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Adam Gold

The decision UNC would like over

Posted November 8, 2012

FILE: Newly hired Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham during the University of North Carolina vs. Miami game, Saturday, October 15, 2011.

The University of North Carolina and the University of Miami have something in common that goes beyond the fact that each school employed Butch Davis as head football coach. Each school is also dealing with NCAA issues stemming from, among other things, outside influences that have created complicated decisions within the athletic department.

Miami is one win away from being bowl-eligible, and thus a very important decision. Amid an NCAA investigation into impermissible benefits provided to football players for almost a decade by former Hurricanes athletics booster Nevin Shapiro -- now serving a 20-year jail sentence for his involvement in a Ponzi scheme -- the school opted to declare itself ineligible for the post season a year ago and could do the same as early as this Sunday should the Canes win their game at Virginia on Saturday.  

The school is awaiting the notice of allegations from the NCAA which would outline the scope and depth of the violations incurred under previous coaching regimes, and once they have that in hand, will go through the process of either defending itself or working with the NCAA to address the mistakes and deal with the consequences.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Predicting what the NCAA is likely to do in terms of punishment is tantamount to predicting the weather. The governing body of college sports hasn't operated with any great degree of consistency in these matters, so guessing becomes difficult. There's really no way of knowing for certain that skipping a bowl game last year and again this season would cause the NCAA to forgo a post season ban in the penalty phase. It seems logical to assume, but it's not a guarantee.

Plus, should Miami withdraw from post-season consideration again, they would also be removing themselves from participating in the ACC Championship game in Charlotte the first Saturday in December. By rule, if you play in that game you must play in a bowl game. Therefore, the school must weigh the benefit of playing in a bowl game this year -- if applicable -- versus the pain and suffering it might cause to possibly hamper future seasons and the decisions of potential recruits.

Simply put, is playing in a bowl game this year more beneficial to the long-term health of Miami football than having that same opportunity next year and beyond? North Carolina Logo Archive: UNC football investigations

Last year, UNC was faced with the same predicament that still confronts the deciders in Coral Gables. Play out the season, accept a bowl invitation and hope that the NCAA stops short of taking away any future post-season opportunities. Or, withdraw from that consideration and guess that the self-sacrifice would be considered by the NCAA as time already served.

Publicly, the school spoke with confidence that their cooperation with the investigation would lead to leniency. On several occasions university officials said that they didn't expect anything beyond what the school offered up as self-imposed sanctions. North Carolina guessed that scholarship reductions and the forfeiture of two seasons worth of victories would be enough to satiate the Committee on Infractions.

They guessed wrong. And, they're paying the price right now.

It's really amazing, and possibly a good thing, that this has gotten so little attention. But, with three games remaining, the Tar Heels are the most likely team to finish atop the Coastal Division standings without the chance to play for the ACC championship.

Imagine this season, with the possibility of post-season play. Imagine the impact it might have had on recruiting if the Heels had emerged from the rubble of last year's struggles, by landing in the conference championship game and a major post season bowl. Imagine if it worked out even further and the Heels won the game!

Of course, these are all hypotheticals, but the choice of finishing off last season, under a lame-duck, interim head coach in a low-grade bowl in Shreveport, La., pales in comparison to almost anything else the future might hold. Again, there's no guarantee that skipping out on last year's Independence Bowl would have convinced the NCAA to waive any future post season penalties, but, it had to be worth the risk. And, barring a chance to play in the conference championship game in a little more than three weeks, I think you'll see The U run the same play they ran last season.

It's what North Carolina should have done a year ago.

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  • Pack pride lead investigator Nov 10, 2012

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    .

  • Tarheel born Nov 9, 2012

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    Then your in good company as you are the same....

  • TsKaMF Nov 9, 2012

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    OK, OK....da U & ewenc are a farce.

  • heelsforever Nov 9, 2012

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    There's a simple answer to your question; there's not a local fanbase that hates Miami more than anything in the world.

  • Tarheel born Nov 9, 2012

    Hey Goldie Locks....how about finding an original story. I truly do not understand why you're on the payroll. Your writing is lacking no matter what the subject is. Do you really think your going to get a Nobel Prize in journalism? Your articles appear to have little to NO research involved. You rehash stories (not just UNC) over and over again to get a bit of attention. Ordinarily, I wouldn't and seldom do comment on your postings here because of the lack of effort put foreward.

  • Tarheel born Nov 9, 2012

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    Believe about 1/4 of what you read on here by anyone unless they provide a link to the article. You're best bet is go to the N&O, Daily TarHeel, Durham Herald or WRAL.com and catch up.

    Mostly its about what was done at UNC vs. whats been done at NCSU over the years. In a nutshell State has been the most investigated school by the NCAA in our conference. Conversely, UNC has been the most embarrasing for the last two+ years. AND, it depends on which side of the fence you sit on. Sit back and enjoy the ride....

  • kato_karma.v3 Nov 9, 2012

    There are always those folks that fruitlessly remain in the seats after a movie ends -- waiting for an alternate conclusion to pop back up (one that they would more prefer) but never does.

  • StunGunn Nov 9, 2012

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    Don't you mean "spills the beans"?

  • 1969inyourface Nov 9, 2012

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    Good ole Adam Mold showing his journalistic genius. Dude must be proud of him self. NOT!

  • SpartanDude Nov 9, 2012

    I find it interesting that no one here even mentions "The U" having a history of infractions and the impact of their jailed booster on the recruitment of some of their current players. I know the school is not local but it is in the ACC. It is really a shame that this conference is now living with the consequence of poor choices in expansion since deciding to move beyond the 8 schools all in the name of football money.

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