Let’s get right to it. We have a lot of ground to cover.
The fallout from yesterday’s NCAA suspensions began with Kendric Burney’s dad giving some great quotes that really raise questions about institutional control. You should read this article in full.
I think this passage from that piece damages UNC-CH more than any other I have read since the scandals broke:
Tyrone Burney said his son told him the trips were to have fun, not to meet with potential agents. He said his son knew about the Memorial Day trip to Miami which cost Alabama’s Marcel Dareus two games, and was attended by UNC’s Marvin Austin and Greg Little, but knew there would be agents there.
“That’s exactly the type of thing he was trying to avoid,” Burney said. “That’s the reason he did not go on the Miami trip because he heard what was going on there.”
Here we learn two very important things. First, that there actually was a Memorial Day trip/agent party. I had never seen it actually nailed down. Remember Marvin’s tweets from that weekend about “Club Liv” and “getting bottles like its a giveaway”? He actually was in Miami. So, that means Marvin and Greg Little were partying in South Beach on three different trips from March through May of this year! Doesn’t that remind you of your own undergraduate experience?
Next, that quote from Mr. Burney tells us something amazing! Kendric Burney knew beforehand that the Memorial Day weekend trip/agent party UNC-CH players attended was happening — while Butch did not???!!! How in the world is it possible for such a thing to be known by UNC-CH players such as Kendric, but not be known by Butch, the other coaches, the UNC compliance office, etc, etc.? I can’t decide if it is more damning for UNC-CH/Butch to have known and not stopped it or for them to be ignorant about such a monumental problem going on within the program. How off the rails was it over there?
More things we can now put together:
* We know that Marvin invited the Alabama player Dareus to go on this trip and even paid for his way to Miami and for the hotel.
* We know that Marvin did not pay for his own trip (because he said that Vontae Davis did — which Vontae has denied).
* Now we know that someone in/around the UNC football program talked in enough detail about the Miami trip that other UNC players were afraid to go — yet the coaches and compliance office supposedly had no idea about it.
* We know that the NCAA classifies Chris Hawkins as an agent — how will they classify Marvin?
* If Marvin is classified as an agent or runner (highly probable in my opinion — what else could he be?), how will that impact UNC’s penalities? I can’t imagine that having an active agent/runner actually on your roster on scholarship (with the players knowing about it — but not the coaches) has even happened before in NCAA history.
Obviously there is a lot more to say, but the “cheating prong” also needs attention. Today Thorpe and Baddour went on a “cheating prong” publicity tour. Every time I hear that Baddour is going to be on the radio I am 100% sure that I will have great material to write about. Today on the radio Baddour apparently said that someone “recommended” Hawkins. Really? The same Hawkins who was thrown out of the program and was arrested on cocaine trafficking charges? That must have been one hell of a recommendation to overcome those strikes. Who was in charge of the background check?
Anyway I am getting off topic. Today we learned that UNC fired the tutor in the summer of 2009 and some other neat stuff in this News and Observer article:
The undergraduate tutor linked to North Carolina’s investigation of possible academic misconduct in the football program did not have her contract renewed in the summer of 2009 because “there was too much of a friendship between her and the players,’’ UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp told the university Board of Trustees this morning.
“They are to interact in the academic support center — working on time management, note taking, study skills. We’re not looking to establish any other kind of relationship [between the tutor and athletes],” Baddour said.
“ … When you’re using undergraduates to tutor and mentor, it’s important that things be done in the right context. I really can’t point to anything to say anyone thought it [the relationship between the tutor and players] was improper, you just have to work to be certain the relationships stay as a tutor and a student.”
Did he really just say “I really can’t point to anything to say anyone thought it [the relationship between the tutor and players] was improper”? That directly contradicts what Thorpe said — that she was fired because of the “too much of a friendship” thing. Which is it? Also, if UNC’s story on the tutor is going to be that she was fired because she had a quote-unquote “romantic” relationship with the player(s), which seems to be what they are hinting at, then that type of relationship must be prohibited. OK, if it is prohibited, why so? Obviously because that type of relationship could lead to academic cheating. Yet they fired her for a “relationship violation” and did not investigate whether there was any academic misconduct — the exact problem the relationship rule is designed to stop?
That’s all I am going to cover tonight. I had lots of other stuff to get to but it can wait.