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Wednesday June 29th

UNC outlines self-imposed football sanctions in response to NCAA

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After nearly 15 months of an NCAA investigation into the North Carolina football team, the University has responded to nine allegations the NCAA said were committed by the program.

In the response, the University detailed 18 punitive actions it will self-impose as a result of the violations, including a two-year probation, a $50,000 fine, reduction of scholarships and the vacation of 16 total wins from the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

University officials — who received the NCAA’s notice of allegations June 21 — responded to each allegation, as well as answered specific questions that were asked by the NCAA about the violations in the notice.

Though athletic director Dick Baddour couldn’t say exactly how many hours were spent on drafting the 111-page document, Baddour stressed the strain the entire process has put on the University during a teleconference on Monday.

“This consumes us,” he said. “It’s what we do. It’s what we have been doing for the last year.”

The University said in the response that it agrees with most of the information in eight of the nine allegations, but it contested parts of the ninth allegation.

The refuted allegation includes a claim that the University failed to adequately monitor social networking.

“Allegation No. 9 (b) is unprecedented,” the response states. “No NCAA member institution has ever been found to have violated NCAA legislation due to an alleged failure to monitor ‘social networking activity’ of student-athletes.”

Baddour said he feels the University took responsibility for the violations it committed but added that defending itself on that specific issue was necessary.

“We debated just to accept that, but we just decided that we had done what was expected of us, what could have been expected of us, and just didn’t feel like we could give in on that point,” Baddour said.

Baddour said that University officials, with the help of legal counsel, crafted the self-imposed sanctions by looking at past NCAA investigations at other institutions.

In addition to the consequences, the response also outlines corrective actions the University plans to incorporate.

The actions, which include rules about the relationships between and communication methods used by student-athletes and tutors, are separated into seven different categories.

And while the sanctions outlined by UNC in its response will likely affect the University for several years, UNC might not be in the clear just yet.

Baddour and Thorp will go before the NCAA Committee on Infractions in a hearing on Oct. 28, during which further consequences to the UNC football program could be levied — including a potential postseason ban.

Baddour did not say whether former head football coach Butch Davis will be present at the hearing, but said interim head coach Everett Withers will be attending.

“Everett understands,” Baddour said. “He is supportive of the University’s process, and his total focus is how does he help move this football program forward and how do we put all of this behind us.”

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