N&O: UNC Hires Former NCAA Attorney to Advise on Investigation

The University of North Carolina has hired a lawyer with a background in NCAA rules compliance to advise the school while the NCAA investigates the Tar Heels football program. Rick Evrard, a lawyer with Bond, Schoeneck & King in Overland Park, Kan., spent seven years on the NCAA staff, first as an enforcement representative and later as director of legislative services.

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UNC Scandal

25 Responses to N&O: UNC Hires Former NCAA Attorney to Advise on Investigation

  1. cWOhLFrPAiCKs 08/13/2010 at 12:54 PM #

    Is this standard procedure for a university under NCAA investigation? Will John Blake be providing lawyers for Marvin Austin and Gregg Little?

  2. choppack1 08/13/2010 at 12:56 PM #

    I can’t call this – I was listening to TZ for a few minutes today – and from what I caught – he basically said that Baddour seemed relaxed and upbeat. Now, I may have misinterpreted things here, but I came away w/ the impression that you’d see a long suspension for MA and maybe a game or two for Little.

    However, when I look at what has come out and what’s potentially on the table – I’d be depressed as hell if I was a wolfpack fan and this was us.

    What happened w/ Kansas? What was their punishment?

  3. tjfoose1 08/13/2010 at 1:34 PM #

    I wonder if Mr. Evrard was ever a fireman?

  4. tjfoose1 08/13/2010 at 1:36 PM #

    If you are referring to Wonderboy Roy, all Kansas got was a slap on the wrist with a tiny wet noodle.

    Oh, now that I’ve read the article, I see you are probably referring to Mr. Evrard’s work with them. Hmmmm… I wonder if he was hired during the investigations for Roy’s indiscretions.

    That would be quite the coincidence now, wouldn’t it?

    I got curious and did a quick google search, and whaddya know?… He was! Hmmmm… interesting.

    Big differences (as compared to the UNC situation) though… Kansas performed an internal review/investigation, Mr. Evrard’s firm apparently uncovered the violations, and Kansas self reported ’em to the NCAA.

    Sounds like hiring Mr. Evrard is like hiring the the traffic court judge’s golfing buddy to handle your speeding ticket.

    2 of many articles…


    Gotta love this quote.

    ““If there was a mistake in this matter, it was a communications mistake, because Roy Williams would never knowingly violate a rule. ”

    Could we see an attempt at something similar down I40 way?

  5. jwoerner89 08/13/2010 at 1:59 PM #

    Looks like this should cost UNC at least $500,000 for his services, if he charges what was reported here:


  6. islandbreeze 08/13/2010 at 2:12 PM #

    Cam Thomas’ and Marvin Austin’s trip to California paid by Balmer wasn’t self-reported

  7. tjfoose1 08/13/2010 at 2:19 PM #

    Exactly. That was my point with the comment starting with “Big differences though…”

    I added a clarification

  8. highstick 08/13/2010 at 2:51 PM #

    “Lawyering Up”! Sounds like they are getting ready to fight what they suspect is about to happen!

  9. mafpack 08/13/2010 at 2:52 PM #

    This lawyer’s bills had better be paid for by boosters.

    I swear to God they had better not be using my hard earned Tax dollars to pay for a lawyer to get them out of this shit hole they dug for themselves!

  10. mafpack 08/13/2010 at 2:53 PM #

    This lawyer’s bills had better be paid for by boosters.

    I swear to God they had better not be using my hard earned Tax dollars to pay for a lawyer to get them out of this $h!t hole they dug for themselves!

  11. jwoerner89 08/13/2010 at 3:12 PM #

    They just raised tuition by around 1000 bucks at NCSU, I’m guessing its the same for all state schools. Maybe thats what the tuition raise at UNC will be used for!

  12. highstick 08/13/2010 at 6:42 PM #

    Belch! The mind of a Tarhole fan is “something else”~~


  13. tractor57 08/13/2010 at 6:58 PM #

    Lawyering up for sure and most likely a wise move. Possibly UNX is in the clear but given the evidence in the court of public opinion I would say not.

  14. rtpack24 08/13/2010 at 9:54 PM #

    Traveling through Columbia today. Saunders revealed on first visit that he lived in hotel. Now NCAA investigating him and two others who have lived in hotel for 3 months. All the callers were extremely upset this was all set in motion by Marvin Austin. One of the guys in the studio was talking about NCAA investigating another agent besides Wichard, someone that is tied to Greg Little. It is unreal the stuff you hear once you leave NC. Lawyering up is not full cooperation.

  15. islandbreeze 08/13/2010 at 10:38 PM #

    I think Little is represented by Drew Rosenhaus.

