Wow! We started this new nightly update thing just at the right time. Tonight’s entry will not be as linear and organized as normal because I am pressed for time and the news is still developing and hard to analyze.
Obviously tonight’s update deals with the NCAA issuing suspensions – Burney getting 6 games and Williams getting 4.
Before going any further, realize that these penalties are only for the “agent prong” of the scandals and that the NCAA investigation is ongoing.
First, some quick observations from the text of that linked article:
Burney, who received $1,333 in benefits, must miss six games and make repayment of $575.19 to a charity of his choice. Williams, who received $1,426 in benefits, must miss four games and make repayment of $450.67 to a charity of his choice.
Obviously there is something going on here — Burney received less “benefits” but has to sit out 2 more games than Williams? Perhaps this discrepancy can be explained by this quote:
According to the facts of the case submitted by the university, these benefits in part included trips to California, Atlanta and Las Vegas for Burney and two trips to California for Williams. The majority of the benefits Burney received were from an individual who meets the NCAA definition of an agent. According to NCAA rules, an agent is any individual who markets or promotes a student-athlete. The majority of Williams’ benefits were preferential treatment violations associated with visiting a former North Carolina football student-athlete.
I don’t want to split hairs and get off on a tangent, but how do you take those three trips Burney took for anything close to $1333? Anyway, I think we can read between the lines here and add some names. Everything points to the conclusion that Burney’s benefits were received from Chris Hawkins (as we have illustrated in several recent entries). Twitter buzz tonight indicates that Williams’ benefits were received from former UNC-CH player Omar Brown, whom Williams and Burney visited in California — unrelated to Marvin and Cam’s ’09 California trip by the way. Omar Brown’s seems to be a new name in this thing. I wonder what kind of role he played in the UNC football universe under Butch! I am sure more will develop on that.
“We plan to appeal the length of the suspensions,” says Dick Baddour, North Carolina Director of Athletics. “While I respect the NCAA process, I believe the penalties to be unduly harsh given the individual circumstances in these cases.”
What do we read into that? Is everything just appealed as a matter of course or does Baddour see something he does not like? I have no idea!
Twitter is just going crazy tonight on this story — we encourage you to follow us on Twitter at times like this when the information curve makes writing a summation almost impossible. For example, this just popped up:
RT @ACCSports Interesting, spokeswoman said NCAA has ruled on all reinstatement requests made by UNC so far.
Other than the two ruled on today, the other UNC players thought to be involved in the agent prong of the UNC scandal are Austin, Little, Quinn, Brown, and McAdoo.
So what do we make of this action today? Well, it looks to be getting more complicated in that it appears the “agent” prong of the scandals has split into two sub-prongs: the “Blake-Wichard-Austin” sub-prong and the “Hawkins-Brown” sub-prong. It would seem that the NCAA has dealt with the Hawkins-Brown prong today and the Blake-Wichard-Austin sub-prong is outstanding. From the outside, the Blake-Wichard-Austin sub-prong looks much more complicated and serious. Because they were not ruled on today, can we surmise that Austin, Little, Quinn, Brown, and McAdoo are all involved in the Blake-Wichard-Austin sub-prong? I would think that would be bad news for UNC were that the case.
Two quick thoughts on this:
- It’s not over. North Carolina was missing 12 players last weekend against Georgia Tech, not two, so there are still a lot of unresolved issues.
- Trips to California, Atlanta and Las Vegas? Really? What were they thinking? And nobody knew about it? I’d be surprised if Burney and Williams are the only ones who will be held accountable when this is finally over.
Also today, Blake met with the North Carolina Secretary of State. No details from the questioning, obviously, but this amusing quote from the linked article:
Blake has been under scrutiny because of his long-standing ties to high-profile sports agent Gary Wichard. Documents say the two worked together earlier this decade when Blake was out of coaching. About a dozen players coached by Blake have signed with Wichard over the years.
Smith has declined to comment on whether Blake received money from Wichard while coaching, calling that a “complicated” question.
Yeah, I always have found simple, one sentence questions with a yes-no answer “complicated.”
LOTS more to come on this, obviously. We will try to stay on top of things with news and analysis.