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UNC Now is your place for Tar Heel sports. Beat writer Andrew Carter has up-to-the-minute news and analysis. Columnist Luke DeCock also contributes. Follow us on Twitter at @_andrewcarter or @accnow.

UNC coach Roy Williams: Serious mistakes were made

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Roy Williams says he's confident in the academic side of his North Carolina basketball program. PHOTO: Robert Willett

CHAPEL HILL Roy Williams gave a radio interview earlier today with Taylor Zarzour and Marc James, who co-host “The Drive” on 610-AM in Charlotte. If you haven’t heard it already, be sure to give it a listen right here.

As you’d expect, Williams was asked for his opinions on the ongoing academic scandal at North Carolina, one that started out as an internal investigation of the university’s African and Afro-American Studies department. That investigation, of course, uncovered 54 aberrant AFAM courses, and it raised questions about the role the AFAM department might have played in keeping UNC athletes eligible.

The latest in this ongoing saga transpired earlier this week when Julius Peppers’ UNC academic transcript somehow became public after it had been posted on the school’s website. Peppers, an AFAM major, struggled through most of his non-AFAM courses, but he performed unusually well – relative to the rest of his grades – in most of his AFAM classes.

Williams spoke about the Peppers situation and other issues during the interview earlier today. Here’s what he told Zarzour and James about a variety of topics:

-on his opinions on the latest developments related to the AFAM scandal, including Peppers’ transcript becoming public:
“Yeah, everybody wants my opinion, I don’t want to give it. This is the good thing about America. You know, I’m bothered by a lot of stuff. I’m bothered by some sensationalism that’s going on. I’m bothered by problems that we have. I’m bothered by mistakes that we have made. But you know, I think in my own opinion it’s best for me to keep my mouth shut and let our administrative people take care of it.

“We’re trying to do a lot of research on our end of it, and the things that we are in control of. We’re going to continue trying to do that. But it’s something that I am bothered by it. I am worried about it. A little discouraged about it to say the least. But the bottom line is, there’s nothing I can do about it. And I do think, I have some very strong opinions and yet as soon as I make some strong opinions or anything, then everybody decides to take their bow and arrow and a shotgun and a machine gun and the bazooka and everything out. But for me, I’m going to wait and see what happens at the end, and let those people that are supposed to be taking care of it, take care of it.

“But it’s not something that I’m enjoying, I can tell you that.”

-on whether he was aware of any of these kinds of issues he arrived at UNC nine years ago:
“Marc, I’m not sure I understand exactly what you said but I’ll answer it this way – but again I’m not sure exactly what you asked there, and it’s not probably anything wrong with the question, just maybe my intelligence. But you know, when I came back I felt great about the University of North Carolina [and] still feel great about the University of North Carolina. I got a great education there. My wife did, my son did, my daughter did.

“We’ve been there nine years and I think I’m right in saying this that every senior we’ve had has received their degree. Our kids have done the work, they’ve done some great jobs. Tyler Zeller this year was the academic all-American player of the year. We still emphasize the academic side of it a great deal. It’ll always be that way. So you’re talking to a guy who absolutely loves the University of North Carolina. And it’s been that way since the fall of 1968 when I stepped foot on the campus.

“But there have been some mistakes made, I don’t think you can put your head in the sand and say, oh, we’re all right – it’s just people making things up. I’m not saying that. There’s been some mistakes made, and there’s been some serious mistakes. But I do think that some of it has been a little sensationalized, also.”

-on being as sure as he can be that things are done the right way in the UNC basketball program:
“No question about it. Our track record is pretty doggone good. And our track record has been pretty doggone good for 15 years at Kansas, nine years at North Carolina. And we know how much we emphasize the academic side in the basketball office. We know what our guys are majoring in. We know – every day we’re in touch with those kids. So it’s something, again, that I’m very proud of.

“And am I going to sit here and say there is absolutely no way nothing will ever happen? Nothing will ever show up? We don’t know what’s going on every day. I mean, I’ve got 13 to 17 kids, counting the walk-ons and things like that. You don’t know. But boy, I feel really, really good about what’s happened academically in the basketball program since we came.”

So there you have it.


