Maybe OT: UNC being investigated for possible NCAA violations

Submitted by bronxblue on July 15th, 2010 at 8:51 PM

Just saw this on the crawler while watching DC United vs. Seattle, and checked on ESPN to confirm.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=5384232

Looks like UNC is being investigated for agents and other benefits.  This is very preliminary by the sound of the article, but when you are interviewing players there definitely is some smoke.  Knowing nothing about Butch Davis outside of the fact he built those crazy Miami teams and then failed in the pros, and the fact that he is pulling in great recruiting classes at a school not particularly known for its football exploits, it will be interesting how this plays out. Personally, I'm not that surprised that there are at least some whiffs of improprieties.  

Comments

rman247

July 15th, 2010 at 8:56 PM ^

Too bad if they get major violations. I think in a year or two, they will be national contenders. Not too big of surprise with Davis though

coldnjl

July 15th, 2010 at 9:11 PM ^

People that are suprised by their success don't really know the school. All though the tradition isn't there, they are a sleeping giant of a football program (academics, location, chapel hill, success in other sports) that only needed a coach like Butch Davis to bring it out. They will be the Florida of the next 20 years, a perennial sleeping football power turned juggernaut

dahblue

July 15th, 2010 at 9:21 PM ^

A "sleeping giant"?  Well, that giant must've been alseep for a long, long time.  For many a moon, ACC football was about finding any team remotely decent so that FSU seemed to have at least one good in-conference game.  UNC was hyped for a bit.  Hell, Duke was even promoted as the next big thing (before sucking most terribly).  I was living in D.C. at the time and I used to laugh with my Big Ten buddies about how terrible ACC football was.  The UNC/Duke hype was the most laughable.

Anyway, if UNC did something fishy to suddenly become a top-10 recruiter, it wouldn't be a surprise.  I have much respect for UNC as a bball program and academic institution, but I don't think that Butch Davis is New Jack Jesus and this could explain the WTF at seeing UNC near the top of recruiting rankings.

dahblue

July 16th, 2010 at 12:59 AM ^

I think they played one ranked team that entire season (FSU) and lost...at home.  You can win lots of games in the ACC.  That doesn't mean you're good, and that's my whole point.  The conference always hyped up an FSU-competitor to avoid the league looking tremendously weak.  Even Duke went 8-4 in 1994.  You think they were on the way to being excellent?

oriental andrew

July 16th, 2010 at 11:26 AM ^

they DID finish 11-1, which is hard to do in ANY conference, and FSU was stupid good that year, also finishing 11-1 and crushing osu in the sugar bowl.  FSU averaged 39 ppg, but only scored 20 on UNC.  The Heels had 4 guys on defense that were drafted (dre bly, greg ellis, brian simmons, kivuusama mays); didn't give up more than 20 pts in a game; and they manhandled VT in the gator bowl 42-3.  This was a very good UNC team that Mack Brown built up.  After Mack left, UNC immediately returned to mediocrity (at best).  

 

As a sidenote, UNC went 21-3 from 96-97, and 10-13 from 98-99.  Crazy.  

dahblue

July 16th, 2010 at 2:04 PM ^

Actually, it is easy to finish 11-1 in your conference if there is only one other ranked team (i think even VaTech was unranked in that bowl).  That is, again, my entire point.  ACC football was worse then than it is now.  I watched that team (because ACC/Big East) football were the only televised options in my area.  They weren't so great...as evidenced by their not so giant win over powerhouse (and 4-win) Indiana that year.

You bought the hype.  You shouldn't have.

CarrIsMyHomeboy

July 16th, 2010 at 5:02 PM ^

I see no reason to scoff at the analogy "Butch Davis:UNC; Barry Alvarez:UW" (in PSAT format, even [I never had to take the SAT, but I imagine theirs is identical]). And Alvarez almost-famously used that "sleeping giant" axiom in reference to the Badgers program he was to take over.

maizenbluenc

July 15th, 2010 at 9:23 PM ^

Eh, I look at all the schools around here as stopovers for football coaches. If they manage to create a spike in success, someone in a football conference hires them away. If they don't, they eventually get replaced.

