UNC suspends four players after report of off-field altercation
Posted August 27, 2014
Updated August 28, 2014
Chapel Hill, N.C. — One day after a report surfaced involving an off-field incident during fall training camp, University of North Carolina football has suspended four players for their season opener against Liberty.
Cornerbacks Des Lawrence, M.J. Stewart, and Brian Walker, as well as Donnie Miles were all suspended for one game for what head coach Larry Fedora called “a violation of team policy.”
“We have very high expectations of team policies and they didn’t meet those expectations,” Fedora said following practice Wednesday. “We are getting to a point (in the investigation) where I could make that decision (to suspend the players).”
Fedora did not go into any further detail of the specific violations other than to say the investigation is being conducted through student affairs. He added that he does not know if the investigation is complete, but he doesn't expect any further suspensions.
On Tuesday, a Yahoo Sports report was published claiming there was a hazing incident that occurred at the team’s hotel, Aloft, during fall camp. The article stated that redshirt walk-on freshman Jackson Boyer was involved in an altercation with multiple teammates and left with a concussion.
The 6-foot-3 Boyer was a two-time all-conference wide receiver at East Chapel Hill High School. He was not listed on the seven-deep depth chart at wide receiver for the season opener against Liberty this Saturday.
Lawrence and Walker were each listed as starters at cornerback on this week’s depth chart released Monday. Stewart was listed as a second string corner and Miles as a third stringer at Ram.
“Any time you have some starters that aren’t going to play in the game, it’s going to affect the team,” Fedora said. “It will be an opportunity for guys that are backing them up to step up and make some plays. It will be a great team to see what the team does and how we respond to the adversity that we have created for ourselves.”
Chapel Hill police show no records of any arrests at the hotel during the time the team was staying at the hotel and no police reports covering any assault or domestic violence mention Boyer's name.
UNC, which is still under NCAA restrictions stemming from a two-year NCAA investigation into impermissible benefits that has since been reopened, has a specific policy against hazing, although there is no defined punishment for the action.