No matter how well the 2012 North Carolina Tar Heels’ football team performs next year, a bowl game is out of the question. The NCAA announced a series of sanctions against North Carolina that will include a 2012 bowl ban.
The sanctions arise out of accusations that former assistant coach John Blake had business and financial ties to a sports agency Pro Tect Management and agent Gary Wichard, which conferred improper benefits on various players including former star defensive tackle Marvin Austin. The NCAA infraction committee further determined as follows:
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill is responsible for multiple violations, including academic fraud, impermissible agent benefits, ineligible participation and a failure to monitor its football program.
Over the course of three seasons, six football student-athletes competed while ineligible as a result of these violations, and multiple student-athletes received impermissible benefits totaling more than $31,000.
While employed by the university, a former assistant football coach [John Blake] was compensated by a sports agent [Gary Wichard] for the access he provided to student-athletes and failed to disclose the income to the university. The former assistant coach and a former tutor [Wiley] both committed unethical conduct and failed to cooperate with the investigation.
North Carolina attempted to avoid sanctions by self-imposing various penalties, such as suspending players for games or the season, firing head coach Butch Davis, forcing Blake to resign, reducing scholarships, and vacating wins. While the NCAA was apparently impressed by the scope of the sanctions enough to take it into consideration, it still concluded that additional sanctions were required.
So North Carolina’s total sanctions amounts to a daunting list:
- Loss of bowl eligibility for 2012
- Forfeiture of 15 scholarships over the next three seasons
- Three years probation
- A $50,000 fine
- Vacating all football victories from the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
- Certain individuals also must be disassociated from the program for a varying period, including former tutor Jennifer Wiley and former Tar Heels wideout Hakeem Nicks.
In addition, Blake received a three-year “show cause,” effectively preventing him from NCAA employment for the near future.
All in all, these are pretty stiff penalties for North Carolina.