WRAL is reporting the following statement that was released today from UNC’s Athletic Director Dick Baddour:
“The notice of inquiry is a formal notification from the NCAA that they have been reviewing our football program,” said UNC Director of Athletics Dick Baddour. “We have been working with the NCAA and cooperating with them on this investigation. We are committed to the process and will continue to cooperate.”
WRAL News and others have asked for documents related to the NCAA and an internal investigation of the UNC football team, maintaining that they are public records. University officials have denied access to the records, citing student privacy protection laws.
Getting beyond the continued and quite silly “Review v. Investigation” semantics still hilariously being perpetuated by the UNC powers that be, the “Notice of Inquiry” is hardly news to anyone with a pulse living within 500 miles of the Triangle. UNC has been under investigation for over a year, so the letter being mentioned herein is a mere formality. At least Dick got that much right.
What is more interesting is the second paragraph. The release of phone records and parking ticket information formally requested by WRAL, The Daily Tarheel, and other local media members via a Freedom of Information Act request is still being adamantly resisted and legally stonewalled by UNC and the University’s counsel.
UNC has already been ordered to hand over the information by a Wake County Superior Court Judge, but UNC and lawyers have requested a stay of that order while the matter can be appealed. You can read more on the legal gerrymandering by visiting WRAL here.
Interestingly enough, UNC has already lost on almost this exact same issue (hiding behind FERPA to avoid releasing information wholly ancillary to the student’s school work or academic record) in Federal Court when dealing with a lawsuit involving a former female soccer player alleging bad acts against legendary coach Anson Dorrance. If you are unfamiliar, perhaps the most brief account of the situation can be found on Coach Dorrance’s Wikipedia page here. It’s Wikipedia, mind you, so take it for what it’s worth. If you’re legally inclined, or having serious insomnia issues and are looking for a late-night reading cure for the same, you can check out the following case: 340 F. Supp. 2d 679 (2004).
The precedent mentioned above was more thoroughly discussed in this SFN entry if you missed it:
The question rages on: How on earth can the NCAA conduct much less conclude a thorough investigation without the phone records and parking tickets requested by local media outlets, including the Daily Tarheel ?
First, are there enough words to use to honor the backbone and overall integrity of the folks in charge of UNC’s school newspaper? Simply: No. Nice work, DTH, nice work. Something is clearly amiss when your own school newspaper turns on you regarding parking ticket information that is likely widely discussed by students all across campus. Phone records are pretty easily hidden, but fancy cars don’t go unseen.
I have to believe that the “new information” warned of in the official and confidential (hilarious!) “Letter of Inquiry” sent today is likely what lies in UNC’s pandora’s box to which the media has been judicially given the key but UNC’s attorneys still guard and appeal with all their mental might.
Some tiny insight into what might be hiding in that box was provided today from an unlikely source. Wait. Come to think of it, given the current events flying around college football over the last 12 months the source, and therein the connection, makes absolute sense.
Bryan Fischer of CBSSPORTS.COM tweeted a gem of a find today. Apparently Fischer took the reigns in sifting through what is likely piles and piles of phone records of Ohio State Athletic Department members, including Athletic Director Gene Smith, that were recently released by the Ohio State University pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act Request filed by the media seeking the same. What he found is puzzling a bit, but not really.
@BryanDFischer Bryan Fischer
Based on Ohio State’s phone records, once Gene Smith realized there was a problem, he called UNC AD Dick Baddour.
10 hours ago via TweetDeck
Joe Ovies reached out to Fischer via Twitter and at least thought the homework done was worthy of making this post on WRAL Sportsfan.
Ovies also tweeted that ABCers will dub this the “8th Prong.” While quite funny, the irony lies in the fact that this seemingly meaningless and very weird phone call could even be considered any prong over maybe the “2nd.” The investigation… review… has gotten that complex and encompassed several sports at UNC. The bizarro world that has become the UNC Football Scandal is without a doubt book-worthy. Let’s be honest here. People seldom read books about rule followers and clean living.
If UNC took all of these rule-breaking risks to become one of the “Big Boys” in college football, maybe they finally got their wish. Most coaches go to the likes of Urban Meyer to get consulted on his lethal offense. Many coaches reach out to other programs to learn about a scheme change that needs to be implemented in their own program. Players work out over the summer with kids from other programs to fuel new fire and a different perspective into their workouts.
Hilariously enough, that’s not how it goes for the Heels. It appears the “Big Boys” are indeed calling. But they are most likely doing so to yank a couple pages from UNC’s playbook on how to call a year-long NCAA Investigation a “review that will be over by Friday” with a straight face. The likes of Ohio State, currently mired in such scandal that legendary sweater-vest-wearing Coach Jim Tressell has left the program as has All-World junior quarterback Terrell Pryor in just the last week or so, are calling to learn how to deflect and defend what is clearly going to be a long, painful trip to NCAA violation hell and back.
This is simply hysterical. But as we catch our breath, let’s give credit where credit is due…
One thing the author group at SFN has always admired about UNC and their administration is that the folks in Chapel Hill are second to none when it comes to the shameless spin, manipulation of public perception, misleading branding (“The Carolina Way”), and their ability to do all of this for the sole purpose of turning attention away from their skirting of the rules. In comparison, if UNC’s media machine is a Masserati, we State folks are indeed still puttin’ down the old country road on Granddad’s rust-riddled tractor. So to that well-greased-sexy-beast of a UNC Media Machine, we raise a glass for what is so far a job extremely well done. Imitation is indeed the most sincere form of flattery.
Keep it up, gentlemen, it will all be over by Friday…