Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Simmons asks UNC for release; Willis may return

North Carolina's defensive line took the biggest hit during the NCAA investigation in the 2010 football season and it remains in a state of flux in the offseason.

Freshman defensive tackle Delvon Simmons has asked to leave the program while former defensive tackle Brandon Willis could possibly return.

Simmons, a five-star recruit from McKeesport, Pa. and the coup of this year's nationally-ranked signing class, has asked to be released from his Letter of Intent, his high school coach said Wednesday.

It's the latest roster turnover for a unit that lost Robert Quinn, Marvin Austin and Michael McAdoo for entire '10 season because of the NCAA investigation for improper agent benefits and academic misconduct.

McKeesport coach Jim Ward said Simmons, ranked as the 15th-best prospect in the country by, said the 6-5, 265-pound defensive tackle asked for a release from his Letter of Intent almost a month ago.

A UNC spokesman said Wednesday the school has not received Simmons' official request.

"That's not accurate," Ward said. "Technically he asked for his release three and a half weeks ago."

Ward declined to comment if Simmons' decision is based on the changes of UNC's coaching staff. Defensive line coach Brian Baker worked at UNC for four weeks from the end of the NFL season in early January to Feb. 8 before leaving the program to take an assistant's job with the Dallas Cowboys.

UNC hired Joe Robinson, the fourth defensive line since September, on Feb. 25 to replace Baker.

The defensive front, which returns All-ACC tackle Quinton Coples and standout tackle Tydreke Powell, could get a boost from Willis.

Willis, a prep All-American in 2009 from Duncan, S.C., enrolled at UNC last January and then decided to transfer to UCLA in August, before the '10 season started.

Willis sat out the season as a redshirt at UCLA but decided to transfer and has been given a release by the Bruins.

Willis' dad, Carl, said his mother is sick and he would like to have his family near her in Burlington.

"That's what we're working on," Carl Willis said Wednesday. "I hope it goes according to plan."

Under NCAA rules, Willis would have to receive a waiver to be eligible this season. If he doesn't get the waiver, he would have to sit out this season and would have three years of eligibility.

UNC's spring practice opens March 16. The school is still waiting for a ruling from the NCAA on the twin investigations which costs them 14 players for at least one game in '10 and seven players for the entire season.

J.P. Giglio and Ken Tysiac



Anonymous said...

Simmons' check must have bounced. Or else he finally realized Butch Davis was lying out of his a-hole to him about Baker. Pure class, the CAROLINA WAY!!

Anonymous said...

Simmons got a check from elsewhere, is what happened. Too bad NC State can't find a recruit that would even take their money after getting a dose of the TOB jealousy recruiting tour. The man mentioned UNC more in his speeches than he did his own school.

Anonymous said...

But isn't O'Brien 4-0 against the Cheats from Chapel Hill? Ya'll go ahead and make some more excuses when he goes 5-0 against UNC-CHeat.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget the FACTS of the ongoing UNC-CHeat scandal:

* Academic fraud involving UNC paid and head coach paid tutor
* Assistant coach John Blake resigned after phone records revealed hundreds of calls between John Blake and sports agent Wichard.
* Yahoo! Sports uncovered multiple financial transactions between Blake and Wichard while Blake was employed by UNC-CH.
* 14 UNC players were held out of at least one game in the 2010-2011 season.
* Player Marvin Austin was dismissed from the team.
* Players Greg Little and Robert Quinn were both ruled permanently ineligible for receiving approximately $5,000 in benefits each, including high end jewelry.
* Wichard suspended by the NFL Players Association for 9 months for his involvement with Austin.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous at 7:48:

If anything substantial actually every comes out of the investigation, I'll blow you like I was an NC State tennis player:

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7:48,
You moron State fans sit around and convince yourselves that UNC coaches had a meeting where they thought it would be a good idea to have agents come in and give the players some bling, because it would help the program what exactly? Help me out, here. I can't figure out how that was any sort of advantage.

Oh, and the academic support program isn't under the athletic department, so Davis had nothing to do with any of that.

And the Blake/Wichard thing, which...doesn't seem to be any sort of violation, strangely enough.

We all know if something like this happened at NC State, no player would ever miss a game and the whole thing would be covered up.

How's J.R.Sweezy doing, by the way? Beat up any more old men lately? Sell any more drugs from his illegally paid-for dorm room that was owned by the WPC?

Anonymous said...

It is time to hold these athletes to these contracts/agreements. He signed to play for UNC then he needs to go to UNC. For too many years athletes have broken agreements with Universities leaving them short handed after recruiting closes. If UNC were to break the contract with Simmons I bet you a dollar to a $100 he would be screaming lawsuit and hiring a lawyer.

Mr. Simmons you agreed to play at UNC and that is where you need to go. If you get out of this contract then you will never learn that your word or agreement really mean anything and that is poor lesson for you to learn.

Anonymous said...

UNC-CHeat is next in line.

Anonymous said...

And the Blake/Wichard thing, which...doesn't seem to be any sort of violation, strangely enough.

* Yahoo! Sports uncovered multiple financial transactions between Blake and Wichard while Blake was employed by UNC-CH.

* Assistant coach John Blake resigned after phone records revealed hundreds of calls between John Blake and sports agent Wichard.

Nope, nothing at all...

Anonymous said...

How any fan of unc-chEAT can claim that nothing disturbing is going on with the football is beyond me. Folks, your coach is either running a corrupt program, or he's a complete dimwit who has no idea what's going on in his own house.

You paid $2M for this.

Anonymous said...


Wichard is Blake's son's godfather. Of course having been involuntarily sterilized as a threat to society, you wouldn't understand a relationship like that.

Anonymous said...

UNC-CHeat sold its soul for 2 tire bowls...

Tick tock, tick tock.

Anonymous said...

J.R. Sweezy is doing fine, had a really good season after he sat out the season opener. Again a typical UNC fan - talking about something you have no idea what you are talking about - all the charges were dropped by the bus driver when his attorney dropped him because he had no case. Thanks for asking!

Anonymous said...

I am the only one who saw that wichard passed away a couple of days ago and John blake knew that he was batttling cancer and for those of you out their saying UNC cheats lets look at your schools you like NCSU paying people to take student athletes test for them under VALVANO so I dont wanna read your stupid comments about the CAROLINA WAY cause apparently Quinn Synder former coach and Mizzo basketball and head asst. under coach k at DUKE got put on probation for doing it the DUKE way