Defensive tackle Marvin Austin, who was dismissed today from the North Carolina football team, apologized in a statement issued by his lawyer, Christopher G. Lyons of Miami.
The full text of the statement follows:
"I want to apologize to the NCAA and the entire North Carolina Tar Heel community including my teammates, coaches, students and fans. I have let you all down and I am truly sorry.
"I deeply regret my actions and the embarrassment I brought to the university and to the football program. I will pay a severe price for my poor decisions by not being able to play my entire senior season.
"I want to thank everyone who has supported me throughout this investigation. The lessons I have learned during this process will guide me the rest of my life. I love my Carolina family and I will work my hardest to make you all proud of me."
Austin was dismissed by the school for violations of NCAA agent benefits, preferential treatment and ethical conduct rules. North Carolina athletic director Dick Baddour said there's some uncertainty on the amount of benefits Austin received, but said it is in the $10,000 to $13,000 range.
He had been suspended indefinitely since Sept. 1 for violating team rules.