  16. TAEdisonHokie 08/14/2010 at 9:32 AM #

    This New York Times article from 2007 has a lot more information on Rick Evrard’s background:

    Facing N.C.A.A., the Best Defense Is a Legal Team

    I noted with interest that this guy’s firm is usually hired when the client knows they’re in trouble and they need to help to minimize the expected NCAA penalties. His firm is not cheap as noted by the following quotes from the article:

    “Bond, Schoeneck & King made a name for itself in the wake of an academic fraud scandal involving the University of Minnesota’s men’s basketball team in 1999. The firm’s services cost the university $920,000.

    Kansas paid the firm $477,000 to ferret out infractions that occurred in the athletic department from 2000 to 2003. The university spent $65,000 more than that to run its baseball team for one season.

    Similarly, Ohio State paid the law firm nearly $511,000 from 2003 to 2006 to investigate its men’s and women’s basketball teams and to examine accusations of academic misconduct by Maurice Clarett, a former star running back for the Buckeyes. That, too, seems like a small investment to protect programs that generate more than $73 million in revenue annually.”

    I also noted with interest that Evrard usually conducts an internal investigation of his client and interviews all concerned. But, even though Evrard sometimes helps schools conduct their own independent investigations, UNC AD Baddour stated that Evrard won’t do that for North Carolina. Although Evrard has visited Chapel Hill during this process, he won’t conduct any interviews. It has been mentioned previously that the NCAA is not allowing UNC to conduct their own investigation and this comment by Baddour appears to back that up.

    In summary, hiring Evrard as a consultant tells me that the good folks in Chapel Hill know they’re in a lot of trouble. They are in serious fire-fighting mode at this point in time. I suspect Baddour knows a lot more than he’s revealed to the public, and if he knows more, than so does Davis.

    And then add the investigation by the North Carolina Secretary of State who sent out the following request on July 23rd to all agents registered in the state of North Carolina to “preserve all documents, tangible things and electronically stored information that you possess regarding the following individuals: Marvin Austin, Greg Little, Deunta Williams, Kendric Burney, Bruce Carter, and Quan Sturdivant.”

    Letter to agents names six UNC players

    You can bet your bottom dollar there have been a number of very, very serious closed-door meetings between Baddour, Davis and the UNC Admins at this point in time.

  17. BingoJed 08/14/2010 at 9:59 AM #

    I submitted this yesterday over at PP, but it may give a little insight …

    I was the public relations director for a D-1 college that was being investigated by the NCAA (eventually nailed, by the way) and we hired an attorney from Kansas who had worked for the NCAA the same way the Heels are doing. Now, I can only speak from my experience but hiring a lawyer with NCAA experience meant (for us) that we wanted an interpretation of what they were about to say against us … in other words, we were looking to see if anything that was forthcoming would be able to be appealed. Also, we were told that these lawyers would be able to help us understand the judgments and findings against us. Just my opinion, but the hiring of a lawyer who “knows the NCAA process” is not a small thing. If it’s anything like what me and my employer went through, “lawyering up” is step toward circling the wagons. I actually think that schools being investigated are encouraged to hire these lawyers (I know we were, anyway).

    It is likely a sign of things coming to a head, so expect some news soon if the Heels are going through anything remotely close to what I went through. To state the obvious, schools that are in the clear don’t hire these Kansas lawyers … my money is on some kind of judgment against the Heels. (Just so you’ll know, our basketball program – the focus of the investigation – was placed on three years probation, vacated wins, and lost numerous scholarships.)

    Again, just my perspective, but I’ll admit it’s eerily similar.

  18. TAEdisonHokie 08/14/2010 at 10:05 AM #

    BingoJed: Thanks for the personal insight…much appreciated! It certainly confirms what I’m currently thinking in regards to the UNC investigation.

  19. PackerInRussia 08/14/2010 at 3:15 PM #

    At what point does a Tar Heel fan say, “screw these guys (Austin & posse), they’ve brought us trouble. I hope they are suspended?” Just comparing reactions to things on this site versus the stuff I’ve read from their fans, we tend to expect and support punishment for stupid behavior whereas they seem upbeat about the possibility of walking away from all this clean as if the inability to prove guilt beyond doubt is the same as actually being guilty. I admit it’s a bias perspective, but when several players have made my team and program a punching bag for others simply based on what the guys actually and recorded did rather than the typical name-calling garbage, I’d be a bit ticked. Maybe the ivory tower really does exist.

