ATLANTA — North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin was among the Tar Heel football players who sat in the stands in Atlanta for UNC’s season opener against LSU – despite being either suspended or with-held from the game.
“I’ve got nothing to say,’’ Austin, wearing a striped red shirt and baseball cap, said when he was asked about his situation. “I’m here to support my teammates .”
Austin, who two sources have confirmed has been subpoenaed in Secretary of State Elaine Marshall’s investigation of possible violations of North Carolina law involving sports agents, was suspended indefinitely for breaking team rules on Wednesday. Then on Friday, the star senior was one of seven players who were declared ineligible for the season-opener at the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff for violating NCAA and/or school rules. The others were cornerbacks Kendric Burney and Charles Brown; defensive ends Michael McAdoo and Robert Quinn; wide receiver Greg Little; and safety Deunta Williams.
Six others were held out of the game, as UNC officials need to gather more information to determine whether they should be declared ineligible. They are: tailbacks Shaun Draughn and Ryan Houston; safeties Brian Gupton, Da’Norris Seacy and Jonathan Smith; and defensive end Linwan Euwell.
Quinn said he was not allowed to talk to reporters, but did confirm that “most” of the 13 players – including Burney, Brown, McAdoo and Gupton – were in attendance.
UNC spokesman Steve Kirschner said the school did not bar the ineligible/withheld players from attending the game, but as per NCAA rules, they had to pay for their own travel and expenses.