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UNC's Austin won't practice this week, but others expected to return

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UNC's Marvin Austin (red shirt), suspended from the team indefinitely, watches the game with LSU from the stands. ROBERT WILLETT -

Twelve of the 13 North Carolina players who were either declared ineligible or withheld from Saturday’s 30-24 loss to LSU are expected to continue practicing with the Tar Heels this week, a team spokesman said.

However, star defensive tackle Marvin Austin – suspended from both games and practice two days earlier for breaking team rules – will not.

“That’s a [coach] Butch Davis decision,” team spokesman Kevin Best said.

The Tar Heels remain embroiled  in two investigations. The NCAA is probing whether football players at the school accepted inappropriate benefits from agents. Also,  the school is also looking into whether a former tutor, who was employed by both the school and Davis, committed academic misconduct by inappropriately helping football players with papers they were required had to write for class.

Austin, who two sources confirm 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 and neglecting his responsibilites to the team on Wednesday. He has not practiced with the Tar Heels since.

Then on Friday, he 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 additional Tar Heels were held out of the game, and did not make the trip, as UNC officials continue 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.

At least half of the 13 players – including Austin, McAdoo, Brown, Quinn, Draughn and Gupton – were in the stands for Saturday’s game at the Chick-fil-A Kickoff in Atlanta.

The players were not allowed to travel with the team, and senior associate athletics director Larry Gallo told them that if they chose to attend the game on their own, they would have to pay for their own travel and expenses. The school provided their tickets to the game, which is permissible for ineligible/withheld players under NCAA guidelines, Gallo said in an e-mail.

Asked, in the light of the ongoing investigations, whether those players would be asked to provide receipts, or proof of who paid for their trips, Best said he did not know.

The number of games the 13 might miss has not been determined. Athletic director Dick Baddour said Friday, “My hope would be that we would move along enough in the next week or 10 days or two weeks to have a better sense of what’s involved with each case.”

The Tar Heels don’t play against until Sept. 18, against Georgia Tech. They have an open date next weekend.


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It's been a while.

"Where's Waldo" sure has changed since when my kids were little.

If Marvin could afford

If Marvin could afford transportation to the game, don't you think he could have picked up a blue shirt?

I think he was trying to go

I think he was trying to go incognito. If he had worn blue he might have gotten away with it.

Word association

Marvin and incognito.

Obama and conservatism.

Coach K and humility.

Wolfpack and defense.

O'Brien and loquaciousness.

Tar Heel and classroom.

Blake and employed VT and

Blake and employed

VT and undefeated

JPD and pessimism


I think I'm getting the hang of it!

atrocious coaching down the stretch tonight

What was VT doing throwing the ball on 3rd down with two minutes lfet and Boise having ZERO timeouts??  Could have ran the clock down to 120 before having to punt.

Then with the balll on the 35 (still two TO's left) and 109 on the clock, VT throws TWO bombs and a 25-30 yd pass.  Not to mention taking a sack??  what kind of play calling is that when you ahve the out of bounds to work with to stop the clock.

poor, poor coaching down the stretch.  typical VT, though, to start a season.

Yeah, I agree.  And typical

Yeah, I agree.  And typical ACC to start the season.  Nobody should be surprised.

Agreed, but got my pick on

Agreed, but got my pick on that one. That Maryland game got by me. I guess Richmond didn't have the mustard either. Almost got the score on the UNC game though.

I would have been perfect

I would have been perfect this week if it weren't for the ECU miracle and Maryland's lucky win.


So, mad_max, that's why you don't like ECU? :-)

Yes, it was a random catch that probably should've never happened. But I'm so glad it did.


screwed me.  Oh well, still tied in first and ahead of the "experts" (haha, just messin' around).

Me too.

As did ECU and Va Tech.

At least those games were great to watch right down to the end. As was the UNC game.

Great start to the college football season. It will just get better from here.

That's one thing

that we can all agree on.  This will most likely be the most exciting college football season in a long time.

Agreed. It was a pretty

Agreed. It was a pretty exciting first weekend. There are some good match ups this coming weekend with FSU and Oklahoma, Miami and Ohio State.

I miss

VT and UNC and down 4??  what gives?

Academic ineligibility and still practicing???

What in the world are they thinking letting these players practice? They've been found to be academically ineligible (i.e. found to be cheating) and yet they're still involved in team activities? This sends a terrible message with respect to UNC's intention to clean this mess up. These players need to sit out until cleared, and anyone involved with cheating needs to be fired immediately.

Though I feel the same way

Though I feel the same way you do in general ; Please see below a comment I made on another post

I did talk to a friend who used to be a faculty member at UNC and was part of the faculty oversight committee for athletics during his time there. I asked him what the worst case scenario would be in this situation. He said that the student in question would receive an F for the class and be put on probation. He felt that the players would not be kicked out of school because it would be a harsher treatment then a  regular student would receive. Given that a particular player would receive an F for his class would that knock his grade point average low enough to make him academically ineligible for the season? Not to mention whatever sanctions would be imposed by Davis.

We have already seen 'exceptions' and some liberality in regards to infractions that a few years ago would have gotten most players ejected from school. See drug infractions by UNC and State players over the summer. 

Also as another person posted lets not be the Judge and Jury before all the facts are out.

Take it easy, ABCer

According to NCAA rules, these guys are still allowed to practice.  They have not been ruled ineligible for the season, therefore there is no reason to hold them out.

Not about NCAA rules

This isn't about what is marginally allowed under NCAA rules, this is about the University having respect for itself and it's reputation as an educational institution. The reason those players need to sit is the message being sent to the world, and the non-revenue-athlete students, about what is important. Right now, what seems to be important to UNC is making the scandal go away while retaining their football program. What should be important is their honor, and making sure that any wins are fairly earned and not the result of skirting the rules and getting away with it.

As you say

"Right now, what seems to be important to UNC is making the scandal go away while retaining their football program. What should be important is their honor, and making sure that any wins are fairly earned and not the result of skirting the rules and getting away with it."

Is this not a reflection of our society in general? Not to rationalize any of it but I am afraid we have gone way beyond rectifying the situation as it is germane to your comment. This is my post on a different issue ( the right of the university to monitor public opinion on the part of the student athlete: ie. Twitter and Facebook vis a vis 1st adm. rights ) but relates to the premise of what your saying.


1) All the players know ( or should know ) what they have signed up for as D1 prospects. With that comes the responsibility of the commitment. 

Secondly when players behave like spoiled children with no boundaries they break their commitment and are treated as such; Immature adult people without the ability to understand the nature of the commitment.

3) What does this say about the structure of D1 college athletics in general.? Should colleges and universities be farm teams for the professional leagues in order to sate the competitive nature of said institutions and lowering academic standards to field players who would otherwise be unqualified to attend?

4) There is a substantial investment on the part of these institutions to support athletics as such and they have a proprietary nature when it comes to protecting their investment.

5) Because competitive athletics has created a situation where most schools have compromised their academic standards to maintain said programs they are forced into the very situation of engendering policies which you describe in your post as being anti 1st Amendment.This behavior is oxymoronic. Universities have always been the sanctuary of this right.


And that is why the players aren't suiting up on Saturdays.  Is that too hard to grasp?

of course ...

it is.  he's not a fan of UNC football/basketball.

anything short of running them out of town naked will not be tolerated.

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About the blogger

Robbi Pickeral has covered ACC sports for The News & Observer since 2003. She can be reached at