The NCAA has postponed today's appeal hearing for UNC football player Devon Ramsay at the university's request.
The Tar Heels fullback was ruled permanently ineligible by the NCAA last month as part of its investigation of academic misconduct and impermissible benefits provided by agents and others linked to the North Carolina football program.
"We decided it was in his best interest to allow more time to develop the case in support of him," UNC athletic director Dick Baddour said in a statement released Wednesday.
The rescheduled date of Ramsay's appeal has not been determined, according to UNC's statement.
A second UNC football player who was ruled permanently ineligible by the NCAA, defensive end Michael McAdoo, had his appeal hearing scheduled for Tuesday. The results of McAdoo's appeal have not been announced.
Baddour has said that in both cases the facts do not warrant permanent ineligibility for either McAdoo or Ramsay.
Ramsay's mother, Sharon Lee, has said her son was banned solely on the basis of changes that a tutor, employed at the time by UNC, made to a draft of a three-page written assignment e-mailed to her by Ramsay in 2008. Lee told The News & Observer and The Charlotte Observer that she was shocked that her son received such a stiff penalty from the NCAA, because her son's academic issue was not considered serious enough by the university to be forwarded to UNC's honor court system.
Ramsay played in the first four games of this season before UNC discovered his correspondence with the tutor. He was withheld from the remainder of the Tar Heels' games, and North Carolina has said that the NCAA has ruled it would not penalize the team for playing an ineligible player in the first four games.
Attorney Robert Orr, a former N.C. Supreme Court Justice, is representing Ramsay in his appeal.
In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Orr said Ramsay and his family support Baddour's decision to postpone the reinstatement hearing.
"As Mr. Baddour indicated, this postponement is to allow more time to develop the case in support of Devon," Orr said in the statement. "It has been Devon's position from the beginning that the NCAA decision was in error. We are examining the process that has taken place to date and the rights and protections afforded Devon throughout by both the NCAA and UNC.
"In addition, we are reviewing all facts surrounding the earlier decisions. Devon is obviously a member of the UNC football team, but he is first and foremost a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As such, it is incumbent that his educational rights in the broadest sense be protected."
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