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North Carolina

UNC players, under cloud, won't make trip to Atlanta

Posted September 3, 2010

More than a dozen players from the University of North Carolina football team did not board the bus Friday morning, left behind as their teammates head to Atlanta for the first game of the season.

The university declared six players ineligible for Saturday's game: defensive tackle Marvin Austin, cornerback Charles Brown, cornerback Kendric Burney, wide receiver Greg Little, defensive end Michael McAdoo and defensive end Robert Quinn.

An additional six players won't play while their eligibility is in question. They are: tailback Shaun Draughn, defensive end Linwan Euwell, safety Brian Gupton, tailback Ryan Houston, safety Da’Norris Searcy and safety Jonathan Smith.

Depleted Tar Heels arrive in Atlanta Depleted Tar Heels arrive in Atlanta

The Tar Heels take on LSU in a nationally televised game Saturday at 8 p.m. from the Georgia Dome.

Anticipation of the on-field action has taken a back seat in recent days to speculation about which players would even suit up amid the specter of dueling investigations into alleged inappropriate contact between agents and players and possible academic infractions by team members who worked with a tutor.

A team source said Friday morning that players were sitting in their sweats, waiting to be told whether they'd make the trip or not.

The eligibility of an additional three players was still in question at the time of the team's departure. The three players linebackers Quan Sturdivant and Bruce Carter and safety Deunta Williams did not get on the bus, UNC's director of football communications Kevin Best said.

The university was actively working with the NCAA on their status and planned to make an announcement later when a decision on their status for the game is reached.

The NCAA said any players who are ultimately subject to punishment can count the games they sit out against a total suspension.

Best said the number of players involved, and those whose eligibility is in question, fluctuates constantly.

The NCAA initiated a probe in July to look at whether two players received improper benefits from agents. In the course of those interviews, information about the possible academic violations came to light, and the university has taken the lead on that angle.

The No. 18 Tar Heels looked ready to contend for an Atlantic Coast Conference championship and had locked up a high-profile opener against the No. 21 Tigers this weekend.

But all anyone is talking about is the probe.

Coach Butch Davis suspended defensive tackle Marvin Austin indefinitely on Wednesday for a violation of team rules he said was not connected to the NCAA probe. Austin and receiver Greg Little are the players most closely linked to that investigation.

Davis said the investigations clearly colored his list of who would play.

"If there is any indication that anybody is not going to be allowed to play in the game then they won't travel," Davis said.

Davis said the school likely will not release a depth chart until Saturday as, "it is conceivable we will not know who can play until Saturday afternoon."

285 Comments

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  • FAN72 Sep 4, 12:54 p.m.

    TBK. I have 5 family members who are UNC graduates and two ECU graduates that act like they graduated from UNC (only wear UNC garb.) I have tolerated all of the things you listed as reasons to pull against UNC. However, I will always be an ACC fan first when playing a team out of conference. It takes the fun out of their taunts when I don't react and don't lower myself to their standards. It is just my way of living the way I was taught to represent my school and self as an adult.

  • I-44 Sep 4, 11:26 a.m.

    Florida Gator Nation I have NO doubt that you are a Holes fan hiding behind that name. I know a... View More

    — Posted by packandcanesfan

    I'm not a Tarheel fan or a Duke fan, sorry.

    NC ST "fans" busted my ballz for being a Florida Gator graduate & fan and Tebow leaving and the Gators were lucky to beat NC ST last year in hoops, blah, blah, blah ...

    So, I unleashed some fury on NC ST WOLFPACK "fans", put them in their place, told them NC ST belongs in CONFERENCE USA [which they do] ... Quite simply, NC ST does not compete on the same level as Florida in football or basketball.

    NC ST "fans",

    Please show some sign of intelligence. I understand you want to be able to compete with DUKE & UNC in hoops, but you can't. I understand you want to be a big-boy D-I football school, but you're not.

    You're just plain ol', mediocre NC ST.

    Have a great day!