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Let's go back to Real Student Athletes

Proposition:  Let's go back to the day when a student athlete was truly a student athlete.  Set a minimum GPA that's acceptable to admit all students to the University (athletes and non-athletes) and then if a prospective student doesn't make meet that criteria he can't enroll in the University.  End of discussion.  No exceptions.  At the same time set a minimum GPA that's acceptable for a student (athlete or non-athlete) to stay in college and if any student falls below that minimum GPA he is either on probation for a semester or having already been on probation for a semester is then suspended from the University until he can be re-admitted based on the minimum acceptable GPA.  End of discussion.  No exceptions.  This is what the NCAA should require, but then there would be no football players at any SEC school, Clemson, West Virginia, Va. Tech, etc...and unfortunately it seems at Carolina. 

Pardon me, ROY, but what happened to YOUR Academic GUY?

Ok, I admit to losing all the sordid tidbits and the vast (and ever expanding) cast of characters.

BUT, I do recall that there were TWO resignations or SUDDEN departures from the UNC Athletic Advisor (or whatever they were called) ranks.  ONE was a lady.  One was the guy that Good OLD ROY brought to UNC from KU when he finally took Dean's bait.  Wonder WHY he suddenly departed or as we used to say...."is no longer affiliated with UNC and is pursing business interest elsewhere"

Second little tidbit....Did I read that KU had an AF and AFAM Studies Department a LONG time ago?  Did I also recall in looking at the history of this mess that Dean Smith was instrumental in getting it established and the very next year, at least 60% of the BB team was in THAT curriculm?

And FINALLY, his honor, the esteem Commissioner of the ACC was the Athletic Director at the time the AF & AFAM department was set up.  Then, when JS went on to greener (money and prestige) pastures, Dean (the MAN) Smith appointed Dick Baddour as the NEW AD and guardian of the crown jewels.

NOW....wonder if Ole Roy Boy done forgot those little details and factoids...

Roy....stop giving interviews....stick to coaching and joshing will open your mouth and prove again WHY your peers think you are overrated.

Give it time

The ball's unraveling.   This is the thing with lying and covering things up, eventually everything unravels and falls apart. 

It's a shame that the other 16 schools in the UNC System 's reputations are linked to UNC-CH.... the "flagship" university.

Thank you N&O for reporting the facts and demanding answers, keep it up.

Lying and covering up

Tell me, in your words, what UNC has lied and covered up. Please, no blanket statements. Tell us exactly what it is they have lied and covered up.

Playing along

As long as people are getting what they want, they play along with the little deceptions. Every teacher in the predominately black high schools knows there is a "football" or "basketball" track. The boys who plan to get "picked" do nothing but study their sport--they do NOTHING in class, and the coaches know it. They know very darned well their recruits can't read, can't do math, and haven't a clue the world is round.

This deception would go on forever, but for the News and Observer's investigators, doing what freedom of the press was meant to do. I salute the N&O.


The N&O does not report on the "predominately black high school kids" who can't do a lick of work. They report on the wrong doing of the college who took the "predominately black high school kids" who couldn't do a lick of work.

It is never the fault of the kid who put himself in whatever bad predicament he has put himself in. But, rest assure, if he scores a TD or sacks the QB, it was all him. (I'm just as guilty as the N&D)

There's the problem right there.

Think outside the RAM my simple minded folk :)

Blah,blah,blah ... When UNC pounds that head in this year like they have the last 25  yrs we'll see whos laughing. I'd be mad too. Point the finger all you want they're going to count that as loss.


Anyone wonder why the NCAA doesn't do random investigations or inspections in a billion dollar football market since education is so important to them ? It's more like do it until you slip up and it goes public, then we have to step in. Think outside UNC for once my simple minded State friends. There IS POT HEADS on the State team and  I gaurentee you they ain't passing w/o out a lot of "help". I know I live down the road and have friends that are alumni/ and currently going. I like them (and don't mind State itself)but the State fans on here are just annoying. These are kids.Same when I was at ECU, some players smoked and I know their grades were crappy.The GOT HELP.UNC DID take it too far though. These classes are are a joke but they still should have attened and at least tried. But on smaller scales "help"  is giving to a lot of athletes. UNC is paying for it so stop crying. We're being watched and I GAURENTEE you UNC  still will remain SUCCESFUL ! GO HEELS ! 

