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North Carolina

Austin is back in the game, with 'no regrets' from UNC days

Posted August 14, 2011
Updated August 15, 2011

— Marvin Austin left the Bank of America Stadium field with an ear-to-ear grin. It was simply a preseason game between his New York Giants and
the Carolina Panthers, but Austin was finally back playing football.

The last time Austin participated in a game of any significance was on the same field 20 months ago in the 2009 Meineke Car Care Bowl. Little
did he know at the time it would be his final college game at North Carolina.

Austin: "Some of my actions have hurt a lot of people" Jennings: Austin answers questions about UNC football

"I missed it so much," Austin said after the game. "You don't really understand how much you miss it until you have a chance to go back and play."

But it was Austin's own off-the-field mistakes that temporarily cost him the chance.

After the 2009 bowl game, he made a surprise move by turning down the NFL to return to UNC for his senior year. Months later, in May 2010, Austin posted on his Twitter account about parties he and teammate Greg Little had attended in Washington D.C. and Miami. To find out how the trips were funded, the NCAA began its investigation into the football program in July.

In what was expected to be a breakthrough season for UNC football under coach Butch Davis, 14 Tar Heels missed at least one game in 2010 for either alleged academic fraud or accepting impermissible benefits.

John Blake, Austin's defensive line coach and mentor, resigned after the team's first game in September. Blake was later found to be improperly
leading players to sign with his friend, Gary Wichard, who was then an NFL agent.

Austin never played a game his senior year.

He was dismissed from the team in October after the school determined he accepted improper benefits valued between $10,000 and $13,000

"Everybody has a tendency at times to make selfish (decisions)," Austin said after Saturday's game. "I made mistakes, and some things that I've done I'd say were selfish. But at the same time, I never intended to hurt anyone."

The NCAA determined the UNC football program committed nine major violations, which ultimately led to Davis' firing on July 27. The NCAA Committee on Infractions will meet with UNC officials on Oct. 28, in Indianapolis to hand out its penalties for the program.

"The biggest things is, I hate to see some of the fans have to go through some of the things they've gone through with this whole thing because they're the people who I went out there every Saturday and bust(ed) my butt for," Austin said. "The hardest thing for me is to see how some of my actions have hurt a lot of people because they love this university. People put a lot of money into that university rebuilding the stadium."

Austin also made a stir last month when his friend and former teammate Michael McAdoo unsuccessfully sought an injunction against UNC and the NCAA in an effort to play his senior year.The night after McAdoo was not granted the injunction he was seeking, a frustrated Austin wrote about UNC on Twitter: "I just wish the administration stood and stop the cowardly acts when the are in front of the NCAA just tell them what you told us...don't turn and twist your story to look appealing to the NCAA and pressure the 21 year old athlete to say and do things that aren't in there best interest...I'm so heated right now...justice will prevail..even if I have to spill the beans."

McAdoo's lawsuit against UNC and the NCAA seeking damages is still ongoing.

Austin has since backed off from the Twitter comments. "I'm over it. I had a little venting about it. I was definitely sad when I heard the news. That's where some of the stuff came from," he said. "I love the University of North Carolina. I went there when nobody was interested in going to North Carolina and had great times there."

Austin said he has no regrets about his actions at UNC. After signing a four-year $3.67 million contract with the Giants, Austin is ready to talk more about his future and less about his past.

123 Comments

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  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Aug 23, 5:30 p.m.

    For all the non-forgiving saints on this blog:
    1. Austin was never accused of taking cash. He... View More

    — Posted by genesmith2

    Very well said. I'm so sick of tbuk and others talking about Carolina cheating to win. ... View More

    — Posted by heelsfaninraleigh

    The sad part is you don't get that the cheating is Carolina getting players they wouldn't otherwise be getting because the current players tell them about all the goodies they get as a Carolina player.

    It's cheating. Period. And that's the part we KNOW about. I also suspect Blake paid players to come there (and after they "arrove" at Chapel Hill), but that will likely never be proven... unless someone decides to spill the beans like the dude did to Miami.

  • heelsfaninraleigh Aug 17, 2:46 p.m.

    "Austin is ready to talk more about his future and less about his past."

    Unfortunately, the press... View More

    — Posted by DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT

    +1 he did't say anything about regrets, WRAL pushing for a story while all the wood peckers get... View More

    — Posted by cwilliams843

    I guess you didn't read the entire story. The following statement came at the end of the... View More

    — Posted by FAN72

    I guess you didn't read the entire article either. See my quote from the article in previous post.

  • heelsfaninraleigh Aug 17, 2:44 p.m.

    He really does not have the intellect to even understand what a problem he caused for all the... View More

    — Posted by trainloadr

    Nor does he have any empathy for others' suffering. People like this young man perpetuate a... View More

    — Posted by smissscarlet

    Did you even read the article? While I'm not defending Austin or his actions how does:

    "The biggest things is, I hate to see some of the fans have to go through some of the things they've gone through with this whole thing because they're the people who I went out there every Saturday and bust(ed) my rear for," Austin said. "The hardest thing for me is to see how some of my actions have hurt a lot of people because they love this university. People put a lot of money into that university rebuilding the stadium."

    not translate into regret and/or empathy???

  • heelsfaninraleigh Aug 17, 2:41 p.m.

    wow...tweets ultimately lead to the firing of a great coach and the humiliation of the top state... View More

    — Posted by robster

    Wow...'great coach'...he was barely .500. lol Top 'state university'...Wow...not even close!!... View More

    — Posted by jas1022

    Really???? Checked any rankings of state universities lately? I'm sure not since ezu won't make any top list. Not one doing with education anyway.

  • heelsfaninraleigh Aug 17, 1:23 p.m.

    'justice will provail [sic]..even if I have to spill the beans' - i guess he meant justice will... View More

    — Posted by Equinox Bandingo

    Once again, that NCSux ignorance showing. There are no recruiting violations and the AD wasn't fired. Care to try again?

  • heelsfaninraleigh Aug 17, 1:18 p.m.

    For all the non-forgiving saints on this blog:
    1. Austin was never accused of taking cash. He... View More

    — Posted by genesmith2

    Very well said. I'm so sick of tbuk and others talking about Carolina cheating to win. Carolina never cheated, and hasn't even been accused of cheating. Not mention that the things Austin did didn't make him play any better on the football field. Trouble is, these ABCers don't care about the facts when it comes to Carolina and they never will.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Aug 16, 3:19 p.m.

    good to see him back inthe game. he did nothin wrong, just doin what he was promised he could do... View More

    — Posted by 903 national champions

    And you know this how? Link please.

    — Posted by heelsfaninraleigh

    I can't speak for Austin, but at several different stages throughout this scandal, Carolina has thrown individuals under the bus in an effort to make it appear more like an individual problem than an institutional problem. And in pretty much every case, that individual received monetary compensation of some kind (hush money).

    Blake -- fired, yet he received his paycheck for the rest of the year.

    Butch -- fired, but could have been fired WITH CAUSE and not been paid a dime. They chose (for some reason) to fire him WITHOUT CAUSE, and are paying him to the tune of nearly $3 million dollars. And they didn't have to. Oh, and they neglected to FORCE Butch to continue cooperating with the NCAA as a condition of his buyout (tOSU did that with Tressel, though).

    Jennifer Wiley -- Has one of the highest paid attorneys in the state working on her behalf. As a school teacher, it's clear that she shouldn't be able to afford him. He's either doing it pro bono, or someone is paying him for her. No doubt about it.

    McAdoo -- Tried to sue the school and the NCAA to get back on the team. After it was over, and he lost the case, Carolina offered him a JOB.

    Marvin Austin -- Invited back for the NFL Day, despite being kicked off the team. Oh, and he represented UNC in the senior bowl as I recall.

    Carolina sure had some generous parting gifts to some people that they potentially benefited by having them out of the picture.

  • heelsfaninraleigh Aug 16, 12:39 p.m.

    good to see him back inthe game. he did nothin wrong, just doin what he was promised he could do... View More

    — Posted by 903 national champions

    And you know this how? Link please.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Aug 16, 11:23 a.m.

    I hope he has a very successful career just to turn the knife a little more into the side fo... View More

    — Posted by OGE

    Like the saying goes, "Living well is the best revenge!"

  • OGE Aug 16, 10:42 a.m.

    I hope he has a very successful career just to turn the knife a little more into the side fo those that hate this kid for what ever reason.

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