Current Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2014 09:50:09 -0400
Updated 1:24 P.M.
Athletic director Dick Baddour said at a news conference Monday that the University would honor the scholarships of the three dismissed players because they had not committed any academic infractions.
The players will not practice with the team and the University will not appeal the NCAA’s decision.
“What should be a day of focus on who is playing and how well they played in the recent game I’m afraid is just the opposite,” Baddour said. “I apologize to the University community for that. It is my responsibility to bring all of these issues to a close and I assure you that the University staff is working tirelessly to make that happen.”
Baddour said that the athletic department decided to dismiss Austin before the NCAA had finished investigating him after learning about “ethical conduct” infractions the defensive tackle had committed and because the large amount of extra benefits Austin received, an amount Baddour pegged at $10,000-$13,000.
Both Baddour and head coach Butch Davis said they should have done more to prevent these occurrences and apologized to the University community. Davis added that the investigations will serve as a learning experience for the program and said he has already implemented new rules to help prevent future rules violations, including one that requires players to sign out any time they leave campus for holidays or vacation.
“I can promise you that moving forward we’re going to do absolutely everything we can within this football program to restore the confidence of everyone that loves this university,” Davis said. “It’s a terrific school with a great reputation. It’s got a great academic reputation, it’s got a great athletic reputation, and it’s not something that we’re going to be able to snap our fingers and overnight obviously change the perception that has transpired over the last couple of weeks, but I give you my word and I promise you as the head football coach, we’re going to work every day to restore that confidence.”
Baddour expressed confidence in his compliant staff and said that it had done “more than significant things to protect our institution and to protect individuals.” He reiterated that the University had been completely compliant with the NCAA and said he would fight any charges of lack of institutional control.
“I’m going to fight the institutional control issues because of what we had in place and the way we’re handling it,” Baddour said.
“We can’t deny that there’s a lot of smoke around here, which mean’s we’ve got to go deep,” Baddour said. “And we’ve got to look, and they’re (the NCAA) going to help us.”
Senior defensive tackle Marvin Austin was dismissed from the North Carolina football team on Monday, according to a press release from UNC athletics.
The NCAA ruled senior wide receiver Greg Little and junior defensive end Robert Quinn permanently ineligible for competition in college. The rulings effectively end the three players’ collegiate careers.
Austin’s dismissal and the eligibility ruling on Little and Quinn stem from violations of NCAA agent benefits, preferential treatment and ethical conduct rules. Austin’s case was not submitted to the NCAA for reinstatement.
Gifts accepted by Little include diamond earrings and travel accommodations for the Bahamas, Washington D.C. and two trips to Miami. Quinn accepted accommodations for a trip to Miami, two black diamond watches and matching earrings, among other benefits.
The press release states Little and Quinn lied to the NCAA enforcement staff on several occasions despite multiple opportunities to correct themselves. Like the case of Deunta Williams and Kendric Burney, the University could appeal the NCAA’s decision on Little and Quinn, but statements made by athletic director Dick Baddour show UNC will not take that course of action.
“It’s a sad day when three young men are no longer able to represent their school based on actions they have taken and decisions they have made contrary to NCAA rules,” Baddour said in a statement. “Unfortunately, they made serious mistakes in judgment in accepting extra benefits and then not being truthful with our staff and NCAA representatives. Now they must forfeit the privilege of playing again for the Tar Heels.
“Although they are responsible for their actions, they are part of our university and our program and we will support them as they move into the next phases of their lives.”