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North Carolina

UNC, media outlets settle case; Student-athlete interviews to be made public

Posted October 25, 2012

— The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill agreed Thursday to a settlement ending more than two years of lawsuits filed by a coalition of media outlets, including WRAL News.

As a result, UNC-CH must release additional documents tied to the university investigation of alleged improper behavior – both athletic and academic – by members of the Tar Heel football team.

On Sept. 26, Superior Court Judge Howard E. Manning said that UNC must release information the university gathered for the NCAA about football players who got money, jewelry and other benefits, including transcripts of interviews with those student-athletes. The media coalition agreed not to publish those interviews verbatim online.

Manning ruled that, while information about a player's academic performance would remain sealed, facts about impermissible benefits that led to a player's being ruled ineligible should be released. North Carolina Logo Archive: UNC football investigation

The university must also release records of university investigations into misconduct by any UNC coach, acting agent or booster.

WRAL and its partners also asked for unredacted copies of UNC's entire response to the NCAA Notice of Allegations, which the university prepared in September 2011. It was this response that UNC used to propose the Tar Heels vacate all wins in 2008 and 2009, pay a $50,000 fine, lose nine scholarships over three years and serve a two-year probation period. In March, the NCAA responded with a punishment that included the loss of 15 scholarships over three years, a one-year postseason ban and three years on probation.

UNC will be allowed to redact information related to academic or personnel issues, but must release anything related to "student-athlete impermissible benefits violations resulting in sanctions and ineligibility."

Both the university and the coalition are seeking further guidance on the release of records related to NCAA violations due to impermissible academic benefits as well as information related to student tutors including names, salaries and employment dates.

Should there be no objections to the production of documents by UNC to the requesting media outlets, the university will also pay the coalition’s legal fees in the amount of $45,000.

Over the course of the two and a half year legal proceeding, the court has repeatedly ruled against UNC, forcing the release of parking ticket records, phone records and emails of key figures in the investigation such as former head coach Butch Davis, former assistant coach John Blake, former Director of Athletics Dick Baddour and out-going Chancellor Holden Thorp.

The settlement ends the legal back-and-forth between UNC-CH and the media coalition.

62 Comments

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  • Dr. Feelgood Oct 27, 7:12 a.m.

    Since the NCAA has reviewed all of this, what's the point of releasing it? Just to give the... View More

    — Posted by mxteam44

    The law requires it. Isn't that enough?
    "The public records and public information compiled... View More

    — Posted by NCSU79

    Gee, then why is NCSU using the same law to prevent records the N&O has requested of them.... View More

    — Posted by forautumn

    The same law applies. If NCSU is withholding public records, it should release them.

    — Posted by NCSU79

    Can't believe you posted this. Do you realize that the win by the media pretty much exposes ANYTHING to do with individual athletes now. Check the US Constitution, above all, individual rights are supposed to take precedent over the rights of a group. Obama has made everyone think though that people are not important, just big brother, or big media. The media is starting to wag the tail of the common man collective and in this case, you Red Ragers got wagged like a dog's getting ready to get a Bojangles biscuit. I think an independent review would have been fine, but the release of the information for public fodder did two things...give you Red Ragers a hatedrug you are addicted to, and made the media a more powerful bully than they already are.

  • Dr. Feelgood Oct 27, 7:06 a.m.

    The sanctions have been handed down, Carolina has pretty much cleaned house from Thorp on down. ... View More

    — Posted by GunnyGoesArrrgh

    You have always been a fair poster, but I don't think "cleaning house" means the same... View More

    — Posted by NCSU79

    So sez Vikram Pandit. You gotta catch up Scooberdude, all big time positions get those parachutes. Keep in mind this is the academics setting up the rules for academics to be let go. It's a problem everywhere.

  • wjuliang Oct 26, 2:30 p.m.

    Since the NCAA has reviewed all of this, what's the point of releasing it? Just to give the... View More

    — Posted by mxteam44

    The law requires it. Isn't that enough?
    "The public records and public information compiled... View More

    — Posted by NCSU79

    So it would be okay to request all records if your kids went to a public high school or college, or emergency room, or didn't pay enough taxes?

  • shakennotstirred Oct 26, 2:11 p.m.

