Thursday, September 30, 2010

TAR HEELS: NOT THE BEST TIMING

Two days before North Carolina is to appeal the NCAA’s suspension of Kendric Burney and Deunta Williams, a report has surfaced via Yahoo! Sports linking former assistant coach John Blake with NFL agent Gary Wichard.

This will further complicate things as the 1-2 Tar Heels look to get the two defensive standouts reinstated from four and six game suspensions.

Now, setting aside the Blake/Wichard/Marvin Austin mess (to read more on that, click here), one can make a case that the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. According to the Suits In Kansas, Burney received $1,333 in benefits and must repay $575.19 to a charity of his choice in order to regain eligibility. Williams received $1,426 in benefits and must repay $450.67 to charity.

Last week, the NCAA ruled that Burney must sit out six games and Williams four games after it was determined that the senior defensive backs had violated the NCAA rules regarding agent benefits and preferential treatment. The violations occurred when Burney took trips to Atlanta, Las Vegas and California and Williams made two trips to California.

Although both players paid for part of their travel expenses, the NCAA ruled that there are still benefits they must repay. When the decisions were announced, UNC athletic director Dick Baddour said the length of the suspensions were “unduly harsh." We agree.

Both players already have sat out three games, which will be applied toward their suspensions. Unless their suspensions are reduced, Williams can return on Oct. 9 against Clemson and Burney can play on Oct. 23 against Miami.

So, simply put the NCAA, figures each kid owes back less than $600 and each $100 and change is equal to missing a game. A six game suspension during an eleven game season over $575 seems a bit harsh…but, what do we know?

The appeal is scheduled as a Friday conference call. According to NCAA documents, the suits have ten minutes to describe the rationale their decision. Then the school then has ten minutes to describe its appeal, and the athlete has ten minutes to make his case. The suits have a chance to ask questions, and then the school and athletes each can provide a 5-minute closing statement.

Good luck getting this twisted tale crammed into a string of five and ten minute intervals…

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