Euwell earns return to Tar Heels

Staff WritersOctober 17, 2010 

— North Carolina got one more player back Saturday, officially lost another for the season and pushed one more back to the "limbo" list.

The school announced before kickoff that reserve defensive end Linwan Euwell would make his season debut after missing UNC's first five games as part of the ongoing NCAA investigation. Meanwhile, junior safety Brian Gupton will miss the remainder of the season.

And senior cornerback Kendric Burney, who was expected to return next Saturday against Miami after serving a six-game suspension for violations of NCAA agent benefits and preferential treatment rules, has an "unresolved issue" related to the probe that might keep him sidelined even longer.

"There have been multiple issues [with Burney]," UNC athletic director Dick Baddour said at Scott Stadium. "We've been working on them for some time. We had hoped that all of those issues would be resolved by this time, but that hasn't happened unfortunately.

"It is possible that it will be resolved by the Miami game. It's possible that it will be resolved favorably, and it's possible that it will not be resolved favorably."

UNC did not specify the details for either Euwell or Gupton. The school, with the NCAA, is investigating cases of academic misconduct and an unknown number of players have been scheduled to appear before the school's honor court. Due to privacy laws, UNC is not allowed to comment on specific academic issues.

Gupton redshirted the 2007 season, so he has only one season of eligibility remaining. Senior Jonathan Smith, who is also out for the rest of the season because of investigation-related issues, will have one more season remaining - and Baddour said it's not strange for players to be able to redshirt in these situations.

"There are hundreds of students who are not able to represent the university for a particular time period and then come back," he said.

"That is normal, that's not abnormal, that is normal for that to happen. There's absolutely nothing unusual about that. There's no reason why a student-athlete shouldn't have the same right, or protection, as any other student."

UNC had 13 players suspended or withheld from the season-opener on Sept. 4 and a 14th player, fullback Devon Ramsay, was added to the list last Saturday. Three players - defensive tackle Marvin Austin, wide receiver Greg Little, and defensive end Robert Quinn - have been declared permanently ineligible by the NCAA or the school. Two - Smith and Gupton - have been ruled out for the season.

Five players - Euwell, running backs Ryan Houston and Shaun Draughn, defensive back Deunta Williams and safety Da'Norris Searcy - have been cleared to play after missing at least one game. Four - Burney, defensive end Michael McAdoo, cornerback Charles Brown and Ramsay - remain in limbo.

robbi.pickeral@newsobserver.com or 919-829-8944

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