Monday, May 16, 2011

Potential NCAA Sanctions Still Loom Over North Carolina Football Program

It was the biggest story of the 2010 preseason as dark horse national title contender North Carolina faced a myriad of suspensions after academic and amateur eligibility issues were discovered amongst some of its best players.

The Tar Heels largely weathered the suspensions and release of assistant coach John Blake by using their depth on the defensive side of the ball to win the Music City Bowl at the season's end.

The NCAA has largely been quiet on the issues first uncovered in August. Some take that to mean by suspending players, some for the entire season, the issue has been resolved, but that may not be the case as this columnist points out.

Because while the NCAA has, in fact, finished dealing with the individuals it deemed worthy of punishment – including Austin and three others who were ruled permanently ineligible for their misdeeds – it has not yet begun to deal with the institution as a whole.

Probation is almost a certainty. Vacating wins from 2009 and perhaps 2008 is a possibility, as is the loss of a scholarship or two. The futures of Davis and Baddour could also be riding on the degree to which the NCAA decides to bring the hammer down.

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