The Spartan Way > The Carolina Way

In doing some research to help out VAWolf82 in his recent entry I found a compliance document on academic fraud from Michigan State that can be found here.

At the bottom of page 1 and top of page 2 the document lists the NCAA rules on academic fraud discussed in VAWolf82’s entry. But the interesting thing in the Michigan St document is the paragraph that follows the NCAA rules:

Student-athletes found in violation of ethical conduct legislation involving academic fraud will be declared immediately ineligible for intercollegiate competition until their eligibility is reinstated. A student-athlete who is involved in academic fraud will be withheld from one season of competition and will be charged with a season of competition.

If I’m reading that right, if you’re a student athlete at Michigan State and you get caught cheating not only are you done for the year but you don’t get that year back.

To add insult to injury, Michigan State is currently 8-0 and ranked 5th in the country by ESPN. It certainly seems that “big time football” is indeed obtainable while clinging to, at the very least, some semblance of integrity.

Now compare that with the situation at Carolina. As was discussed in one of Old MacDonald’s recent nightly updates, Butch Davis had this quote concerning Charles Brown:

And then Charlie Brown found out that he’s going to be put on probation for two semesters. He’s got one year of eligibility remaining, so he’ll stay on the football team and obviously he’ll get a chance to practice and go through spring practice and use this year as a red-shirt year.

Carolina also plans on redshirting running back Ryan Houston. Houston was not announced as part of the agent benefit prong so we have to assume he is part of the academic prong for cheating (allegedly).

On a bit of a sidenote, here is a quote by Butch Davis on redshirting Houston:

“The resolution is if we need him to win games, we’re going to play him,” Davis said. “In the ideal situation that we would like not to.”

That’s quite the lesson Butch is teaching his players. You can sit out for cheating (allegedly) unless we need to win.

So Charles Brown and Ryan Houston cheat (allegedly) and get to redshirt. If they were Spartans, they would be “be charged with a season of competition”.

Lets take a look at some other examples of cheating suspensions around the country.

From, former Maryland QB Josh Portis was suspended for the 2007 season for cheating. Portis played in 2005 at Florida, sat out his transfer year in 2006, was suspended in 2007, played in 2008 at Maryland before transferring again to Division II California University of Pennsylvania where he had 2 years of elligibility. So Portis will still get to play 4 years of football but with the transfer down to Division II, I’m not completely sure how all that works as far as years of elligibility.

Another Maryland example, basketball player Dino Gregory missed the first 5 weeks and 8 games of the 2009-10 season as part of a 6 month suspension for academic misconduct, a suspension that was appealed twice unsuccessfully. Details here.

Former Syracuse WR Mike Williams played 2 years at Syracuse, was suspended and possibly expelled for cheating and left the school completely. He came back the next year as a senior but ended up quitting the team. Williams lost his junior year but since he wasn’t even enrolled at Syracuse he couldn’t have redshirted. You can read some details here.

At Duke, former QB Zack Asack was suspended for the entire 2006 season for plagiarism and returned to play in 2008 and 2009 before being kicked off the team as a senior, details here and here.

In some older Duke basketball cases, Greg Newton was suspended for two semesters in 1995 after cheating on a computer science exam and Ricky Price
was suspended for two semesters in 1997 for plagiarism, both are mentioned here.

So in the case of Charles Brown and Ryan Houston, Michigan State appears to have a higher standard but a two semester suspension seems to be the going rate at other schools for cheating (allegedly) and redshirting can be an option. But I think it is safe to say without a doubt that The Spartan Way > The Carolina Way. And we’ve been led to believe that nothing is greater than The Carolina Way.

But now lets look at the news that Kendric Burney will be able to take the field against Bill & Mary. Burney’s situation has been discussed at SFN both here and here.

So here we have a player that has already been suspended by the NCAA for six games for taking $1,333 in benefits from agents. Then he is also involved in the academic prong for cheating (allegedly resulting in a failing grade in a course previously taken as purportedly dictated by the UNC Honor Court ruling) and gets to play again when players at other schools who cheated but didn’t take trips and money from agents have to sit out a year?!?

The News and Observer today printed statements from Tyrone Burney, Kendrick’s father, saying his son’s grade was not changed to a failing grade by the Honor Court, but rather it was changed from a C to a C-. Being that this writing course (if you recall the tutor was allegedly writing papers for players) is a core course, Burney must obtain at least a C grade to get credit for it. Therefore, the Honor Court changing the grade from a C to a C- is effectively the same action as changing it to an F. The end result is the same per Mr. Burney, that is that Burney is not going to graduate this semester and will have to take the class in the Spring. Therefore, the NCAA, assuming this is indeed true, has waived their own rule to allow a player to carry less than a full load to be eligible without that player being on course to graduate in the same semester.

Tyrone Burney said his son was cleared by the university’s honor court on Oct. 19. Burney had a grade in writing class from a previous semester – a core class necessary for Burney to graduate – changed by a half of a letter grade.

Burney did not fail the disputed class, which resulted in his appearance before the honor court, his father said. The grade was changed from a “C” to a “C-minus,” his father said. Under university policy, Burney needed a “C” in the core class to graduate.

The change in grade affected Burney’s academic standing with the NCAA. The NCAA requires athletes to carry a minimum of 12 credit hours, unless as a senior they need fewer hours to graduate.

Burney was on track to graduate in December, his father said, and is taking one class, or three credit hours, this semester. Since the grade was changed in the core class, Burney needs six hours to graduate. Under NCAA rules, he needs to be enrolled in six hours or receive a waiver from the NCAA to participate.

Burney received the waiver and the school announced his return on Tuesday.

Burney, a fifth-year senior, will have to re-take the class in the spring to graduate, his father said.

Read more:

We still contend that there are still questions to be answered regarding Burney’s miraculous comeback in light of the ongoing investigation in Chapel Hill that hits almost every corner of the football program. Particularly, Inside Carolina is reporting that Burney was cleared after the NCAA and UNC worked together to reach a resolution on Burney’s eligibility:

Burney missed the previous seven games. He was suspended six games for violations of NCAA agent benefits and preferential treatment rules and was held out of the Miami game while the University worked with the NCAA to determine his eligibility status.

Simultaneously, WRAL is reporting that Burney was reinstated after the UNC Honor Court made its ruling on Burney.

Burney was suspended by the NCAA for six games for accepting $1,333 in agent benefits that included trips to California, Atlanta and Las Vegas.

He served out that suspension and missed an additional game while the university honor court considered his case.

Which is it by the way? Did the NCAA have a hand in the clearing of Burney, or is this UNC’s unilateral circumvention of NCAA rules through preferential treatment of a student-athlete? Chances are good that the truth will never see the light of day as the UNC powers-that-be appear to continue their circling of the wagons around Baddour, Butch and the football program. (On a side note, the folks at SFN are still looking hard for the magical, mystical travel agent who can turn $1,333 into a trip to California, Atlanta, and Las Vegas.) The circling of the wagons is what we have all come to know as the “Carolina Way.” That term that we’ve heard so often in the past, the Carolina Way, is such an amorphous concept that is still difficult to define. Nonetheless, one thing is now certain:

In the case of Kendric Burney, the Spartan Way, the Terrapin Way, the Orangemen Way and the Blue Devil Way are all > The Carolina Way.

About WV Wolf

Graduated from NCSU in 1996 with a degree in statistics. Born and inbred in West "By God" Virginia and now live in Raleigh where I spend my time watching the Wolfpack, the Mountaineers and the Carolina Hurricanes as well as making bar graphs for SFN. I'm @wvncsu on the Twitter machine.

Big Four Rivals Editor's Picks Required Reading UNC Scandal

53 Responses to The Spartan Way > The Carolina Way

  1. RickJ 10/27/2010 at 8:48 AM #

    From the N&O article linked in this entry:

    “Burney had a grade in writing class from a previous semester – a core class necessary for Burney to graduate – changed by a half of a letter grade.

    Burney did not fail the disputed class, which resulted in his appearance before the honor court, his father said. The grade was changed from a “C” to a “C-minus,” his father said. Under university policy, Burney needed a “C” in the core class to graduate.”

    Could this possibly be true? That an Honor Court finds a student cheating in a writing class by having a paper written by a tutor and the punishment is reducing his grade from “C” to “C-minus”.

  2. ruffles31 10/27/2010 at 8:55 AM #

    Great article. I am now even further confused at Burney after reading the N&O article though. C to C-. Are you kidding me?

  3. bradleyb123 10/27/2010 at 8:55 AM #

    They can’t be trusted to self-impose punishment, nor can they be trusted to investigate themselves. They’ve clearly shown that all they care about is winning — at any cost.

    The NCAA had better impose the absolute maximum penalties for whatever they find. Because Carolina certainly will not punish themselves for whatever they find that does not fall under the NCAA’s jurisdiction.

  4. VaWolf82 10/27/2010 at 9:06 AM #

    When the academic prong was launched, Thorp said something to the effect that it was a privilege to play sports for UNC. That’s a little bit like saying that it is a privilege to spend the evening with a prostitute. Both the prostitute and UNC will “play anyone”.

  5. newt 10/27/2010 at 9:15 AM #

    “The integrity of UNC is paramount,” Baddour said.


    hahahhehaheeee teeeheeeteee bwahahahaa!

    Awwh. whew.

  6. newt 10/27/2010 at 9:17 AM #

    BTW – How do we know all the kids listed in this article were suspended for academic violations given the super strict privacy laws that prevent anybody from ever acknowledging that a student athlete was involved in academic violations?

  7. pantherpack98 10/27/2010 at 9:21 AM #

    C’mon people…don’t you think UNC-CHeat has been punished enough??? I mean, give ’em a break. I think they’ve been through enough already and they need a little break. It’s really sad to see them so distraught and just wanting this to end already. Can’t you hear the whining now??? Like that 4 yr old who wants another doughnut but mommy want give it.

    I absolutely love the slow torture they are enduring!

  8. VaWolf82 10/27/2010 at 9:25 AM #

    How do we know all the kids listed in this article were suspended for academic violations

    Good question.

    Receiving “improper benefits” is an NCAA violation. Once the school learns of such an incident, they have to declare the athlete ineligible for competition and inform the NCAA. Only the NCAA can set the conditions for reinstating the athlete and AFAIK, the NCAA always makes those conditions public (ref the agent-gate cases at UNC).

    If a player was held out and then later declared eligible by UNC, it can only be for those things that the school controls….team rules, cheating w/o help from staff, etc. So it is possible that one of these “cleared” players was held out for something other than the academic prong…but fairly unlikely and it was certainly NOT for the agent issues.

  9. WV Wolf 10/27/2010 at 9:30 AM #

    I think the point newt was trying to make, and I had wondered this too, in the other cases I found they basically come out and say that the player cheated. At Carolina they hide behind some sort of privacy laws and never actually say what the player did wrong.

  10. FM-72 10/27/2010 at 9:30 AM #

    Great work guys. I read SFN several times every day, and have made a comment or 2 along the way. All the drama, or whatever you want to call it, at UNX boggles the mind. If they get what they deserve, then we won’t have anything to say about them for a long, long time. I think I would miss that! Look at our leaders vs. theirs: Woodson vs. Thorp – Yow vs. Baddour, – O’Brien vs. Davis, what else is there to say?

  11. GAWolf 10/27/2010 at 9:50 AM #

    I’m a little confused about this privacy thing, as well.

    Question: So if I’m a student and I get expelled for cheating will that not go on my transcript due to privacy rules? Can I claim the same protection when prospective employers ask me what happened at UBFE?

  12. GAWolf 10/27/2010 at 9:51 AM #

    How do we know that the guys currently being held out as injured are actually injured?

  13. ppack3 10/27/2010 at 9:56 AM #

    ‘The Carolina Way’ is definable. Allow me to define it for you.

    The UNC family will protect you, at all costs…while you are winning. When you can’t win, pack up your $h!+, and get out. If you lie, cheat and steal, that’s okay…as long as you don’t tweet it, and you win. If you tweet it, or lose, then pack up your $h!+, and get out. Oh, and we are better than you.

    This whole thing reminds me of Matt Doherty. “Can’t win? We loved you. But, pack up your $h!+, and get out.” But, if the football team gets beat by Miami, by getting burned in the secondary…By God, get the cheating, lying DB back on the field! If the Football team is struggling to run the ball, by God, get the lying, cheating tailback out there!

    It’s really disgusting. Even if this situation were present at NCSU, I would want the lying, cheating players gone! I would not want O’Brien (cough, cough) to defend them, skirt the rules and break the University’s back in order to get them back on the field as soon as humanly possible! WTF?! Does this not disturb anyone but State Fans?!

    Shame on Butch Davis. Shame on Dick Baddour. Shame on Chancellor Thorpe. I hope that the NCAA comes down on your immoral a$$ with a heavy and swift hammer. Then, you can circle your wagons around the ashes where your Football Program used to be.

  14. packof81 10/27/2010 at 9:57 AM #

    They certainly aren’t increasing the value of academic credentials from Carolina.

  15. StateFans 10/27/2010 at 10:00 AM #

    You know…Dean would have never put up with this.


  16. burnbarn 10/27/2010 at 10:02 AM #

    ^We don’t GA.

    I really have no issue w/ the NCAA on this but I do have an issue w/ UNC allowing this guy to play. This is UNC’s call and not really the NCAA’s. I know they had to be okay with him taking just 3 hours, but I am sure exceptions have been made like this before.

    It is shocking that UNC wants to hurry these guys back out onto the field. Before this story broke, I would have had a hard time believing it. Of course we all know about the ‘Carolina Way’ now.

  17. NCStatePride 10/27/2010 at 10:09 AM #

    “That’s a little bit like saying that it is a privilege to spend the evening with a prostitute. Both the prostitute and UNC will “play anyone”.”

    Classic. And great pull, WV! I’m getting tired of hearing people say you have to be dirty to be nationally renouned. This is actually one of the things I like about Debbie Yow and one of the reasons why I initially really tried to support TOB and Lowe as much as possible: I think this current cadre of the administration is a relatively clean group of people who still have drive. I’ve love to prove that we can win and be a nationally successful athletic program doing things “The Right Way”.

  18. newt 10/27/2010 at 10:18 AM #

    Ultimate UNC homer AJones@ Fox Sports chimes in:

    “Perhaps the real story here is how UNC itself is handling the possibilities of impropriety, even if ever so slight.

    Burney was cleared by the NCAA to play in the Miami game after serving a six-game suspension for accepting benefits from a friend and former UNC player, but Carolina officials chose to hold him out. They were concerned he was tied up in an academic investigation that so far has turned out to be little more than a couple of players breaking the honor code, not a vast conspiracy by a rogue tutor and a coach prompting her every move that has been widely suggested.”


  19. GAWolf 10/27/2010 at 10:18 AM #

    After reading Burney’s father’s statements in the N&O and the Charlotte Observer stating he didn’t have to add a class this semester, it tells me that the NCAA cleared him based on him on this theory that he will graduate this year so he can take less than a full load.

    Given that, I still cannot help but think this is the NCAA handing over some more rope on the Lack of Institutional Control case.

  20. GAWolf 10/27/2010 at 10:21 AM #

    Nothing but a little breaking of the honor code here, folks. Let them play!

    I think the real story might very well turn out to be UNC’s handling of the situation, and I think it might be exactly opposite what Andrew Jones thinks it is. (Rope.)

    Otherwise, this entire thing will be one more reason why the NCAA as an entity has lost its practical utility.

  21. coach13 10/27/2010 at 10:33 AM #

    Here is what gets me. There is no chance at a national title. The chances of a Coastal title are slim with VT and FSU and to a degree us looming. So why trash your reputation for probably at best a 7-5 season? Is a mediocre bowl game really worth the humiliation?

  22. Alpha Wolf 10/27/2010 at 10:35 AM #

    even if ever so slight.

    Good lord, those folks will believe anything they say to themselves often enough.

    Asst. Coach recruiting players on his AND other teams for an agent (proven): slight impropriety. Pardon us, move along.

    Academic fraud perpetrated with a tutor in the employ of the head coach (proven): slight impropriety, move along.

    Players taking more than $10,000 from agents while playing for the team (proven): slight impropriety, heck EVERYONE does THAT! Nothing to see here!

    Possible payment of recruits by assistant coach (unproven but rumored by credible sources): nothing to worry about, no need to look into THAT!

    Who are these people fooling, besides themselves and their drunk on the Kool-Aid fans?

  23. Wufpacker 10/27/2010 at 10:40 AM #

    Coach13: To them it probably is worth it if they can get no more than a slap on the wrist from the NCAA for being the dirtiest program (allegedly, LOL) in recent memory. Gotta keep that train rolling and hang on to those recruits.

    Heck, they might even win 8 games next year, but will again likely lose another tire bowl (allegedly?).

  24. bradleyb123 10/27/2010 at 10:41 AM #

    Given that, I still cannot help but think this is the NCAA handing over some more rope on the Lack of Institutional Control case.

    I hadn’t thought about that, GA. Is this a realistic possibility? I mean, is the NCAA known for doing something like this? (Rope.) Or is this just wishful thinking on our part?

  25. newt 10/27/2010 at 10:42 AM #

    I read Burney’s dad talking about “confusion” about the honor court ruling and it makes me think that “the facts keep changing.” How confusing could it be?

    By the way, Burney’s grade in that class was lowered by 3/10s of a point. When I taught at State, I would lower somebody’s grade by more than that for being tardy more than twice.

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