  20. ADVENTUROO 08/14/2010 at 8:26 PM #

    Was it my mistake….or did they hire him on June 24 and all the “allegations” did not come out until around July 15. Seems like some of the boys had a whiff of something foul in the room…

    Any help with the timeline would be appreciated. Don’t have good bandwidth while camping and can’t do much research.

  21. TAEdisonHokie 08/15/2010 at 12:23 PM #

    ADVENTUROO: You are correct…good catch! That does raise a number of questions, doesn’t it?

    Evrard was first contacted by UNC on June 24th, about three weeks before the first news about the South Beach party surfaced. Here’s an article dated today, August 15th, with more detail:

    UNC hires former NCAA attorney to advise on investigation


    “Kevin Best, the spokesman for UNC’s football team, said Evrard was first contacted June 24 and is being paid out of the UNC-Chapel Hill Foundation Fund, which is set aside to assist the school’s office of legal counsel when it needs outside support.”

  22. TAEdisonHokie 08/15/2010 at 1:27 PM #

    Here’s an expansion on my response to ADVENTUROO above.

    The article linked above contains some rather interesting information concerning the timing of UNC’s first contact with attorney Rick Evrard:


    “Kevin Best, the spokesman for UNC’s football team, said Evrard was first contacted June 24 and is being paid out of the UNC-Chapel Hill Foundation Fund, which is set aside to assist the school’s office of legal counsel when it needs outside support.”


    “The NCAA conducted initial interviews on campus on July 12 and 13 and returned to campus for those three days last week.”

    Please make note of the timing:

    *Two parties were held in Miami during the month of May 2010, one on May 15th at former Miami RB and current San Francisco 49er Frank Gore’s house, and the other at the end of May at Club Liv at the Fountainbleu Hotel in South Beach.

    *Evrard was first contacted on June 24th by UNC.

    *The NCAA visited UNC on July 12 and 13.

    *The first media reports appeared about July 15th.

    NOTE: There is a <b.three week gap between the date Evrard was first contacted by UNC and the NCAA visit. Butch Davis claimed publicly that the initial round of NCAA interviews “came out of the blue”, and he acted like he was very surprised.

    My questions:

    1. When did UNC become aware of the parties in May?

    2. After learning of the parties in May, what caused UNC to decide to retain a legal consultant with expert knowledge of NCAA compliance rules?

    3. If UNC wasn’t aware of the problems in the UNC football program as they appear to be claiming, why did they contact Evrard in June?

    4. After consulting with Evrard, did UNC originally plan to self-report the violations from the parties, but were they beaten to the punch when the NCAA dropped in for the first visit?

  23. tuckerdorm1983 08/15/2010 at 3:15 PM #

    any word? “All quiet on the Western Front”?? (western front being that place west of Raleigh)

  24. GoldenChain 08/16/2010 at 8:44 AM #

    TAE, was it not reported earlier that the NC2A had been investigating since April? So there must have been questions prior to the May party.
    Just a thought…

    Also I heard elsewhere that the NC2A gives schools 30 days notice of a visit so that would make sense of the hire date.
    My question is if they retained the lawyer on the 24th of June why did they not say anything until August 13th?! Did they wish to ‘save face’ and not give the public perception that knew they had done something wrong?

    Also this quote fro the article:

    “”This is just something that we felt like, ‘Let’s don’t leave any stone unturned,'” Baddour. “Let’s don’t look back on this and wish we had done something in a different way. (Evrard is) somebody who has experience going through this who can bring knowledge about what other schools have done, what’s been helpful in the past, what’s not been helpful, and help us know what to expect at each turn.”

    I’ll break this down for those in faison: “We know we are guilty and the hammer is on the downstroke, therefore we’re hiring the attorney that is an expert at lessening the blow hoping that will help.”

  25. TAEdisonHokie 08/16/2010 at 9:19 AM #

    GoldenChain – Correct, the NCAA was investigating improper contact with agents/runners since April, possibly earlier, but I don’t think UNC was aware of the NCAA’s scrutiny at that time.

    On your “30 days notice of a visit” comment, why did Butch Davis state that the NCAA visit “came out of the blue”, as if he were completely unaware they were coming? If he really was unaware of the NCAA’s pending visit, does that not indicate the the UNC AD and UNC Admins had cut Butchie out of the communications loop in an attempt to distance themselves from the football program? Was the 30 days notice delivered directly to the UNC AD who chose not to tell Davis?

    I seem to recall reading something a while ago that indicated Davis had been told back in 2009 that he needed to clean up the football program. I don’t think there’s too much love lost between the UNC football program and the rest of the UNC athletic department.

    And just think…we haven’t even gotten to the recruiting violations yet!

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