    CHOMP - CHOMP

  • brandonfwatts Sep 4, 10:01 a.m.

    who has to be a powerhouse when you're facing a team missing it's starting secondary and other... View More

    — Posted by corey3rd

    See new article, Carter and Sturdivant will play!! Now then beeeech!!!!

    — Posted by backnblack1969

    You have some of the most pointless statements on this post! Seriously... 2 player are going to be the difference? Good luck with the game but I dont see these to player who are coming late to the game doing that much for the team.

  • Rdi73162 Sep 4, 10:00 a.m.

    because he can throw on the run, more athletic and yates cant.... if the
    offensive line can protect yates i think he`ll be ok, if not, we`ll need
    someone who can play on the run lol sounds like what Renner can do, we`ll see

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Sep 4, 9:55 a.m.

    ESPN Game Day announcers already saying that Yates will get roughed up by LSU defense and Renner... View More

    — Posted by tommybrownnc

    yeah, i was kinda surprised hearing desmond say that, i would like
    to see yates have a great... View More

    — Posted by Rdi73162

    If they're so sure Yates will get roughed up tonight, what makes them think Renner WON'T get roughed up, as well?

  • Rdi73162 Sep 4, 9:45 a.m.

    ESPN Game Day announcers already saying that Yates will get roughed up by LSU defense and Renner... View More

    — Posted by tommybrownnc

    yeah, i was kinda surprised hearing desmond say that, i would like
    to see yates have a great game, but if not, i`ll take desmond prediction.
    sure did hype Renner up though, didnt he?...

  • Rdi73162 Sep 4, 9:40 a.m.

    your welcome, I just happened to be sitting in my living room with the tv on and on my laptop,... View More

    — Posted by redistrumps

    "Bev" = nc states version of BDF :)

    — Posted by Rdi73162

    YEP

    — Posted by backnblack1969

    now seriously rdi, I thought we had a common interest, as far as backnblack whatever I don't... View More

    — Posted by redistrumps

    you know it`s all typed with love bev lol :)

  • tommybrownnc Sep 4, 8:53 a.m.

    ESPN Game Day announcers already saying that Yates will get roughed up by LSU defense and Renner will shine and make a name for himself tonight. Any UNC fans here want to jump in? Who is this Renner kid? Is he that good? Redshirt Freshman?

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Sep 4, 7:31 a.m.

    Florida Gator Nation I have NO doubt that you are a Holes fan hiding behind that name. I know a... View More

    — Posted by packandcanesfan

    He's a Carolina or Duke fan that wants to irritate. He chose a school that makes it hard for anyone to fight back. How can a State fan argue with a FLORIDA fan about football???

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Sep 4, 7:26 a.m.

    I am a 1972 graduate of NC State, but I take no pleasure in what is going on at the Hill. I... View More

    — Posted by FAN72

    I guess you've never been on the receiving end of what Carolina fans have done to us over the years, looking down their noses in an air of superiority, trounced on us during OUR OWN investigation back in the late 80's (while taking joy in that, too), not to mention one of their coaches reporting us for playing a pickup game with David Thompson, who had ALREADY signed his binding letter of intent to play at State (still not sure how that was an NCAA violation), quite possibly depriving us of a national championship that year?

    No, I take IMMENSE pleasure in this. The way I see it, they've had this coming for a long time. Problem is, it won't come close to setting things straight. They will recover THIS YEAR, not next, and be fine.

    But make no mistake. They had this coming to them.

    P.S. I do hate it for the players that did nothing wrong, though. I'm not pulling against THEM. But they are on the team I'm pulling against. Sorry, but they're collateral damage in all this. It's their arrogant fans that brought this on themselves. Also, Carolina recruited the types of players that make a joke out of academics, all in the name of getting better in football. TOB is doing it right, building a program the right way. Of course it will take a little longer, because he's doing it RIGHT. Carolina took shortcuts by recruiting lousy students. That's why they made such fast gains, and they need to pay the price for it.

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