NCAA Hits UNC Football With 1-Year Postseason Ban

The NCAA infractions committee has hit North Carolina's football program with a one-year postseason ban, a reduction of 15 scholarships and three years of probation following an investigation into improper benefits and academic misconduct.

In a ruling Monday, the committee said the school was responsible for multiple violations, including academic fraud and a failure to monitor its football program. It also issued a three-year show-cause penalty for former assistant coach John Blake, who had received personal loans from an NFL agent.

"This case should serve as a cautionary tale to all institutions to vigilantly monitor the activities of those student-athletes who possess the potential to be top professional prospects," the committee stated in its report. "It should also serve to warn student-athletes that if they choose to accept benefits from agents or their associates, they risk losing their eligibility for collegiate competition."

In September, the school announced it would impose several penalties, including vacating all 16 wins for 2008 and 2009, reducing nine scholarships over the next three academic years and putting the program on two years of probation.

The school also issued a $50,000 fine but it didn't impose a postseason ban in what the school called "difficult but necessary steps." But the committee decided that wasn't enough.

The ruling caps a nearly 2-year case that ultimately led to the firing of coach Butch Davis as well as the early departure of longtime administrator Dick Baddour as athletic director. The scandal included players receiving jewelry and other gifts from people outside the program, as well as a tutor providing improper help to players on term papers.

Fourteen players missed at least one game in 2010 and seven were forced to sit out all that season, with four of those either dismissed from the team or ruled permanently ineligible by the NCAA. Among that group was defensive end Robert Quinn, defensive tackle Marvin Austin and receiver Greg Little. All three players were chosen in the first two rounds of last year's NFL draft.

School officials appeared before the infractions committee in October, as well as Blake and his attorneys. Blake's close friendship with late NFL agent Gary Wichard became a focus of the investigation, including $31,000 in money transferred from Wichard to Blake that Blake's attorneys have characterized as loans from one friend to another during financial trouble. Both Blake and his attorneys have publicly denied there was any agreement for Blake to steer players to sign with Wichard once they reached the NFL.

Chancellor Holden Thorp fired Davis a week before training camp, citing the cumulative damage to the university's reputation by the probe. The Tar Heels went 8-5 under Davis in both 2008 and 2009, losing each time in the Meineke Bowl. Davis has never been tied directly to or cited for any violation in the probe.

The day after the school fired Davis, Baddour announced he would step aside early from his planned retirement this summer so that his successor could hire the next football coach. The school hired Bubba Cunningham from Tulsa as AD. He then hired Larry Fedora from Southern Mississippi as the new coach.

Defensive coordinator Everett Withers served as interim coach last season and guided the Tar Heels to a 7-6 record along with an appearance in the Independence Bowl. Withers is now assistant head coach under Urban Meyer at Ohio State.

The NCAA has hit the UNC football program with a one-year postseason ban, a reduction of 15 scholarships and 3 years probation following an investigation into improper benefits & academic misconduct. What do you think about the punishment?