Of the three NC State is the only one that has relatively rabid football fans. The atmosphere at UNC is more like a social outing than a football game, and Duke - well they're lucky to fill the stadium.

Reading Joe Schad's tweets, this thing sounds pretty messy - possible trips and rent paid for by agents messy.

MGoKalamazoo

July 15th, 2010 at 9:24 PM ^

Very true. Kenan Memorial Stadium is considered to be one of the most beautiful settings in all of college football. They have a crazy rich alumni base. Heck, they can bring in a recruit and he can hangout with Michael Jordan if they want.

When Butch was hired I remember telling a friend North Carolina just put the ACC on notice. Chapel Hill is a great college town as well. I consider it the Ann Arbor of the South. Comparing UNC to Florida might be a bit of a stretch, unless we are speaking of their defense.

maizenbluenc

July 15th, 2010 at 10:49 PM ^

The walk through the campus (and the trees) to the stadium is nice. (The stadium is pretty much sandwiched between the central campus and the medical school -- think Big House where the Hill dorms are.)

On the lower deck they dress all up like they're at the Kentucky Derby or something. Well the hats anyway. I guess the dresses are a little less formal. Maybe more Virginia steeplechase type crowd. And then they chatter away. Doesn't seem like a lot of football is being watched.

Now put the same people inside the Dean Dome and it is a whole diffferent focus.

Chapel Hill is like Ann Arbor though. The town and university are intertwined.

There still is nothing like walking down State, and across Hoover with tens of thousands of your closest maize and blue clad friends on a crisp fall Saturday.

bronxblue

July 15th, 2010 at 9:24 PM ^

They may be a sleeping giant, but outside of Mack Brown nobody has been able to harness that ability other than Davis (and these allegations cast a negative light on that success).  I'll agree in the general sense that UNC should be decent in football, but they are surrounded by other power teams and conferences and (I suspect) is still identified as a basketball power first.  Plus, NC simply doesn't produce enough top talent to consistently support a powerhouse program, and recruiting in neighboring states with far more established programs is tough.  I think that they should be better than they were under Bunting, but Florida they are not.

bronxblue

July 15th, 2010 at 9:57 PM ^

Also, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Georgia, Georgia Tech are all within reasonable driving distance.  My point is that they reside in a region that has a number of established, powerful programs with rich histories, and those schools recruit quite well.  The top programs in the South (Florida, Miami, LSU, Georgia, etc.) all recruit NC, in addition to the schools listed above.  I'm not saying that UNC doesn't have the potential to be a national player, but they have a career record of 639–479–54, and have not won a conference championship since 1980 (yes, some of those mid-90s teams would have won the conference if not for FSU).  I know Florida had a similar record early on, but they have been a national power for decades, and have been doing it in a tougher conference than any conference in which UNC has played.

bronxblue

July 16th, 2010 at 11:18 AM ^

I agree that some of the top talent is poached by big-name programs, but that happens everywhere.  They still do pull in some decent classes, and the pick up a good number of Va recruits.  My point was more that UNC has struggled to become a national power on the football field because they are in a region that has very strong football schools, some of which are very close geographically.  But I agree that being an up-and-comer in today's college football, where far more schools recruit nationally than they used to, makes the OP's claim that they were a sleeping giant like Florida rather dubious.

Pea-Tear Gryphon

July 15th, 2010 at 9:12 PM ^

Rich Rodriguez had something to do with this...

/Rosenberg

Seriously though, NC should challenge for an ACC title this year. Their D is supposed to be pretty good. Dr. Saturday did a good write up on them the other day.

jerseyblue

July 15th, 2010 at 10:04 PM ^

It may not have been a violation but i'm still scratching my head on the number of recruits they accepted last year. How it wasn't over their limit I don't know. It was like clowns pouring out of a car.

Tater

July 16th, 2010 at 12:47 AM ^

I have been thinking, based on his pattern, that it is almost time for Davis to take a "better job;" this may hasten the process.  It's too late for this year, but I'll bet he ends up giving another "tearful goodbye" when this season is over and heads to a football factory, where he will suffer no consequences while UNC takes the fall for his behavior.

Maybe he will be the first recipient of the newly-created "Lane Kiffin Unctuous Reptile Award."