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North Carolina

Judge: UNC must release more on NCAA probe

Posted September 26, 2012

— Information the University of North Carolina gathered for the NCAA about football players who got money, jewelry and other benefits is public record and should be released, according to an order from Superior Court Judge Howard E. Manning.

Wednesday's ruling is the latest in a series of back-and-forth as WRAL News and other media outlets seek detail in the investigation that led to 14 Tar Heel players sitting out some or all of the 2010 college football season. North Carolina Logo Archive: UNC football investigations

The university mounted parallel investigations into academic and athletic violations within the football program in July 2010. Since that time, the director of athletics, head football coach and a key assistant have been replaced, and UNC has asked former governor Jim Martin to lead an investigation into academic improprieties university-wide. Just last week, Chancellor Holden Thorp announced his plan to resign in June.

At the heart of Wednesday's ruling are the "Statements of Fact" that UNC sent to the NCAA about each player. 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.

Manning wrote, "UNC is to produce in its original form each Statement of Facts related to any football player involved in the NCAA investigation at issue that is based on allegations of impermissible benefits (non-academic issues) received by the football player and which resulted in a decision by the NCAA to declare the student athlete ineligible to play intercollegiate football at UNC as a result." 

The media coalition had sued for access to all documents related to UNC's investigation into possible misconduct by football players, coaches, academic tutors, sports agents and/or boosters. In resisting release of those documents, UNC broke the request into subsets, and Manning's ruling addressed those issues individually.

His key ruling was that UNC release Statements of Facts and any Reinstatement Request the university made to the NCAA on behalf of players, if those players' violations were not academic-related and resulted in their being ineligible to play. A Reinstatement Request includes personal information of student-athletes and is not anonymized. Any request made by UNC on the basis of impermissible benefits, which would detail the type of illegal benefits particular players received, must be made public.

WRAL and its partners also asked for unredacted copies of UNC's entire response to the NCAA 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.

"The issues surrounding this behemoth of a document present the Court with a Gordian knot," Manning wrote. "The Court will deal with this as Alexander did with the Gordian knot itself – slice it."

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."

Manning allowed UNC to keep under wraps certain communication between the university and legal representatives, including bills and recordings. Furthermore, Manning ruled that former coach Butch Davis has released all records the court required of him.

The records must be released within 30 days. UNC has the right to appeal the ruling. 

142 Comments

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  • alyewy Oct 4, 11:14 a.m.

    I hope I didn't break any rules. Too tired to go to jail.
    Arnold.Rocky Mount NC.

  • alyewy Oct 4, 11:10 a.m.

    I think it's time to move on abount UNC problems.Let start talking about NCS.Duke& Wake Forest. I'm sure they ar not peaches and cream. Seems like the News and Observer and WRAL is getting a kick out of it.On&on&on. Wake up reporters, you know their is more out their. I'm eighty and these things have been going on for a long time. Get real. I guess these schools are clean. Move on please.
    Arnold from Rocky Mount N.C.

  • TsKaMF Sep 28, 2:29 p.m.

    It's STiiiiLL not over.

  • 1969inyourface Sep 27, 8:32 p.m.

    Old, tired, and dead news. Stale and uncovered by the National media. A big waste of taxpayer money (YOU AND ME). All to get ratings with the hidden agenda that no one sees. The KnowBama way. Thatnks WRAL!

    Funny how I couldnt submit NO bama! Typical censorship

  • Dr. Feelgood Sep 27, 7:16 p.m.

    It's all gone to the NCAA. It's all been ruled on. It's all over. I'd like to know who at... View More

    — Posted by DrJ

    I like the name. Now to your point, beating a dead horse is a distance learning masters degree at NCSU. They give quite a few of those degrees out. The PhDs that administer the program are also the same ones that start the insanely funny stuff on Crack Pride.

  • gsms69 Sep 27, 6:31 p.m.

    Release those records now.

  • tlesley4ncsu Sep 27, 2:07 p.m.

    Isn't this just good journalism and isn't that what they teach at UNC? Alot of folks wished Woodward and Bernstein would have given up on Watergate investigations too.

  • Coach Doherty Sep 27, 12:51 p.m.

    Ding Dang the witch is dead! The word is not allowed.

  • shakennotstirred Sep 27, 12:48 p.m.

    Lots of unc fans blaming their mess on state and the media. hmmmm, I dont think either of those started this mess, nor tried to cover it up for 2 years. How can you side with denying the public public records? I agree that this dead horse has been beaten, buried, dug up and beaten some more. Just as soon as unc releases this and all other public information concerning the scandals, the sooner this will be over. Should have been done with this a year ago. I am sure with the release of this information, there will be little nuggets of info that will keep these posts going for another year or more. It's ridiculous, turn over all these records and end this soap opera...

  • Native NC gal Sep 27, 12:47 p.m.

    You Chapel Hill folks are about to see the lid blow off at UNC. My prediction is you're going... View More

    — Posted by im4ncsu

    Read this a while back. Just stopped laughing long enough to post this.

    GO HEELS! Love Roy Williams!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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