UNC Football Gets Postseason Ban, Loses 15 Scholarships
The UNC football program is banned from postseason play in 2012 and will lose 15 scholarships. That's part of the NCAA's final punishment announced Monday for the scandal under former coach Butch Davis, when some players took gifts from agents and cheated in classes. The UNC football program had already punished itself to try to avoid a harsher crackdown by the NCAA. It vacated all its wins from 2008 and 2009, cut nine scholarships, paid a $50,000 fine and put itself on probation for two years. Monday, the NCAA said that's not enough. Britton Banowsky is the chairman of the NCAA Committee on Infractions, and here's part of the laundry list he read to reporters in explaining why the NCAA added a postseason ban, an extra year of probation and cut more scholarships. "The committee found that a former tutor committed academic fraud with three student athletes and provided impermissible benefits valued at more than $4,000," Banowsky said. "In addition, a former assistant football coach was compensated by a sports agent for providing access to student-athletes. In addition, seven football student-athletes accepted cash, travel, jewelry and other gifts." Banowksy said for the most part, the NCAA and UNC agreed on the allegations of players cheating and taking gifts from agents. But the additional punishments were necessary for what he called a serious case where the university failed to monitor what its players were doing. UNC's former athletic director Dick Baddour was one of the people in charge of coming up with UNC's self-punishments. Speaking on a conference call with reporters, he said UNC didn't play games with that process. "We wanted to do what we thought was appropriate," Baddour said. "That was the action that we took. The NCAA has decided otherwise, and now it's appropriate that we accept that and we move on." UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp said on the call he thinks the university has the right people in place to move forward now with new athletic director Bubba Cunningham and new football coach Larry Fedora.