Can't be an ECU fan

You're an embarassment to ECU fans everywhere. You're pretty much the worst of the worst in my opinion.  If you had any idea all of the crap that's been thrown in the way of ECU over the years from the Holes you'd NEVER post some of the non-sense you've just posted on this site.  I'm completely sickened by your post here.  It's pathetic and gives us all a bad name.  Horrible english, spelling and a complete lack of common sense to boot.

Good job, you've got the trifecta of messageboard ignorance here.  Like others have said it's not an issue of cutting class it's an issue of NOT HAVING CLASS PERIOD.  ECU handles their business internally by the way.  We had baseball players booted off the team for skipping class and cheating (among themselves, NOT with a tutor or organized system) last year.  We had a similar issue with football regarding class cutting but our AD dropped the hammer on that QUICKLY.  We've even been essentially forced to have our own internal investigation just to prove we're playing by the rules because of the crapstorm in UNC.  Coaches and AD's can't control every, single thing that players do but rest assured when crap goes down at ECU, it's handled.....and it's handled the RIGHT way.  I can't say that for UNC.

Do us all a favor and NEVER tell anyone you graduated (or attended?) EAST CAROLINA.  Thanks.


Another case right here of

Someone not knowing what an Independent Study class is. Are people really this ignorant or do they simply want to keep there point going so they ignore the truth?

Things clearly were not on the up and up over in the AFAM department, but let's keep to the truth of it instead of making up stuff intentionally or unintentionally. Either way, that's the real definition of ignorance.


First off, it is not that they didn't attend the class ... there was no class.  Grades were just handed out at the local Walmart along with faded blue tee shirts.  It's not the players this is about, it is the school setting up a system that keeps otherwise ineligible players on the field or court.  Have you read any of the facts or are you just  doing the typical "yo' mamma" post?  Secondly, I strongly suggest you have someone do a grammar/spell check on your posts before you hit "reply" ... really guy "classes ARE ARE a joke"; "there IS pot heads" but then you did mention that you went to ecu, bless your heart.  


I'M SORRY,YOU ARE THE GRAMMAR MASTER ! Two negatives in your first "sentence" genius. Bad thing is you were trying so hard .See I can be a smart ace too. Is this a mid term paper or something ? Nah, so proofreading doesnt matter as long as you get my point and I get yours. I like to talk sports see. By the way, check again for mistakes I'm sure there are some since this is english class. I said, "UNC TOOK IT TOO FAR" . So your reading comprehension isn't that great either.Oh yeah, if you have a illness or say emergency take your ace up to NC State and see what the vetenarian can do for you. ECU and UNC teach how to save lives you ungrateful p.o.s.

Grammer (Keystone) Cop

"I'M SORRY,YOU ARE THE GRAMMAR MASTER ! Two negatives in your first "sentence" genius."

You're quite the grammar master yourself, but I am not falling for the bait that you've mastered.  There is nothing grammatically wrong with using two negatives in a sentence if the intention of one negative is to refute the second negative. It would, however, be grammatically incorrect to use two negatives in a sentence to infer a single negative.  Case in point:  "I don't have no pencil" is grammatically incorrect, whereas "I did not say I don't have a pencil" is fine. 

I generally don't bother to point out grammar and spelling errors in forums, but when one such as yourself goes to the effort to call out someone else over such matters and fails so magnificently, it deserves to be noted.

Now run along - you're missing class at U*NC. Oh, wait... nevermind... you automatically get a "B" for enrolling.

Dueling with an unarmed man

Thanks Gumby.  I wasn't going to bother with replying to the ecu/unc grad's comments, for it would be like dueling with an unarmed man.  I will, however, bet you that he also incorrectly uses the expression  "I could care less" (which implies there is some degree of caring) instead of "I couldn't care less".  As in "STATE couldn't care less about ecu."


It's a "who's who" of big time ABC donors in this thread!! Albeit, we are missing one of our notables from the main table, Maxy. :)


Among the few things that infuriate me more than the facts of the rancid academic fraud that embedded itself into the culture at UNC for well over two decades, is the fact that repeatedly senior members of the UNC athletic department and administration repeatedly engaged in moral lecturing to other ACC schools such as Florida State and Clemson, and yes to a degree even my alma mater of NC State.