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  • by Gatorman Location: Fayetteville on Mar 15, 2012 at 09:56 PM
    You mean North Carolina actually has a football team?
  • by the real big blue on Mar 14, 2012 at 12:54 PM
    thats what they get! go duke!
  • by Doctor Heelgood Location: ACC country on Mar 14, 2012 at 07:55 AM
    Take 2 national championships and call me in the morning.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 14, 2012 at 05:40 AM
    It sounds like you guys need a few national titles to make you feel better, not equal but better, LOL
  • by Pack Man Location: Knightdale on Mar 14, 2012 at 12:08 AM
    Well UNC might have a lot of national championships in lots of sports, but first of all, basketball is that only sport that matters, and second of all, we know Dean Smith and Roy Williams are corrupt as they come. They should look into the investigation of Harrison Barnes. it's obvious they had to bribe him to get him away from his hometown and Iowa State. UNC has always been known as the University of Nonstop Corruption, ever since the 1970's.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 14, 2012 at 06:11 AM in reply to Pack Man
      I guess thats why they make the top 10 in the Directors Cup every year, right?
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Mar 14, 2012 at 07:16 AM in reply to
        LOL... The "Directors Cup" and a dollar will buy you a cup of coffee! When's the last time you heard sports fans sitting around a bar passionately discussing the annual Directors Cup "race"? The only time I have EVER seen anyone mention the Directors Cup was to try to make some obscure, pseudo-manufactured internet point. Now, like the rest of the American sports world, I am off to pay attention to the annual Directors Cup; the NCAA Tournament, NASCAR, MLB, college baseball, NFL free-agency signings all pale in comparison to this momentous "event"...
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Mar 14, 2012 at 07:54 AM in reply to Anonymous
          The Directors Cup is the annual award for success in all sports...go find a girl to tell you all about it and dont burn the muffins! Do not come out of the kitchen until supper is ready, understand? LOL
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Mar 14, 2012 at 02:55 PM in reply to Anonymous
          That's my point Anonymous at 10:54! NO self-respecting, god-fearing American male EVER considers, much less talks about (or makes repeated posts about...!!!) the Directors Cup! Thanks for making my case, lady! The Directors Cup is only some obscure bragging point among internet geeks, most of them seemingly females.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Mar 14, 2012 at 04:10 PM in reply to Anonymous
          But if your choice is to be in the top 10 or not you would, right? Who wouldnt want to consistantly be in the top 10 of the award that recognizes total sports success for the whole year? I think your pants are on fire...LOL
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Mar 14, 2012 at 06:00 PM in reply to Anonymous
          Quite frankly, I don't know how to answer this in a politically correct manner. So, I won't even try. If my daughter, or son, played tennis, volleyball, softball, soccer, field hockey (name a sport) at a University, then that would be my #1 sport and priority. No doubt. However, given that this is not the case, I truly only care about 1. football 2. mens basketball and 3. baseball. That might sound harsh or chauvinistic, but you asked for my truth (as you unsophisticatedly alluded to with your "pants" remark), and that is my view. That's my view in total honesty and without deceit. Now, honestly, what about you? Name your favorite 3 favorite college sports, without obfuscating. Then, tell me, with statistical analysis, how the Directors Cup correlates. Thank you.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Mar 14, 2012 at 04:20 PM in reply to
        I would call the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics a pretty reputable organization. Your Athletic Director may be a female but our isnt...LOL
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Mar 14, 2012 at 06:09 PM in reply to
          You use the term "reputable", I'll up that bet using three words: "irrelevant", "impotent", and "bureaucrats".
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Mar 15, 2012 at 10:32 AM in reply to
          Anon at 9:09 on Mar you are saying that the Athletic Directors are "irrelevant", "impotent", and "bureaucrats"? have just lost what little credibility you had. Goodbye
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Mar 15, 2012 at 01:30 PM in reply to
          ... says the person that has apparently totally ducked and avoided my questions and comments posed to you at 9:00pm. Why have you avoided this? I guess it is easier to "cut and run", huh? I also see that it is easier for you to change the subject and talk about meaningless drivel such as the farcical "Directors Cup" than to talk about the very subject matter of this article and headline... UNC-CHeat getting caught, after years of claiming sanctity, in a national cheating scandal that has sullied their reputation. Did you forget about this? Or just not want to talk about it and wish to change the subject? We both know it is the latter. Two pieces of advice: 1. You are very poor at these internet exchanges, you may wish to refrain from them if this is the best that you can do and 2. I hope that you are not a criminal defense attorney, because your debating skills are very weak. Now, I am off to watch the NCAA tournament, I assume you're off with your calculator tabulating statistics in the ever- dramatic "Directors Cup" race, LOL! One thing is nfor sure, The UNC-CHeaters are NCAA certified to carry this nickname. Debate that!
  • by the Location: truth on Mar 13, 2012 at 11:34 AM
    Sometimes it pays to cheat unc football was nowhere without butch davis.John bunting ha. They got a slap on the risk The positives they got from recruting etc out weighs the negatives of getting caught and now the wheels have been put in motion for there future football teams sucsess.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 13, 2012 at 07:03 AM
    ECU has a permanent post season ban, LOL!!!
    • reply
      by Sam on Mar 14, 2012 at 10:23 PM in reply to
      Like they did when they played in bowl games 5 of the last 6 years!
  • by Anonymous on Mar 13, 2012 at 06:59 AM
    Great!!! Time to move on. I wish there was a way the NCAA could punish the ones who caused this stuff instead of the folks at UNC now but thats the way it is, GO HEELS!!
  • by Anonymous on Mar 13, 2012 at 05:33 AM
    As if there were ever any doubt, it is now official and NCAA approved and sanctioned... UNCCHeat's. "The Carolina Way" lays shattered, disgraced and in ruins. Forever more when this term is mentioned it will be met with scorn and derisive laughter. The WalHeels, however, won't seem to care, they have no other ties to the integrity of the University other than their powder blue clothing apparel, and thet have been laughed at and mocked all along anyway.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 13, 2012 at 10:01 AM in reply to Anonymous
      A person with half a brain knows you cant judge hundreds of thousands of people based on the actions of less than 20 many national championships does your school have? Thats what I thought.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Mar 13, 2012 at 01:00 PM in reply to
        But, that is what people do everday here to ECU, Einstein. Also, it is UNC-CHeat that has held itself up as the epitome of athletic and academic virtue for years, all to come tumbling down now as a false facade. So, you now want to hide behing the primitive and child-like notion of it being an isolated incident in athletics?! How do you then explain the FACT that papers, grades, and entire ACADEMIC courses were falsified in this case? You can't. THAT is your academic/athletic nexus. Talk about a double standard! As to the question of how many national championships my alma mater has won- at least 8. Cornell University class of 1986. We may not have the big-time athletic program that UNC-CHeat does, but we have also not sold our academic soul and the reputation of our University to the devil all for a few cheap Tire Bowls (all while pretending that we do things "the right way, the Carolina Way"). You see, I have, at a minimum, "half a brain", and how about you? How about your ability to accept malfeasance in athletics after falsely propping yourselves up as pious saints for decades? Care to accept that too? You know, the truth. Or does this hit a little too close to that fragile and phony self-image that UNC-CHeat has held onto for so long?
      • reply
        by Dave on Mar 13, 2012 at 09:02 PM in reply to
        Most of those championships come form soccer, lol, I know , soccer, lol, no one cares about soccer. People act like they won't to care but they don't. Only the kids that arent good in football or baseball play soccer. Great if your kid gets to go to college to play soccer, but no one cares about soccer, don't fool yourself!
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Mar 14, 2012 at 07:11 AM in reply to Dave
          "won't to care"...LOL
  • by pirate/hawk Location: G-vegas on Mar 13, 2012 at 03:48 AM
    All together now,,,,CRY-O-LINA...
    • reply
      by Sam on Mar 14, 2012 at 10:24 PM in reply to pirate/hawk

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