Tonight’s entry is based on a piece that went up last Thursday but (appropriately) got lost behind our excellent pregame entries Friday and Saturday. This point is too important to miss and represents a major theme that should be repeated — we are being asked to believe that Butch Davis knew almost nothing about what was going on in his program. And that somehow this implausible lack of knowledge is acceptable and gets him off the hook.
The fallout from Wednesday’s NCAA suspensions began with Kendric Burney’s dad giving some great quotes that raise serious questions about institutional control. You should read this article in full.
I think the following 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.”
(Emphasis added). 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.
For a contrasting opinion about a coach’s responsiblity, let’s consider former UNC head coach Mack Brown’s comments after the Texas defeat this past weekend:
“As a head coach, I’m responsible for everyone in this program, from the trainers, to the managers, to the walk-ons, to the kids, to the coaches, everybody…”
Obviously Butch does not feel this way.
For the record, we know that Kendric was not at the Memorial Day Miami party because he has a super alibi. We know from his tweets and pictures that he was in Las Vegas with Chris Hawkins over that weekend. How great is it that Kendric going to Las Vegas with Hawkins (considered an agent by the NCAA and arrested on felony cocaine trafficking charges in 2009) was actually the less improper choice of activities available to UNC-CH football players that weekend!
I will leave you with a tweet and a picture indicating that Kendric made the right choice and was in Vegas with Hawkins that weekend: