Sordid history of ACC letting UNC off the hook on unsportsmanlike behavior — UPDATED with news of suspension

So, the ACC is reviewing the controversial play discussed here and embedded below?

Where have we heard that before?

I hope you will forgive us at SFN if our experiences on this topic leaves us more than just a little cynical. Please wake us if the real story here ever develops by conference brass in Greensboro that ultimately takes ANY action against John Swofford’s precious boys in baby blue.

In a game full of twists and turns, a pre-snap collision in the first quarter may have been the most eyebrow-raising of all. At the very least, it has caught the attention of the ACC league office.

Take a look at the above video, which, for the record, was titled by the individual that posted it, not me. What it shows is UNC LB Shakeel Rashad, a true freshman, running into Duke WR Conner Vernon from behind. Vernon went down to the ground, rolled around and the trainers came out. He went off the field and was back on the next snap.

Duke head coach David Cutcliffe said he was told by an official that Rashad had been running backwards and bumped into Vernon. Now, that’s clearly not true, and Cutcliffe saw as much when he reviewed the game tape Sunday morning.

“It’s different than what was described to me during the game,” Cutcliffe said of the run-in. “It was full speed, and there was no intent to avoid. We were going to turn it in but we understand now that the conference office is looking at it, and I’ll be interested to see what they say.

“People have seen it, you’ve seen it on television, I’ve just never seen anything quite like it. I was amazed when I saw that this morning. I don’t know, I’m kind of speechless about it. I’ve never had that happen in my entire career. Very unusual.”

For what it’s worth, the TV announcers were pretty emphatic that it was intentional.

“It’s clearly intentional,” the commentator said. “There’s no chance that he doesn’t see Conner Vernon. I’m surprised that wasn’t flagged. Look, if Shakeel Rashad can’t see, we’ve got to get his peripheral vision checked. There’s no chance that you can play linebacker in the ACC if you can’t see a guy just standing there.”

The ACC could potentially fine or suspend Rashad after viewing the film.

Am I supposed to be surprised that the ACC’s on-field officials not only ‘missed’ what happened on Saturday night, but missed it so badly that they literally FABRICATED a version of the story that had absolutely zero basis in reality to explain it? What a SHOCKER! — the version of the story the officials concocted out of thin air just happened to fall in the favor of UNC-Chapel Hill!?

I wonder if the ACC officials in the game told Coach Cutcliffe to ‘shut his f***ing a** up’ like ACC Basketball official Brian Dorsey reportedly yelled at NC State Coach Mark Gottfried the last time Gottfried dared battle UNC? Maybe we’ll leave that one for another day?

It isn’t like you haven’t seen the same style of unsportsmanlike behavior in the past as you saw from Shakeel Rashad on Saturday night, so don’t be too surprised if you see the same type of non-response from the ACC Office as we’ve seen at every stop along the way. And, don’t be surprised when you see this behavior again in the future as there is NO REASON to expect changes while the ACC continues its long standing practice of turning a blind eye — particularly when it involves the boys in baby blue.

But, please don’t hold poor Shakeel Rashad responsible. Rashad is nothing more than a kid who was attracted to a program that has given us such a long string of poor UN-PUNISHIED behavior on the the field that one could make the case that he was only emulating what UNC-CHeats and the ACC has implicitly endorsed through the years. (Of course, the other reason why you don’t want to call out Shakeel Rashad is because David Glenn or Butch Davis’ lawyer may call you racist.)

Rashad was attracted to a renegade culture at a football factory that has found a way to create dozens of physical altercations in recent years without ever receiving any notable punishment from the Atlantic Coast Conference. For example, while being recruited by UNC-CH Rashad got to watch Quinton Coples intentionally tackle a defenseless Russell Wilson some 5 to 10 yards out of bounds only four plays before UNC linebacker, Kevin Reddick, punched NC State’s Jarvis Williams in the head. He also got to hear UNC players admit the unsportsmanlike conduct was pre-mediated as retaliation for unconfirmed reports of ‘spitting’. The punishment for these crimes? You guessed it. Nothing. Please click here for a memory refresher.

While on that previously linked entry you will also see reference to everyone’s favorite, Dontae Paige-Moss. Paige-Moss was able to best Reddick by actually throwing TWO punches in college football games without ever missing a game. Thanks, ACC! You can see a couple of DPM’s all-time best below – first vs Miami and second vs NC State.

Lastly, please click here and scroll down into the post-script for another classic display of Carolina Class that served to help recruit Rashad. In this video, UNC’s Charles Brown has to try really hard to look stupid and almost start another huge incident in a State-Carolina football game. I’m just tired of including them all in this entry. One would thing the ACC would be tired of it as well.


6:00 Update


The UNC-CH linebacker has been suspended for one game.

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51 Responses to Sordid history of ACC letting UNC off the hook on unsportsmanlike behavior — UPDATED with news of suspension

  1. NCSU84 10/22/2012 at 11:14 AM #

    It appears there may be some culpability on both players for this incident. The UNC player appears to want to brush against the Duke player. Believe me, if he wanted to take him out he could have. I believe there may have been some acting going on by the Duke player given that he came in on the very next play. I am not saying the UNC player should not have been flagged, but this is not an action that warrants an ACC ruling. There are plenty of other UNC actions that the ACC can ponder over if it so chooses.

  2. tann84 10/22/2012 at 11:14 AM #

    Not only should Shakeel be suspended for at least a game, but the officials that missed this call should be re-evaluated too. You just can’t miss that call, its way too easier, the intent is easy to discern and that type of stuff should not be tolerated on the football field.

    And by the way I am black, and I love all people so no way I am racist against my own people in saying this.

  3. wufpup76 10/22/2012 at 11:21 AM #

    C’mon guys, they’re gonna get a very strong talking to … No need to worry about it!

    Also, you’re probably a racist if you demand that classless, thug-like behavior be punished. Live and let live guys!

  4. BassPacker 10/22/2012 at 11:40 AM #

    Just because the results didn’t go as the intent, it obviously was a blantant attempt upon the Duke player to hurt. So disaggree that it does NOT warrant ACC review. He lead with his shoulder toward Vernon. It was dirty and the player knew so as he high fived a team mate after realized he wasn’t getting flagged. The Carolina Way….man I hope the Pack shows up 4 qrters for those cheating Tarholes. Go Pack !

  5. Wolfpack93 10/22/2012 at 11:47 AM #

    Perhaps we can try pulling the same stunt on Bernard next week to see if the officials are equally forgiving toward all ACC institutions…

  6. packof81 10/22/2012 at 12:02 PM #

    “… that type of stuff should not be tolerated on the football field.”

    For most teams, that type of stuff is not tolerated. But Carolina is different, special.

  7. Prowling Woofie 10/22/2012 at 12:06 PM #

    It was Vernon’s fault – he got in ‘The Carolina Way’ !

  8. HPWolf 10/22/2012 at 12:06 PM #

    It is fitting that Duke beat their asses and took their precious victory bell. UNC has now lost to both WFU and Duke. You can bet their confidence is rattled to say the least. UNC has filled their roster with players that lack character and class. Instead of teaching them how to be young MEN they learn the carolina way. Cheating and cheap shots are all they have to give. I sincerely hope we beat the living hell out of this bunch of losers.

  9. PackDave 10/22/2012 at 12:17 PM #

    +1 Wolfpack93. I’ve been waiting for years for our boys to finally get fed up with the likes of Quinton Coples, Kevin Reddick, Charles Brown and Kendrick Burney. I’ve been waiting for someone to finally say enough is enough and break someone’s jaw. Would it be sportsmanlike? Nope. Would it be deserved? Absolutely. UN* coaches and athletes have no class, no integrity and no respect for sportsmanship, and I would love to see them get a taste of their own medicine. Also, f*** you Dexter Strickland. I’ll enjoy continuing to not give a rat’s ass about you when you’re averaging seven points per game in Sri Lanka in a couple years.

  10. Rick 10/22/2012 at 12:37 PM #

    More examples of the ACC bias.

    I am sure they will suspend someone from UVA to prove how tough they are.

  11. triadwolf 10/22/2012 at 12:51 PM #

    There’s nothing to see here folks; just move along…

  12. OldWuf 10/22/2012 at 1:07 PM #

    The only way to counter the thugness of unx football is to do exactly what Duke did- beat the livin’ dogSH+# out of them and hang another big ol’L on them once again.

  13. tractor57 10/22/2012 at 1:20 PM #

    Maybe there was no intent to flatten Vernon but it appears there was intent to brush him in a form of intimidation. There have been enough examples of thugishness by various UNX players over the last few years to not give this a pass as unintentional.

  14. DFMo 10/22/2012 at 1:25 PM #

    Will Fedora comment or take any independent action so his new team understands the way he wants and expects them to play? Or is he implicitly endorsing it? If they really are going to make any changes to the culture (which they claim they will), then Fedora should admit it was out of line (choose your wording) and sit him for a game.

    Actions by the player … and the coach will speak louder than words.

    Someone get a mic in Holden’s face for a comment. Is that what HE wants from his beloved team?

    This just in … Fedora commented. He was given a “good talking to” and had to run an extra lap at practice.

