Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's pretty bad for North Carolina

The headline says it all. The NCAA's notice of allegations includes the following:
Page 20: It was reported that during the 2009-10 academic year and August 2010, Jennifer Wiley, former academic support center tutor, provided approximately $3,500 in impermissible extra benefits to football student-athletes. ... Wiley paid $150 for an airline ticket in May 2010, and $ 1,789 in parking violation expenses on August 20, 2010, for then football student-athlete ...

Page 23: It was reported that during 2009 and 2010, seven football student athletes received $27,097.38 in benefits from individuals, some of whom trigger NCAA agent legislation.

Page 33: It is alleged that from 2007 to 2010, then assistant football coach John Blake partnered with Gary Wichard, National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) certified agent, and Pro Tect Management to represent individuals in the marketing of their athletic abilities in violation of NCAA legislation. Specifically, Blake was employed and compensated by Pro Tect Management to influence football student-athletes to hire Wichard to represent them in marketing their athletic abilities and reputations.

Page 35: It is alleged that from May 2007 to October 2009, then-assistant football coach John Blake did not report $31,000 in athletically related outside income from Pro Tect Management, a sports agency representing athletes competing in the National Football League, National Basketball League and Major League Baseball.
There's more, but that's a pretty good summary.

It's probably a bad sign that my first thought was, "man, they're lucky they didn't get hit with a lack of institutional control." I mean, that'd be the worst-case scenario (and obviously a good thing to avoid as a university), but given the ridiculously extensive laundry list of violations that is included, I'm not sure how much of a difference it would make for the football program.

The penalties are gonna be severe, as they should be. I'm looking forward to the Bylaw Blog's analysis and always-interesting punishment-related predictions.

Butch Davis somehow avoided even a single mention in the notice, which would seem to be a good (and necessary) start toward keeping his job. I'm not sure there's ever been a program hit with widespread, all-encompassing major violations that retained its head coach, but I guess there's a first time for everything (and there haven't been many cases like that where the head coach wasn't named at all in the NCAA notice).

But here's the thing: In the big picture, Davis' fate doesn't really matter. The football program is about to get crushed with scholarship losses, coaching/recruiting limitations, vacated wins and potentially a postseason ban. Whatever progress was made in the up-to-now Butch Davis era will be undone in a hurry, and by the time national relevance is once again a reasonable goal, Davis will be gone one way or another.

Back when I was running my original Forever Saturday blog and the report first came out that the NCAA was digging around in Chapel Hill, I made this sadly prophetic statement:
... it'd be a shame if some of the team's best players got the program into a bunch of trouble just as the Heels are finally becoming an ACC contender for the first time since the Mack Brown era.
Shame indeed.


Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger.