Erin Summers

Sympathy for Austin

Posted July 14, 2011
Updated July 15, 2011

Junior defensive tackle Marvin Austin walks towards Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC where the UNC Tar Heels will take on the Pittsburgh Panthers. (Photo by: Will Bratton)

I’m going to be honest and raw; I’m going to open myself up for full fledged bashing. Call me a homer, or any name you like for that matter, but I’m going to say it.

I sympathize with Marvin Austin.

I’m sure you’ve seen the tweets that surfaced over night after the conclusion of the Michael McAdoo hearing Wednesday.

Austin doesn’t think it’s fair that McAdoo is suffering a greater punishment than other players who violated NCAA or university bylaws have had to. He feels that the university wronged the players in their advisement throughout the investigation process.

I’m not going to say one side is right or wrong but I will say I feel for Austin, and all the players who have been involved in the NCAA and university investigation into the UNC football program.

Maybe you know by now, maybe you don’t, but yes I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and when I started working here I was ecstatic to cover the local schools that I grew up watching.

Of course I want to see UNC succeed but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to see the other schools do the same, I’ve always been one to pull for the success of the conference as a whole. (Of course when UNC and Duke meet on the hardwood my true colors may shine through a tad but I’d never let that effect how I cover the event.)

So when I was faced with covering the investigation, I looked at it like it was – my job. It has been my job to report on the investigation and I have, much to like or dislike of NC State and Tar Heel fans alike.

It’s not been my favorite thing to cover, as I’m sure it wouldn’t be yours.

And so I sympathize with Austin. I may not have played a sport at Carolina or represented the school on the field but I still earned my degree there and I love that university.

As Austin says he does and the other players do despite everything that has happened over the past year.

Austin, McAdoo, Greg Little, Robert Quinn, Kendric Burney, any player that had to sit out or any player that didn’t has been through the gamut with this investigation. And whether it was entirely self-induced or not, I couldn’t imagine having to go through something like that.

These guys are young, they are vulnerable, and honestly they really may not have known everything that they were doing was right or wrong.

How many times have people said ‘this happens everywhere’ or ‘if someone buys you a drink do you ask where it came from’?

It’s got to be a lot to handle to be that high-profile of an athlete, to have temptations coming at you at every moment, and you have to trust someone or you wouldn’t make it out alive.

So they trusted their teammates, their coaches and their university leaders. And I don’t think for a moment Austin intended to bring down an entire football season with his actions.

So I feel for Austin, the other UNC football players, and I feel for the university and the fans. It’s been a tough year for everyone associated with the Carolina name.

My hope is that at some point when all the air has been cleared, be it Oct. 28 or not, that these players can go on and still love the university that they attended, and that some good can come out of this mess.

271 Comments

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  • Packman24 Jul 29, 3:30 p.m.

    I will never read anything else written by Erin Summers!! It's all BS!!

  • Packman24 Jul 29, 3:29 p.m.

    ""EARNED" your degree from UNC? That school HANDS OUT degrees like they are going... View More

    — Posted by tar97heel

    Yeah Right!!!

  • Packman24 Jul 29, 3:12 p.m.

    Erin, please pay no attention to these people these are the same people who have ridiculed me on... View More

    — Posted by 58 Wolf Kennel

    Seems like you have two big issues that you need to correct in your life. Go Pack!!!

  • hokies94vt@gmail.com Jul 21, 8:31 p.m.

    I wrote one when this first came out. Erin. You did it. Great numbers.

  • QC Jul 21, 11:53 a.m.

    http://www.chapelboro.com/Why-I-Support-Butch-Davis�---and-the-Right-to-Other-Opinions/10391214?pid=55747

  • WufSkins Jul 19, 9:52 p.m.

    Shame on wral for moving it from the area on the page where nobody bothers to click on to front and center. A total grab for ad money. Yet, we all took the bait so easy. So... who cares, they'll get their ad money regardless, but at least we know them for the suckups they are. Journalism at its best! Feel sorry for a future millionare? How bout the kids that can't afford college or those that are denied every yr at such a great school like Carolina. Those are the ones that you should feel sorry for. Lucky for you that you're a white female that came from a well off family in NC. How bout those out of state guys that had better entrance scores than you that were denied? Perspective Erin.

  • NCSU84 Jul 18, 12:07 p.m.

    I figure this blog story would be locked by now. Nothing new to discuss.

  • robster Jul 18, 11:50 a.m.

    Why sympathize with Marvin Austin? Once the lockout ends, he's a millionaire, right? Didn't he sign with the Giants? Or, am I missing something here?

  • GC Jul 17, 11:30 p.m.

    I'm Tarheel born and bred, Erin, but couldn't disagree with you more. And for all the Moo-U and... View More

    — Posted by luvbailey

    If this were really about one rogue coach and some bad apple players and UNC got rid of them and admitted it then fine. But they have continued to vociferously back Butch Davis who orchestrated this enviroment and their athletic director, chancellor and board of governors have been all to willing to go along.

    This isn't any longer about a few bad apples as you called them. This is about a school who thinks it is above NCAA regulations and refuses to admit that internally it accepts academic fraud by its so called student athletes. Even today's article in the N&O quotes a UNC faculty member as feeling intimidated by the athletic department to avoid reporting academic cheating by UNC athletes.
    That is one of your own admitting that the athletic department cares nothing about academics. They only care about the facade of academic integrity without actually practicing it.

    Your comments are based on your wishes and not on what has happened and is happening in Chapel Hill.

  • GC Jul 17, 10:54 p.m.

    [quote=9866336]Post by forautumn[/quote

    Actually forautumn everything you have said here is not backed up either.
    Just more typical head in the sand stuff which is becoming common place among the UNC apologists here.

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