  15. Mike 10/22/2012 at 1:33 PM #

    DFMo, seriously? Or are you just pulling our legs? If that is all the Hat did, then the tiny ounce of repsect I had for him is gone. Not much to begin with, but that was cheap and dirty and a coach should interject even if the league wont.

  16. leroy corso 10/22/2012 at 1:44 PM #

    The league should require Shakeel to do a short book report with some 11yr olds help, of course

  17. bill.onthebeach 10/22/2012 at 1:53 PM #

    IIRC… I thought I heard from the commentators after the game that there were two or three plays immediately thereafter during which the Duke players settled this matter in their own way ….on the field with no flags…

    Can anyone confirm that…

  18. WTNY 10/22/2012 at 2:06 PM #

    I hate UNC-Cheat as much as the next guy.

    But I don’t believe the hit was intentional.

    Watch the video very closely. Right when the Duke player gets in his stance, he puts his leg back. The leg trips the UNC-Cheat player.

    Perhaps it was an intentional “run really close and intimidate” the receiver, but not an intentional hit.

    My take was it was a clueless UNC-Ch freshman running late onto the field, running too close.

  19. BassPacker 10/22/2012 at 2:22 PM #

    Be really interesting now to see what Swoff does say after the review. Coach Cut and Duke players thought it was a cheap shot. This is what Steven Ingram, #60, Duke’s nose tackle had to say after the game about the play and on a later so called cut block by Duke player Brian Moore:

    “Shakeel hit Connor and then high fived another teammate…again, benefits of actually playing the game… and the major difference that you seem to be overlooking is the fact that the player came from the sideline, before the play and took a shot on our reciever,,, whether or not one is hurt from the block or the cheap shot is not the issue, it is the action and the far as Brian’s block, that happens to Dline-men literally ALL the time… hi-low’ing and blocks like that are not an uncommon practice amongst offensive linemen on any team… I wonder how common it is for a player to run off from the side line and “run into” a defenseless player when THE PLAY HASN”T EVEN STARTED… many teams run hurry up offense, and this rarely happens…”

  20. StateFans 10/22/2012 at 2:25 PM #

    Even DFMO’s attempt at comedy missed the mark on Fedora’s response.

    The following is from the N&O’s blog entry and is on our message forums ————————————–

    Fedora on Monday dismissed that suggestion.
    “First of all, you’ve got to know Rashad,” Fedora said. “He’s one of the nicest kids that we have on our football team and I can assure you there was no intention of harming the other player. Or actually, there was no intention on his part to actually even run into the player.”

    Fedora said Rashad should have been on the field already, and was in “panic mode” trying to get onto the field in time. Fedora said, joking, that if Rashad had been more athletic he likely could have avoided Vernon.

    “I promise [you], there was none of, ‘Hey, let me run into this guy and that will stop the play before it gets started,’” Fedora said. “There was no malice at all.”

  21. sholtzma 10/22/2012 at 3:45 PM #

    Correct me if I’m wrong, since I never played organized football, and since I ignorantly use long words whose meaning I don’t yet know (such as “ignominious”), but I thought that it was common practice for some receivers to put their leg behind them right before the snap to be ready to run. If so, then Vernon’s action has nothing to do with a Tarhole player (whom he can’t see) running from behind him into him.

    The idea that the hit was unintentional is so ludicrous as to be offensive. Of course it was intentional. There is a player in front of you. You are running (note: not at full speed) and see said player. Said player is standing still. You simply avoid said player if you do not intend to hit said player. Look, if the Hole LB had tripped over the chalk on the field and fallen into the Duke receiver, that would have been funny and unintentional. But that is not at all how it happened. He purposely ran into the player right in front of him. No ifs, ands, or buts.

    And the fact that Fedora is engaging in denial is yet another instance of their arrogance. They get to decide what reality is. We don’t.

    I fully expect nothing to come from the ACC office–as usual. By the way, if something does come from them, it will be a wrist slap.

    And, by the way, notice the bias of the officials? It’s not just in basketball, folks.

  22. virginiawolf 10/22/2012 at 4:36 PM #

    Over the last several months as the unc scandal has unfolded I have been pretty silent … actually feeling sorry for the unc students and players (not necessarily being one and the same) being led down such a shamefull path by chapel hill’s staff and administration, but it turns out that not only is admin sinfully crooked, but now there is clear evidence that some of the players are a–holes!!!

  23. tractor57 10/22/2012 at 5:25 PM #

    To me the most significant part is the clueless officials were also suspended. Maybe the Swoff’s toes are getting a bit warm.

  24. RabidWolf 10/22/2012 at 5:26 PM #

    “The league should require Shakeel to do a short book report with some 11yr olds help, of course”

    Come on, man….everybody knows that they’d get caught plagiarizing the 11 year old’s work!

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