Monday, October 11, 2010

UNC, NCAA not saying who provided improper benefits to players

UNC and the NCAA will not reveal who provided benefits to UNC players Greg Little, Robert Quinn and Marvin Austin, even as coaches here and across the country criticize, in broad terms, the influence of agents on college players.

The NCAA blasted Little and Quinn Monday in ruling them forever ineligible to play college football as a result of taking a combined $10,000 in trips, jewelry and more -- and not telling the truth about it.

Separately, UNC said Austin also took benefits, worth at least $10,000, and kicked him out of the program without even submitting his case to the NCAA.

In news releases, both UNC and the NCAA say the players broke rules about receiving agent benefits.

Alabama coach Nick Saban has called agents "pimps." One of his players, Marcell Dareus, was sanctioned this season for receiving improper agent benefits related to two trips to Miami.

Austin, Little and Quinn are also being sanctioned, in part, for taking trips to Miami.

UNC head coach Butch Davis has said agents make life difficult for coaches.
A spokesman for the NCAA said the organization doesn't have oversight of agents and will remain silent on that aspect of the investigation.

"NCAA decisions are regarding those our rules have jurisdiction over," NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said.

She referred other questions to UNC.

Neither Athletic Director Dick Baddour nor Chancellor Holden Thorp would name names.

Baddour said he couldn't even say how many people were involved in giving improper benefits to players.

"It's so varied I'm not prepared to speak off the cuff on that," he said.
Asked if it was safe to say that multiple agents are involved, he also hesitated and said he wasn't sure how to answer.

"You kind of get wrapped up in who's an agent, who's not an agent, who was representing someone - was it a friend or whatever," he said. "You should think about it in terms of agents, but you also have to think of it in terms of extra benefits and preferential treatment and all of that when you're accumulating the dollars involved."

The phrases "extra benefits" and "preferential treatment" generally refer to NCAA rules against athletes receiving any special arrangements from university employees, boosters or others, including former players. The university has previously said, for example, that a tutor who was an employee had been too close with players.

Baddour said there is no evidence the athletes had committed to any agent for representation.

Baddour also said there is no evidence that the gifts or benefits to the players were tied to former associate head coach John Blake, who resigned last month as the university learned that he had been receiving money from sports agent Gary Wichard. Blake and Wichard say the money was loans to Blake or was gifts to cover private school tuition for Blake's son, and that they have a long relationship in which they consider each other like brothers.

-- J. Andrew Curliss

Staff writer Robbi Pickeral contributed to this report.

5 comments:

Devil said...

Lord, won't someone please help the poor, desperate, lying cheating children? :)

Does anyone believe that Davis and his coaches didn't know this was going on, really?

Anonymous said...

Good riddance to the players. They knew the rules, broke them, then evidently lied about what happened. Am withholding judgement on Butch Davis. Not sure how you can expect him to monitor what all of his players are doing over the summer. Having a pulse on tutoring and grades is another story - would expect there to be some checks and balances there.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks that either Davis or his staff didn't know where and what 3 of their top players were doing is living under a rock. Maybe a guy sneaking off for 1 weekend trip or similar is doable, but multiple trips - DC, California, Miami, etc - is crazy to think someone, anyone, didn't know where these kids were. And its not like they were trying to hide where they were, and lying about it -- twitter posts being the example. This is big business, kids just don't disappear without accountability.

Anonymous said...

Davis, Bad Oder, and Thorn are all either incompetent, cheats, falsehooders, or all the above. They hired a coach who every University in the nation referred to as “Black Santa”, but they saw no red flags. Questioned how with as big of a job as they have anyone could expect them to provide leadership and be organized. Questioned how anyone could expect them to operate with ethics and win without a culture of cheating.

Have failed to accept that in 3 years they destroyed the competitive DNA with integrity the University had built up for a hundred years.

MichaelProcton said...

Funny, 10:17, Marvin Austin went to California to "stay with" Balmer in that hotel Wichard paid for over spring break.