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Former Carolina commit to enroll at ECU

Posted August 24, 2009

Justin Dixon might be playing college football in North Carolina after all, just not for the Tar Heels.

Dixon, who graduated from Smithfield-Selma high school last year, signed on to play football with UNC earlier this year. However, after failing to qualify academically, the star linebacker was forced to consider other options - including spending time at prep school or enrolling at a different FBS school.

In the end, Dixon chose the latter.

A spokesman with the East Carolina football team confirmed to WRAL that he will begin classes at ECU on Tuesday.

Dixon was one of the most heralded signees in UNC's 2009 class. Rated the ninth-best inside linebacker in the nation by Rivals.com, the 6-foot-1 playmaker was considered a four-star recruit.

Though Dixon is scheduled to begin classes Tuesday, ECU spokesman Tom McClellan said the NCAA Eligibility Center is still reviewing his eligibility status. Therefore, there is no word yet on when, or if, he will be able to suit up for the Pirates.

According to McClellan, as long as Dixon is determined to be a "recruited student-athlete," he can participate in football activities for 14 days while the NCAA reviews his case for eligibility. If at that time, Dixon is determined to be a qualifier, he can continue practicing and would be eligible for game-day competition. If not, he cannot practice with the team or play in any games, but he would have access to student development/academic and athletic training services.

If the 14-day period passes without a ruling, the Dixon has to stop practicing and wait on said decision.

North Carolina and East Carolina play each other in Kenan Stadium on September 19.

80 Comments

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  • sevenrx Aug 28, 4:31 p.m.

    This came up a few years ago at ECU and they do have a program to let in a few people with subpar grades, but if I remember right that it is a total between 3 to 6 exemptions that are allowed, and they have to show academic growth to stay in the program.

    It's unfair to blame his HS coach. I lived in Eliz. City several years ago and their was a kid by the name Kenny Williams, that no less than Dean Smith came to town to talk about coming to UNC, when Dean left town it wasn't with Kenny. His teachers all tried to tutor him and one in particular used to stay after school to try to help him to graduate. He dropped out, went to a JUCO program in Kansas (Roy's feeder school for Kansas at the time)to get a GED, dropped out and went to Eliz. City State for a semester, never did get a GED. He played in the NBA for a couple of years.

  • heelsfaninraleigh Aug 28, 10:19 a.m.

    If we keep up the pace of the last 25 or so years for another 200 years, the overall record will... View More

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again02

    You can't have if both ways. If all you care about is the PRESENT and the fact that Carolina has won more against your wuffies than they have won against the Heels is the past - then certainly State's win over the Heels last year is the PAST. You certainly can't have "THOROUGH and UTTER domination of the Heels that is the PRESENT!" since that is now the past!!

    Oh, now I get it. The only part of the past that matters is when the wuffies win. Too bad it hasn't happened nearly as often as the Heels winning has.

  • duane11 Aug 28, 5:56 a.m.

    can someone tell me the record b/t State and the heels since the 70's started, b/c thats the only record i care about....since i was alive and aware of sports.....that would be the last 39 yrs...any info would be appreciated

  • snfirebird Aug 27, 10:02 p.m.

    snfirebird: Why are you putting Justin on BLAST? Are you insecure in what you are doing? Look, please keep in mind that this is a 18 year old child. Sure he made some unwise decisions, but that happens to all of us. What is important now, is that he is on the road to redemption and all we can do is pray for his success and support him. As far as seeing $$$$, we never had money, will always have to work for a living, and will do what we have to do to be productive citizens in our communities. Do not be a HATER! We appreciate everything that UNC and ECU has done for Justin. Unfortunately, UNC does not accept partial qualifers, and ECU does. That is the reason he is attending ECU. Sure he could have gone to Jr. College and transferred, but the transition at ECU will be steady and we feel that he can get the support and encouragement that he needs to do the job that he is required to do. AND that is to further his education. He understands the committment that it will take for him and football is not an option at this time. So lay off with the rude comments and understand that things happen.

    Not sure why I will waste my time responding to this, but the comment was not a "BLAST" (<---- wth) towards Dixon. It was to stand up for the previous comments that Anthony Barbour did not do his job as a coach to get him through high school and qualify. By the way Dixon constantly skipped class, was caught cheating on several occaisions, and his sister each time (hired by the school as a teaching assistant)tried each time to bail him out of each situation. AB's hands were tied as previously stated. If I knew I was a stud specimen like Dixon is cut up to be athletically and the likes of UNC were after me, I would have spent more time doing the right things my senior year instead of finding ways to get around doing the work or going to class. HOOPSTER, not sure how that was hating, when it was all factual. FADE TO BLACK........................

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Aug 27, 5:25 p.m.

    Not that you care about history, but I think the LAST time Carolina played AT ECU was also the FIRST time they played AT ECU. Playing them in Kenan every year, one would expect them to have a sizable series lead.

    And most of those additional wins Carolina got over State were because of the early years when State just fielded a group of ROTC men to play football. I'm sure you're proud of that. You should be. It was tough to win back when they wore leather straps for helmets. LOL

    You Carolina weiners crack me up, I swear!

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Aug 27, 5:22 p.m.

    If we keep up the pace of the last 25 or so years for another 200 years, the overall record will be Carolina 163-128-6 over State. They have the series lead and I know why and don't even care.

    What I care about is what matters, and that is THOROUGH and UTTER domination of the Heels that is the PRESENT!

    OK, go back to the past now. You seem to enjoy it so. See you on November 28th, for TOB's 3rd straight wuppin over Butch!

  • wottop Aug 27, 4:55 p.m.

    UNC 63-28-6 vs NCSU
    UNC 8-2-1 vs ECU

    Not really "so much", perhaps "somtimes" is more accurate.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Aug 27, 4:33 p.m.

    myrtlebeachrock, well said.

    Carolina fans like to feel arrogant and better than others. That's why they hate losing to State and ECU so much, I guess!

  • myrtlebeachrock Aug 27, 12:49 p.m.

    From some one who has seen a lot. ECU, UNC, NC State, Duke and Wake are all really great universities. Each school has their own fields of study in which they are very highly regarded in in both undergrad and grad studies. Any state would love to have the colleges that are here in NC. And look how affordable and nice they are compared to schools in other states. In higher education we have it made.

  • wottop Aug 27, 9:00 a.m.

    All I ever said is that ECU is fairly average as an undergraduate university. I did not say it has no redeeming value.

    My original assertion was that this event put a bad light on the academic quality. I was greeted with insults and other stupidity. If others had simply extolled the virtues of their own institution instead of attacking mine, then the conversation would have been far different.

    I guess it's only fun if you can sling mud.

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