What Time Does Carolina Tar Heels Play Football Today Gestapo-Like NCAA Weighs Down on North Carolina Football

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Gestapo-Like NCAA Weighs Down on North Carolina Football

The heavy hand of the absolutist National Collegiate Athletic Association thundered hard against the wrongdoings of a University of North Carolina football program that banned the Tar Heels from the postseason for a year, reduced the number of available scholarships and placed the program on “double-secret” three-year probation.

The NCAA decision closes a two-year investigation that led to the firing of head coach Butch Davis and athletic director Dick Badur. Players received jewelry and other gifts from people outside the program, as well as inappropriate tutoring assistance for term papers.

Davis cooperated with the investigation and, as many Division I coaches do, implemented several strategies to ensure that such events did not occur. Davis now works for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and has never been cited for any wrongdoing. The dirty deeds appear to have belonged to former assistant coach John Blake and a former UNC student and mentor named Jennifer Wiley, who allegedly provided too much help with research papers and other improper benefits.

Blake reportedly received $31,000 from his longtime friend Gary Wichard. The problem is… Wichard is an agent for NFL players and the NCAA says $31,000 was paid to Blake as a representative of Wichard’s firm. Blake and Wichard say it was one friend helping another. As a result of the NCAA sanctions, Blake received a three-year “show case” suspension, which basically means he’s not allowed to recruit college football players.

The university tried to stave off any NCAA sanctions by investigating the matter and immediately imposed self-imposed penalties, which included voiding all 16 wins from the 2008 and 2009 seasons, reducing nine scholarships over the next three seasons and two years of probation. The school also levied a $50,000 fine, but the NCAA determined that the self-imposed sanctions were insufficient.

So, now UNC will not be able to participate in this season’s ACC Championship and will not be able to attend a bowl game, if it has the required number of wins. Welcome to North Carolina, Larry Fedora and staff!

For events that took place three and four seasons ago, the current staff and players are now taking the hit. In 2010, 14 players were forced to miss at least one game as punishment for their involvement in these violations. Seven players missed the entire 2010 season, and four of those players were either dismissed from the team or declared permanently ineligible by the NCAA. The 14 players included Robert Quinn, Marvin Austin and Greg Little. All three were taken in the first two rounds of last year’s NFL draft.

It looks like the NCAA will continue to demonstrate its ultimate authority by continuing its death grip on college athletes. Of course, there are some things that shouldn’t be allowed to happen, but the NCAA’s rules regarding college athletics dwarf the IRS tax code in size and scope.

As a result, we’re once again seeing a group of athletes (and coaches) punished for something they had nothing to do with. Most of the players and coaches involved in any wrongdoing (according to the NCAA) are gone and no longer associated with the University of North Carolina in any way. But until the NCAA, like the IRS, can figure out why it exists, the 2012 edition of UNC football must pay a price.

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