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North Carolina

UNC football avoiding most of national scrutiny

Posted June 22, 2011

Ohio State and USC have dominated national headlines for their national championship football programs. They have dominated headlines for their Heisman Trophy candidates and  winners. They have also managed to get top national billing for their inability to follow NCAA rules. The University of North Carolina has managed to avoid all of these things - and still might.

The Tar Heels football program is still not producing national championship contenders or Heisman candidates, and even amidst what has been deemed to be major allegations from the NCAA, has avoided being a top national story.

The letter of allegations handed to UNC Tuesday highlighted nine major violations. Four of them were reported by the school, five were added by the NCAA. They spanned from agent dealings, academic infractions, improper benefits from outsiders and "failure by the institution to adequately monitor."

Archive: UNC football investigation

Yet, even with the quad-fecta of allegations, the UNC football program is only a top story on one major national news outlet. The idea that Oregon may possibly have committed infractions is getting higher billing than the fact that UNC did commit infractions on two major national news outlets.

How can it be that an ACC program - a BCS school - not get national attention for such actions? Andrew Jones of Fox Sports explains that it's because the Tar Heels are not as good on the field as the Buckeyes or the Trojans and that the alleged infractions are a cause of that.

“North Carolina isn't yet that giant on the gridiron, though it could have been a year ago if so many players didn't get caught up in a whirlwind of improprieties that thinned out the talented Tar Heels to the tune of an 8-5 season," he wrote. "But when the school released the NCAA's Notice of Allegations on Tuesday night, the thud that reverberated was that so-called giant falling to the soil.”

Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated, who joined The Insiders on 620 the Buzz, tends to agree.

“It’s not one of the powerhouse programs in college football, it doesn’t involve the Heisman trophy winner, it involves a team that’s gone 8-5 each of the past three seasons." he said. " Until they become that team that wins 10-11 games and contends for the BCS bowls it just doesn’t have that impact for fans outside of North Carolina or the ACC.”

The national media that is opting to report the allegations, however, is not being gentle on Butch Davis' program.

“North Carolina received an extension notice of allegations from the NCAA on Tuesday. And the potential major violations outlined add up to one of the widest-ranging scandals in recent college football history,"  wrote Dave Curtis of the Sporting News.

Mandel scribed on SI.com - which is the lone national outlet to lead with the story, "The NCAA found more filth and disregard for the NCAA's rules at North Carolina than it did at USC or Ohio State."

 One of the overriding differences in regards to UNC and the improprieties found at USC and Ohio St. is how the programs handled their situations. UNC was open, honest and forthcoming as an institution. The only misleading in the investigation was done by a player. Further, the athletic director, Dick Baddour, and head coach, Davis, appear to have legitimately not known. They are also accepting full accountability in their statements - unlike the heads of the other two programs.

“I feel terrible that these allegations occurred under my watch," Davis said in a statement from the university Tuesday. "I especially regret that the university has had to endure this scrutiny because of the football program. The responsibility for correcting any problems that put us in this position is mine, and I take that responsibility very seriously."

The programs at Oregon, Tennessee and even Boise St. will be or are being examined. Ohio St. and USC have recently had punishment handed down. Yet for a Davis coached team that has gone 28-23 under his control, the repercussions may not be as severe.

"(Jim) Tressel (former head coach at at Ohio St.) made one huge mistake and it cost him his career," Mandel said. "USC had one star player go rogue and it cost the school 30 scholarships. North Carolina is accused of nine major violations involving at least 14 different adults and roughly half its starting lineup, and yet its case may wind up causing the smallest ripple of the three."

Until the NCAA hands down punishment, UNC appears to have avoided the black eye that national attention can serve up.

94 Comments

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  • redistrumps Jun 23, 7:07 p.m.

    Poor UNC elitists you are told you are not relevant even with MAJOR infractions, now that's... View More

    — Posted by redistrumps

    So are you saying we're not even the tallest midget? I got my biggest laugh when they were... View More

    — Posted by Gunnstigator

    hahaha, well you know you are one of a FEW (very FEW) I feel bad for but you have to admit as much ola as State fans have gone through we gotta have a smirk about this, can't help it :)

  • gsloan Jun 23, 7:03 a.m.

    and the winner of Mr. Irrelevant in college football is.....UNC

  • GoLower Jun 23, 12:14 a.m.

    you are the one who doesn't know the truth - all the universities and colleges you listed opened... View More

    I thought I specifically said "Public" in my post? Oh wait...I did. And he's from "Raleigh" and has never heard this before? Hmmm.

    Oh well...the Red Rage continues to blind some to "that which is factual" LOL

    Good times.

  • pstroutman Jun 23, 12:00 a.m.

    Why do the UNC fans keep pointing a finger at ancient history.

    Well, we ARE the Nation's Oldest (and finest) Public University.

    — Posted by GoLower

    Spoken like a true educated UNC graduate that does not understand the truth.

    The College of... View More

    — Posted by Mika

    you are the one who doesn't know the truth - all the universities and colleges you listed opened as private - UNC Was the first Public University to open their doors

  • GoLower Jun 22, 11:55 p.m.

    I shall move on to more important news stories like the 7 day weather forecast for this UNC... View More

    Good luck...really hope that works out for you.

    BTW, your "perfect little choir-boy school that's never done anything wrong" might not look favorably on your misuse of the word "to".

    Just sayin'.

  • Mika Jun 22, 10:33 p.m.

    Oh No!

    Anonymous internet trolls who I'll never meet doubt my UNC bona fides!!!

    Whatever shall I... View More

    — Posted by GoLower

    I sleep great at nights knowing that I earned my education through hard work from a school that has never been investigated for illegal activities and known cover-ups from faculty and students. And as the disgrace of the UNC University is destined to worsen, I shall move on to more important news stories like the 7 day weather forecast for this UNC fiasco is becoming way to predictable.

  • Gunnstigator Jun 22, 10:18 p.m.

    There was no academic fraud associated with the Valvano affair.

    Maybe because you gotta have academics before you can have academic fraud :-)

    — Posted by GoLower

    OK, that was funny.

  • Gunnstigator Jun 22, 10:06 p.m.

    In their minds they are a Major D1 football powerhouse- in the eye's of the nation they are a... View More

    — Posted by ncguy

    Well, at least you didn't say people use that third page sports story to line their bird cage or their cat's litter box:)

  • Gunnstigator Jun 22, 10:00 p.m.

    Poor UNC elitists you are told you are not relevant even with MAJOR infractions, now that's... View More

    — Posted by redistrumps

    So are you saying we're not even the tallest midget? I got my biggest laugh when they were saying on The Buzz yesterday that if Carolina has to vacate entire seasons, we'd only be 0-1 against State. But, that wasn't right. Apparently, we'll only have to vacate the wins, not the entire seasons. Can't anything go our way????

  • mahiandmargarita Jun 22, 9:53 p.m.

    UNC fans - You have to look at Butch Davis one of two ways:

    1-He is incompetent.
    2-He is a liar.

    There is no other explanation. And since he knew what kind of guy Blake was, I am guessing he is number 2.

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