The University of North Carolina has released to the public its response to the NCAA's allegations of nine major allegations against the Tar Heel football program.
In the official response, UNC announced it will impose the following punishments on the Tar Heels football program:
- Vacate the 16 wins from the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
- Dock three football scholarships a season for the 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years.
- Self-impose two years of probation.
- Pay a monetary fine of $50,000.
UNC’s response indicates its agreement with the first eight NCAA charges, except for some minor discrepancies involving amounts of benefits. The school also states as a mitigating factor that some benefits were repaid in cash almost immediately, and some were the result of friendships with former UNC players that current players didn’t think were impermissible.
On the ninth allegation, failure to monitor, UNC resists some of the NCAA’s charges. Regarding failure to monitor social networking, UNC says the NCAA’s constitution and bylaws don’t mention any institutional responsibility to monitor athletes’ communications “on undefined and ever-multiplying ‘social networking’ sites.”
UNC also argues that its staffers were unaware of former Tar Heel player Chris Hawkins’ status as an individual triggering NCAA agent legislation when he was allowed in the football weight room with his friend, former Tar Heel running back Willie Parker.
"We have acknowledged our violations, and we've responded in the way you would expect of this University," UNC chancellor Holden Thorp said in a statement. "We think that the sanctions we have proposed accept responsibility and, at the same time, give our current and future student-athletes and coaches every opportunity for success. We go before the NCAA Committee on Infractions on October 28, and that will be another important milestone."
"I believe the report is a very thorough response to the NCAA," UNC athletics director Dick Baddour said. "The University of North Carolina takes our standing and reputation in the NCAA community seriously and with great respect and our response to the allegations reflects that. "We accept responsibility for mistakes that were made in terms that are balanced, measured and fair. I want to acknowledge the hard work that University and athletic department staff put in to prepare the report. The October 28th appearance in Indianapolis is the next major step and we will direct our efforts toward preparing for that hearing."
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