This was done with the full knowledge of the systemic fraud carried out by UNC to keep athletes eligible, and to inflate graduation rates, using phony classes to award guaranteed high letter grades without any academic rigor. 

Let me explain a key philosophical difference between UNC and NC State.  NC State was chartered well over 100 years ago to be the people's university in North Carolina.  Accordingly, NC State's admission standards are significantly more relaxed than for other area universities.  However, that is where the relaxation ends and the hard work begins. 

NC State does not just give grades, you have to earn them the old fashioned way.  This is why the graduation rates at NC State have been historically low.  Most everyone can have a chance for a world class education, but no one walks away with the degree from NC State without keen academic rigor. 

This is why a degree from NC State is so coveted by professionals who hire people to run corporations.  The reputation is well established that NC State graduates are challenged and must endure a stern test.  The relaxed admission standards certainly hurt NC State's academic ranking.  No one will confuse NC State for an Ivy League school.  But, there is nothing second class about the degree, and for the cost it is one of the best university values in the nation.

If I was an alumnus of UNC Chapel Hill, I would be outraged by these fraudulent actions, and publicly express said outrage, because they have clearly eroded the value of a degree from UNC.  Thankfully, some UNC alumni have expressed this outrage.  I would go a step further and immediately organize a class action lawsuit, and name every person who has any fingerprint on these fraudulent actions. 

Given the many decades of presumed superiority that many UNC alumni have heaped on others in the ACC school system, now is the time for UNC alumni to eat a heaping helping of STFU, and wash it down was a big cup of same!  Given your asserted superiority, predicated upon the false foundation of academic fraud, you have two clear mandates.  First, silently and humbly accept all disciplinary actions and public rebuke that will come your way.  Then, ruthlessly hunt down and ruin everyone associated with this fraud. 

UNC Chapel Hill has shamed itself, the entire UNC college system, and the Atlantic Coast Conference.  What has been shown to have happened at UNC has not happened everywhere.  It is far worse than what has happened elsewhere.  It stands alone in the history of the ACC.  No one at UNC has any room to lecture anyone else, or any other college program in the ACC, and it is more than clear now that, in truth, no one at UNC ever had any room to do so with honor!

Just the same

You have no room to lecture anyone as well, but you did.

Why is it UNC alumni and fans CANNOT say, "oh, this goes on everywhere" but you ABC fans CAN say this does not go on everywhere? If "we" do not know for sure, neither do "y'all"

Keep up your heaping load of dung instead of SingTFU.

Good post

I could say much of the same about my alma mater, ECU.  Yes, it's easier to get in than UNC & NCSU but we've got a great medical & dental school that's designed to SERVE the State of  NC 1st and foremost unlike those at UNC who only seek to puff themselves up.  ONLY NC residents are allowed into our medical programs and for that I'm extremely proud.  

East Carolina motto = Servire = To Serve



A Minority View

I think I am in a select minority of those who have graduated from both NCSU and UNC.  I love both schools and thus want both schools, academically and athletically, to be the best.  Look, you yahoos, we are born and bred in a special state - North Carolina - and there is a lot of truth in the term "sister schools."  I think Roy Williams is one of us, born and bred in honor and honesty.  So back off a bit - he has done good for UNC, his players and our state.  I also think Jim Valvano was a good man who came here and did a good job.  Jimmy V. got caught not paying enough attention; I still believe he never planned and calculated to do anything wrong.  I feel the same way about Roy Williams.  I will be sorry if he has to take a fall - of any height - because of this.  Still and all - it seems someone or some people were too smart by half in trying to recruit the best athletes and keep them eligible.  That goes for State then and Carolina now.  The great regret for me is that some if not all of these athletes could have done much better academically if required and helped to do so.  Look, I worked while going to school, and it is hard, long hours and tiring.  I can understand that being an athlete and going to classes and studying - with all the practice and travel - can be overwhelming.  Call me idealistic, but the next commentator who criticizes UNC and ol' Roy better be a graduate of at least one college, even if it is not UNC or NCSU.  Otherwise, you need to look and listen more and talk less.  Just my humble opinion.