    Dang that Daily Tarheel for suing their own school!!! IT has the schools own fans on here saying it is pro-state. Some of the worse posts I have ever seen. And UNC has cleaned house??? Look up that great receiver UNC has, High-as-kites or whatever, he's still playing and unc has documented that he cheats more than once and got caught at least twice. If these reports don't mean anything to unc fans, PLEASE QUIT POSTING on these stories. Only a delusional fan-base would keep arguing about something they care nothing about. ABC fans are just arguing with you, not the scandals. UNC is still cheating and even their own school admits it.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again01 Oct 26, 1:34 p.m.

    Chris Washburn (big DEAN SMITH recruit) never plagiarized an 11 year old's work.

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again01

    You are right, because he could barely read. He had a 6th grader IQ. Trust me there is no way... View More

    — Posted by bh4

    So why did Dean want him so badly?

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again01

    To educate and save him so that he might have a prosperous and meaningful life. Dean was a known... View More

    — Posted by heelsforever

    LOL

    You can take your tongue out of your cheek now. :)

  • CamelWolfCat Oct 26, 1:29 p.m.

    WOW, if you are comparing him to your school's mess you are pitifully in denial, sad, just very... View More

    — Posted by redistrumps

    Chris Washburn (big DEAN SMITH recruit) never plagiarized an 11 year old's work.

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again01

    You are right, because he could barely read. He had a 6th grader IQ. Trust me there is no way... View More

    — Posted by bh4

    So why did Dean want him so badly?

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again01

    Regrettably, we had Washburn and the amphibious Charles Shackelford, but we haven't had a student athlete with a 480 SAT (total verbal + math) graduate from NCSU. This has happened at UNC-CH. Look it up. It's not hard to figure out who it was.

  • heelsforever Oct 26, 1:24 p.m.

    WOW, if you are comparing him to your school's mess you are pitifully in denial, sad, just very... View More

    — Posted by redistrumps

    Chris Washburn (big DEAN SMITH recruit) never plagiarized an 11 year old's work.

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again01

    You are right, because he could barely read. He had a 6th grader IQ. Trust me there is no way... View More

    — Posted by bh4

    So why did Dean want him so badly?

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again01

    To educate and save him so that he might have a prosperous and meaningful life. Dean was a known philanthropist and human rights advocate.

  • CamelWolfCat Oct 26, 1:22 p.m.

    If UNC had a tv station, radio station, and a newspaper in its back pocket, maybe we would know... View More

    — Posted by bh4

    That made me laugh... You are correct in a way though, with all the engineers NCSU pours out... View More

    — Posted by ccsturgi

    The N&O in NCSU's pocket ... ROFL ... SMH ... Also, notice that one of the plaintiffs was the Daily TAR HEEL. A newspaper staffed by UNC journalism school students. In your distortion of what journalism is supposed to be, wouldn't the DTH be the University's newspaper and be in its back pocket? What's in documents like those this ruling made public--maybe a clearer picture of what was going on at kellylynn's beloved University?--things I would think she would want fixed--and the only way they'd ever be fixed if they were made public:

    "People were just rude," [former tutor Whitney] Read wrote about a SWAH 112 study session. That class was held in the first summer session of 2010, and was not a no-show class."...people [passing gas--thanks WRAL censors], watching videos on their computers, talking back, complaining, rapping, not paying attention." http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/09/30/2379206/unc-players-needed-academic-help.html

    As Anne Russell stated in response to the N&O article above, "Before 'moving on,' let us expose the wrongdoing and correct it. Who cares how the NCAA parses things? Right is right, wrong is wrong.

  • heelsforever Oct 26, 1:17 p.m.

    The University of Chris Washburn rests its case.

    — Posted by bh4

    WOW, if you are comparing him to your school's mess you are pitifully in denial, sad, just very... View More

    — Posted by redistrumps

    Chris Washburn (big DEAN SMITH recruit) never plagiarized an 11 year old's work.

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again01

    You are right, because he could barely read. He had a 6th grader IQ. Trust me there is no way... View More

    — Posted by bh4

    The mole in Chapel Hill has uncovered far more than the good folks at FackPride.

  • heelsforever Oct 26, 1:13 p.m.

    Ask and ye shall receive, defendant!

    — Posted by WolfPackInTheHizzouse

    The University of Chris Washburn rests its case.

    — Posted by bh4

    WOW, if you are comparing him to your school's mess you are pitifully in denial, sad, just very... View More

    — Posted by redistrumps

    Chris Washburn (big DEAN SMITH recruit) never plagiarized an 11 year old's work.

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again01

    How can you be absolutely sure that he never plagiarized an 11 year old's work? ;)

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