NASHVILLE, Tenn. — North Carolina running back Anthony Elzy's absence from the Music City Bowl is academic related, coach Butch Davis said Wednesday.
Elzy, who emerged in the final three regular season games as UNC's top offensive threat, did not make the trip to Nashville.
"He didn't fulfill his academic requirements," Davis said Wednesday at a press conference at LP Field.
Davis did not provide details about Elzy's academic issues but did say Elzy was on track to graduate in the spring.
Senior Shaun Draughn will start at halfback against Tennessee on Thursday, Davis said. Draughn has rushed for 477 yards and five touchdowns, second on the team in both categories behind the injured Johnny White (broken right collarbone). Draughn hasn't started since the end of the 2009 season.
"Shaun has been a starter for us so we have a lot of confidence in him," Davis said. "Every single time that somebody has gotten injured or had to miss a game, somebody on the football team has stepped up."
Elzy replaced White, after his injury against Florida State, and had been a dual threat in the final three games, rushing for 224 yards and catching 20 passes for 301 yards.
Draughn has backed up both White and Elzy this season after starting nine games in 2009 and leading the team in rushing in 2008. The senior missed the first game due to the NCAA investigation and has been dealing with an ankle injury since early November.