Three months later, UNC announced Thursday that based on new information provided by UNC, the NCAA ruled that Ramsay did not violate NCAA rules. A rising senior from Red Bank, N.J., Ramsay has been cleared to return to the team and has one season of eligibility remaining.
On Nov. 15, UNC had announced that Ramsay had been declared permanently ineligible – banned for life – after it was determined he committed a violation in the NCAA’s investigation into impermissible benefits and academic misconduct in the UNC football program.
UNC athletic director Dick Baddour said Thursday evening that he was delighted with the new ruling.
“He has been through a lot, and he’ a first-class student-athlete,” Baddour said in a telephone interview. “He has done very well in the classroom and he can make a contribution to the program.”
Ramsay played the first four games of the 2010 season but was held out for the rest of the season after the discovery of an e-mail exchange with tutor Jennifer Wiley suggesting changes to a three-page paper for a sociology class in November of 2008.
But Lee was determined that Ramsay hadn’t committed a violation. She voiced her frustration to school officials and tried to contact the NCAA with her concerns. UNC appealed Ramsay’s case, and Lee provided copies of the e-mail exchange to The Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News & Observer, saying the NCAA’s penalty was cruel and excessive.
Robert Orr, a former North Carolina Supreme Court justice and the executive director and senior counsel for the North Carolina Institute of Constitutional Law, took up Ramsay’s case. He, too, was convinced Ramsay hadn’t violated an NCAA rule.
Orr asked for a postponement of the original appeal, which was scheduled for December, because in order to take part in the appeal Ramsay would have had to admit he had violated a rule. Orr instead wanted to produce new evidence that showed Ramsay hadn’t committed a violation.
Baddour said UNC officials appreciate the time and attention given to the case by the NCAA staff.
As a result of the investigation, 14 Tar Heel players missed at least one game, and seven missed the entire season.