So, OK, if you are still reading this, steaming and spitting or not, here's a true joke:  My first day walking across the campus in Chapel Hill, me a 23-year old with an NCSU diploma and one year's work experience now going back to school, there were two Carolina undergrads walking behind me.  The first says, What's the difference between culture and agriculture?  The second doesn't know so the first one says:  25 miles!  I could have turned around and smacked them both, but I just smiled - I was going to have both culture and agriculture and they were not. 

Keep your eyes up and your chin down . . . .




Dadgumiy! That State is a tough school

There is a cancer growing on Chapel Hill, and a Deep Throat is afoot.. The Carolina Way -- to seem rather than to be. During the mid-’70s, my school hosted several basketball camps at which a counselor was a Carolina player. Each one addressed the infamous “blue team” with a chuckle. Of course, they said, members of the “blue team” were not selected for their basketball skills -- but rather their academic skills. The “blue team” was for raising the GPA of the whole team. So, nearly 40 years ago, Carolina was more concerned with image than education -- to seem rather than to be. Today, of course, the “blue team” is ancient history as the University itself has stepped in with its own institutionalized fraud -- bogus classes, bogus degrees, a scheme to pass athletes through the system while helping them remain academically eligible. To seem rather than to be -- the Carolina Way. And that is the problem: Not that Carolina has Jock-Sniffing Professors, but that Carolina has empowered Jock-Sniffing Professors to unfairly give itself a significant competitive advantage over their fellow ACC and NCAA members. That is where the real racism is in this case -- Carolina’s plantation mentality in helping “them” (and, if a few of “us” get helped along the way, that’s good for denying Carolina’s own racism).

Let's Talk A Little Latin

E Pluribus Unum - out of many, one.  That's our national motto.  It's on our money.

Esse Quam Videri - to be rather than to seem.  That's our state motto.  Please don't disrespect it by using a perversion of it for partisan athletics argument.  The state of North Carolina has a proud history of educating its citizens to give us - make us - a progressive state.  That means we have the basic education across the state and across all jobs to have informed voters who make good decisions for how to spend our tax money.  So does this seem like a political ad?  Well it is, and you can pick your party, Democrat or Republican, but athletics are just a small part of a big picture of how we fund universities to bring both jobs and ecomomic help to all our citizens.

Whew!  And this was supposed to be about sports!  Just keep your hands off the state motto which is for all of us, regardless of sports affiliation.



Ol' Roy: Homework Checker

We are gonna keep on beating that dead horse until ALL the beans are spilled! Of the 54 ‘suspect’ classes identified by UNC from ‘07 to ‘11, 2 of ‘em had an enrollment of only 1 basketball player. Was that a member of the 2009 title team? Do tell, ‘Ol Roy. :p

I feel sorry for Andrew Carter.

Maybe one day it will all be over.  Hey, Bubba cleaned up Ball State, right?  ;O

Roy's Right

 "as soon as I make some strong opinions or anything, then everybody decides to take their bow and arrow and a shotgun and a machine gun and the bazooka and everything out."

Yep, you guys are sure proving him right.

Red Rider

I'm sure Red Rider toting Roy is in front of the Dean Dome, ready to return fire.

*pew pew*

Why isn't accreditation being challenged? Smells BAD!

Academic fraud indications should trigger a full review of UNC CH accreditation and, if true, should revoke the accreditation.

Of course won't happen because we have to protect the "flagship" no matter how dirty.

Time to investigate!!!!!!!!

Every time they find a problem the key witness disappears.  First it was the assistant football coach/agent.  Then it was  the tutor.  That wasn't enough so they fired the coach and assigned self imposed penalties.  I am not happy with the astericks by the wins that are now supposed to be losses.  That is not a penalty.  Back to all the folks who seem to just disappear.  The chairman of the AFAM department would be an excellent place to start but he resigned?????  We could have a discussion with Sean May or Julius Peppers.....these people have not disappeared.  

I have news for all the college sports sports will survive without these atheletes who are not students.... there are penty of Tyler Hansboroughs, Tim Duncans, and the other four year student atheletes to keep true fans coming.  

I have a suspicion that there are other departments where atheletes and nonatheletes are getting by without doing any real academic work.  All of my friends who studied French in high school took Portugese.  I think that must mean something....... 

I think the investigations have just begun and for me it is all just so when the chancellor said he had looked into things and it must just be an isolated event...what does he have to say now.....reminds you of the BP oil spill....y'all don't worry about this it's not that big a deal and we have it all under control....that's what they always say.......

