONE will be cleared. Hope it help
Posted: 7/19/2010 2:11 PM
The UF and SC investigation (and I can ensure more are to come) should make yall feel better about this. This is simply a quality control check ladies and gents. Nothing to see here.
Just got done talking to my friend who is interning in the UNC athletic department. The feel around the office is still VERY optimistic. They are supremely confident no punishment is going to come out of this. I asked him to give me the odds of the full defense being eligible for LSU: “99% sure. Something ridiculous is going to have to happen for anything to change. We’ll be ok.”
As more stories come out about the investigation, TheExplosiveHakeemNicks posts:
Posted: 7/22/2010 12:08 PM
These allegations are way off and just show how anyone with a blog can create rumors with “sources close to this situation”. How can you honestly believe this crap? Charles freaking Brown asked for money? At least make your crazy junk make sense. Unbelievable. The fact that they described Greg’s manners from the meeting show that this is complete bull ****. No UNC or NCAA person is going to leak that to a unknown blog site. It is an infraction to do so. Pathetic.
Posted: 7/22/2010 12:10 PM
The sense is this will be ruled on before the month is out. Everyone around the football offices is SUPREMELY confident Marvin will be cleared. I just called my friend about this article. He pulled it up, read it and started laughing over the phone as he read these “allegations”. There is ZERO truth to these. It is Marvin or nothing and it **** sure looks like nothing.
All of a sudden,TheExplosiveHakeemNicks changes his tone:
Posted: Posted: 7/22/2010 12:24 PM
I just heard some news from a former player at UNC. He talked to multiple high level NFL front office people and they both said it is known around the league that Marvin has been taking money from agents since post junior year. They believe that he is done for this season unless he can keep up the lies for the investigation. I know it kinda contradicts my other source but I guess the football offices believe that Marvin is telling the truth and going by his version of the “truth”, we’ll be fine. But according to this player, who has worked in NFL front offices before, many in the NFL are aware of Marv taking money.
That’s all I got for now.
He highly doubts Marvin paid for anything and believes that he’ll be lucky to see the field again.
So which source should we believe? TheExplosiveHakeemNicks:
Posted: 7/22/2010 12:31 PM
No problem. This is certainly gonna take precedence over my intern source. He was just reporting a mood. This guy is a former UNC player who has worked in NFL front offices and has had two high-level front office executives say Marvin is dirty.
TheExplosiveHakeemNicks gives more details;
Posted: 7/22/2010 3:47 PM
Once again, what I am hearing is that this has been going on for some time. He(Marvin Austin) has been accepting money before post-junior year. Just what my guy is telling me.
A new player steps forward, InfiniteJustice2001:
Posted: 7/22/2010 6:25 PM
After what I was told today I am no longer optimistic about the season.
InfiniteJustice2001 goes into detail about what they heard and the source:
Posted: 7/22/2010 8:45 PM
The biggest detail to his info was that the NCAA is trying to determine whether or not any of our coaches knew about this party. If any of our coaches knew about this there will be sanctions against the program. Then he mentioned something about “Black Santa” and his agent being on the hot seat. Player #8′s father also hurt our case with the info he came forward with. Not sure if this was something on TWITTER or was told to an investigator. He also said minimum of 5 maximum of 8 players suspended for this season. That blew me away because I never thought that many players were involved. He didn’t know the names he was only given a number. Other than #8 and #9 I don’t know who the other players are. If I could go back in time I would destroy TWITTER.
My man is very credible. He wouldn’t lie. He has a friend that works at the NCAA in Indy that was telling him what he knew off the record.
InfiniteJustice2001, who as of today has 4582 posts on InsideCarolina responds to people attacking him:
Posted: 7/22/2010 9:11 PM
Look how many posts I have. Why would lie? I am only relating what I was told. Nothing is set in stone yet I know.
InfiniteJustice2001 defends his information/source:
Posted: 7/22/2010 10:27 PM
Why attack the messenger. I really don’t care if you believe me or not. I am only putting this out there because my source is so credible. He has been working in college athletics for over 10 years and knows a lot of people and this is what he told me today.
InfiniteJustice 2001 followed up by saying:
Posted: 7/22/2010 10:31 PM
Not random other person. Close friend. Don’t know how close this person is to the investigation. I just know they work in INDY.