Heels' appeals likely to fail

Staff WriterSeptember 23, 2010 

North Carolina has every right to appeal Wednesday's announced suspensions of football players Deunta Williams and Kendric Burney.

But if the NCAA's recent action in the case of Georgia receiver A.J. Green can be used as a guideline, the Tar Heels can't count on getting much relief.

Green was suspended four games for selling a jersey to an agent for $1,000 and almost immediately appealed. An NCAA committee just as quickly upheld the original ruling.

In addition to donating a combined sum of $1,025.86 to charities for accepting trips from an agent or what the NCAA considers improper preferential treatment from a former Tar Heels player, Burney will have to sit out four more games and Williams two more unless the NCAA changes its mind.

UNC athletic director Dick Baddour said he thought the punishment was "unduly harsh given the individual circumstances" of the cases.

That might be true, but there's also the fact that neither case was an isolated incident.

Burney took trips to California, Las Vegas and Atlanta, and Williams took two trips to California.

They were racking up mileage points faster than Stanford scored against Wake Forest or Alabama against Duke.

It's interesting that no one on the coaching staff apparently heard anything about the various trips. That's something the NCAA probably will bring up during the appeals process.

On the bright side for North Carolina, Williams will be back in time for the team's remaining seven ACC games. With Rutgers this week and ECU on Oct. 2, the only conference game he will miss turns out to be last week's loss to Georgia Tech.

Meanwhile, the status of defensive end Robert Quinn and nine other players has not been resolved by either the school or the NCAA.

And, of course, there's the matter of the school's fate with the NCAA. Williams and Burney are important players, but they're still just two pieces in a big puzzle.

caulton.tudor@newsobserver.com or 919-829-8946

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