State Cant Graduate

Sure are quick to hop on here and dispute someone's opinion. Mistakes were made like every human is allowed to do. Get over it, they will fix it (eventually), and you wont have anything to complain about. Or you continue your inferiority complex and keep using it as an excuse as to why your school and individual team's can't beat UNC.

If you want to talk about comparing basic education dispute this N&O article from last year -

- "N.C. State ranks last in the ACC in graduation rates as configured by the NCAA and the federal government."

- "At 74 percent, N.C. State ranked last in the NCAA-calculated metric, which does not penalize schools for athletes who transfer or leave school in good academic standing."

- "N.C. State's federal graduation rate was also last in the ACC at 54 percent - the only school in the league under 60 percent"

Read more here:

I guess if State cheated,

I guess if State cheated, their graduation rate would be as high as unc-ch's. but that's why unc-ch's is high and State's isn't.  which situation would you rather be in?


"Mistakes were made like every human is allowed to do."

This might be the most stupid statement I've seen regarding this whole affair, and there has been plenty of competition for that title.

A "mistake" is an inadvertent error.  There is a mountain of evidence, when taken as a whole, to show that the situation UNC finds itself in now is not the result of a mistake or a series of mistakes.  The powers that be at UNC created fraudulent classes, steered athletes to them with the intent of keeping them eligible, altered grades without the consent or knowledge of the instructors, and numerous other academically dishonest acts.  When caught in the act, they did nothing but deny, deflect, and delay while proclaiming superior graduation rates and touting "The Carolina Way."

These acts were not mistakes.  They were willfully committed and condoned by all concerned.

Tossing out NCSU's graduation rates in this situation is the height of hypocrisy, and the irony of doing so cannot possibly be lost upon you, can it?  I'll concede State's low graduation rates, but at least they take place in an environment with some semblance of academic rigor.


You have absolutely no idea if if the athletes at state are in an "environment with some semblance of academic vigor."

His publicist really needs

His publicist really needs to teach him to just say "no comment".  No need for the nonsensical response and deflection.  Just say: "I have no comment".


Coach, you don't "step foot" somewhere; that's redundant.

You SET FOOT somewhere.

To set foot:   to enter into some place; to begin to enter some place. The judge ordered him never to set foot in her house again. I would never set foot in a place like that.

~Source: The Free Dictionary

Should You Keep Your Mouth Shut?

That's what Joe Paterno thought about his problems.  Look what happened to him, Roy!

UNC corruption

The first step in cleaning up the UNC corruption is to fire Roy Williams.

igliigli, you are absolutely

igliigli, you are absolutely right, just as you have been about your 10 million posts against college athletics. Firing Roy Williams without any hint of wrongdoing will absolutely root out all corruption at UNC, and heck, while we're at it the known universse. We bow to your infinite wisdom on all things related to college athletics.

no hint of wrongdoing?

no hint of wrongdoing? really? I love good was sarcasm, right?


Roy knows they've done wrong.  Yet he loves UNC-CH so very much.  His own identity is so tightly bound to ideas of that school's purity and rightness.  This contradiction has him tied into knots, and he can't think of a single coherent thing to say.  So he just keeps repeating the party line: graduation rates, so darn proud, done great jobs, and so on.  At some point, he's going to have to give up this game and deal with the reality of all this malfeasance.  And it's going to be an ugly thing to watch.

exit, stage left

Then he always has the option of running off the court like he did in Tallahassee.  OK, NCAA you have your confession from the head coach at unc that SERIOUS mistakes have been made and please don't think he is talking about players getting free burgers at the Ratskeller. 

Bragging about graduation rates? Really?

"We’ve been there nine years and I think I’m right in saying this that every senior we’ve had has received their degree."

How many actually earned their degree, Roy?

I'm confused. he knows

I'm confused. he knows everything that is going on with his players, is in touch with them  every day...yet he can't keep up with what classes his 13-17 players are taking?

and I think bragging about the graduation rate is rather meaningless from now on.

Congratulations on being

Congratulations on being named the new dodgeball coach, Roy!

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About the blogger

Andrew Carter is the University of North Carolina beat writer for the News & Observer.