UNC-CH announced late today that Kendric Burney will not play Saturday against Miami and that Charles Brown will not play at all this year. Here is the ACCNow report.
I am totally blown away by UNC’s actions regarding Burney over the last few days. The folks in Chapel Hill are really outdoing even themselves on this one! Those of you who read our great entry last night know the story of what has been developing here.
Briefly restated, the facts as best we can put together are as follows: After serving a 6-game suspension for violations discovered by the NCAA related to taking improper benefits (from an unstated source – agents? boosters? administrators?) Kendric Burney apparently went before the UNC honor court where he was handed the MINIMUM punishment allowable – he received an “F” in a class in a past semester because of CHEATING. (You really should click here to see how Burney was treated better than ‘usual’ in the UNC code.)
Burney was taking a whopping 3 hours of classes this semester because that’s all he needed to quote-unquote “graduate.” The NCAA grants waivers to play while taking less than 12 hours only if you are in your last semester and are taking enough to complete your degree. But now Burney has a problem — that retroactive ”F” he got for CHEATING now puts him in a situation where he is not taking enough hours to quote-unquote “graduate” (while also taking less than 12 hours.) Ooops! He is now ineligible.
BUT — and this is the part that just blows me away — UNC’s ‘leadership’ apparently worked a deal to utilize a loophole and let Burney add a 3-hour course with just over one month of the semester remaining before final exams so that he can suit up to represent the public ivy and carry the banner of the “Carolina Way” on the football field for the rest of the season.
Yesterday, UNC’s secret plan made its way into the public consciousness via internet message boards and quotes from Burney to some news outlets. The rumored result from some sources in Chapel Hill indicated to SFN that the department head who had originally approved the idea got cold feet once the sunshine hit. (Note that none of the sunshine came from any ‘mainstream media’ pursing the story &/or editorializing this atrocious ‘leadership’). What is amazing is that Chancellor Holden Thorp and Dick Baddour apparently supported this awful idea and helped push it through until the truth made its way to the internet.
Burney was suspended from play by the NCAA for taking improper benefits. How did the UNC administration punish Burney for CHEATING? Answer: They didn’t. None at all. In fact, UNC-CH REWARDED Burney’s cheating by working hard so he could add some BS class more than halfway through the semester so he could get on the field!? Where are the adults over there? Does anybody have the balls to put an end to the athletic department’s outwardly renegade behavior?
Given that Burney has apparently been found guilty of both academic cheating AND of taking improper benefits from (at least) Chris Hawkins (who is considered an agent by the NCAA), let’s take a look at some words from Thorp this past August, as quoted in an N & O piece:
”It’s a privilege to put on the North Carolina uniform and represent this university,” Thorp said, “and it’s our job to make sure that the people who do so have earned that privilege.”
In light of Burney’s actions, how in the world can he have “earned that privilege”? By going to Vegas with Hawkins? Through academic cheating? Yet UNC must think that he has “earned that privilege” because they are bending over backwards trying to get him on the field by hook or by crook.
Today some more stuff broke regarding Burney. After rumors on IC swirled all morning that Burney would be back on the field this Saturday (through the “add a class late” gambit I assume), Mark Armstrong started Tweeting some interesting information. By the way, Armstrong has done one of the better jobs of keeping people informed about this story, and I might suggest following his Twitter account for breaking news like this. Anyway here is a Tweet from Armstrong that gives a good status update:
Burney has one lifeline to potentially save his season – otherwise he’s done. He’s petitioning the NCAA to allow his lower courseload…. 40 minutes ago via TweetDeck
Reading between the lines — the “add a class late” gambit failed and now UNC has asked the NCAA to allow Burney to play with a sub-12-hour course load even though it is not his last semester (due to the retroactive “F” he received via the honor court for cheating.) I could write all night about this. Does UNC not know that everyone is watching and how bad this looks? Do they know and not care? You want my guess? I think they have done these sorts of things (and probably these exact things) for so long that they don’t think anything of them. This is normal behavior for them that they have been getting away with for DECADES.
The following are a few of our favorite short-and-sweet synopses of these developments from message board posters from various sites:
So you basically have a guy that just admitted to cheating. The athletic side responds by allowing Burney to work out a behind the scenes deal that just ensures more preferential treatment. Yeah, I can see that Baddour and Thorp really “get it.”
What is fascinating to me is that never once in all of this sh*tstorm does it appear that UNC remotely has thought of actually disciplining players on their own. Every ‘disciplining’ action is just a reaction to make sure they don’t get in NCAA trouble.
It appears that Burney has been taking money from agents & maybe boosters. He has broken multiple NCAA rules and helped get the school in trouble. He also has been ‘convicted’ of by the Honor Court of committing academic fraud.
Yet….for every one of these players who have broken multiple rules, the University’s position is to work as hard as they can to absolve the players and get them eligible to get them on the field. Great leadership guys!! Way to teach those kids lessons about consequences!!!
You’ve also got to wonder the specifics on Sturdivant and Bruce Carter and the loop hole that has allowed those players to get back on the field unpunished? If you’re a football player at UNC, from here on out you know that worst punishment you’re going to get for cheating is an “F”. No on field punishment. That’s a hell of a precedent to set! At any other school you are gone for 3 games to a year.
As stuff like this comes to light, you have to wonder whether some of the folks in charge see how long the USC investigation took and figure they might not be around when the final rulings come in, so why not try to get as many kids as they can on the field as quickly as possible and let the next crew handle the fallout?
Just goes to show the power of the internet, 15 years ago, this Burney situation never sees the light of day and he’d be playing without question in Coral Gables.
Before I talk about Brown, here is a super-cool Tweet from Burney talking about what a great time he had in Vegas with Chris Hawkins:
Regarding Brown, there is much less detail currently available. But the WRAL report contains an interesting detail:
Brown, a true senior, has the ability to redshirt and will have one year of eligibility remaining.
Hmmmm. So UNC plans to use redshirt years as a “work around” to avoid suspensions? Is anyone surprised? There were rumblings early in the week that Houston might be redshirted under circumstances that appear similar. Using a redshirt year due to academic difficulties is obviously commonplace everywhere. But Brown’s seems to be a situation involving a suspension due one or both of the scandal prongs. Is this even NCAA-legal? I mean, if UNC can skirt Brown’s suspension this way, Brown would end up missing no actual games — he would still get his normal 4 years of play within 5 years.
Stay tuned on that one.
I would highly encourage you to click here for some special video and highlights of Charles Brown from when we told you IN AUGUST that he was done for the year. Today is October 20th, and this news is just now hitting the mainstream and being reported/confirmed. Gee…how could anyone be wondering/complaining about the lack of hard work and reporting being done in the local media?
The following is an excellent action shot of Brown from last year:
Picture from the News and Observer.