Excerpts from UNC's response

September 20, 2011 

  • Excerpts from UNC-Chapel Hill's response to the NCAA's notice of allegations. UNC released the response Monday.

    Self-imposed penalties

    Page 7: The University is embarrassed and disappointed by these violations. It has attempted to respond in an appropriate and timely manner to the issues it confronted, student-athlete eligibility and employment decisions among them. The University has taken the same approach with regard to self-imposed penalties. It understands and acknowledges it is responsible for [redacted] and [former UNC associate head coach John] Blake's conduct that violated bylaws with institutional implications. As a result, the University will vacate wins for the 2008 and 2009 seasons in their entirety. The University also will reduce the number of initial and total grants-in-aid as follows: (a) a reduction of three initial and total grants in aid for the 2012-2013 academic year; (b) a reduction of three initial and total grants in aid for the 2013-2014 academic year; and (c) a reduction of three initial and total grants in aid for the 2014-2015 academic year. The University also will self-impose two years of probation. Finally, the University will pay a monetary fine of $50,000.

    Social networking

    Page 62: The University does not agree that the information contained in Allegation No. 9 (b) is substantially correct or that a violation of NCAA legislation occurred. Allegation No. 9 (b) is unprecedented. No NCAA member institution has ever been found to have violated NCAA legislation due to an alleged failure to monitor "social networking activity" of student-athletes. The NCAA constitution and bylaws are silent with respect to any alleged institutional obligation to monitor the day-to-day communications of all of its student-athletes on undefined and ever-multiplying "social networking" sites. If the Committee agrees with the enforcement staff that a member institution is required to monitor student-athlete communications on all social networking sites, the University agrees that it did not do so. The University believes, however, that for the period relevant to this Allegation, its efforts to monitor football student-athlete social network communications were consistent with the requirements of NCAA legislation and the monitoring efforts of other institutions.

    John Blake's contact

    Page 74: The enforcement staff interviewed Marvin Sanders on January 21, 2011. Sanders reported that two independent sources - Sanders' agent, Shane Meacham, and an unidentified high school coach in Los Angeles, California - informed him that Blake had attempted to contact then-Nebraska football student-athlete Ndamukong Suh shortly after the 2008 college football season, during which time Suh was contemplating entering the NFL draft. Sanders reported that he informed Nebraska head football coach Bo Pelini about the rumors, and that Pelini instructed Sanders to contact the University of North Carolina coaching staff to ask them to refrain from contacting any Nebraska players. Sanders contacted then-linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen at the University of North Carolina and asked him to tell Blake to refrain from contacting Suh. Sanders stated he had no knowledge about whether anyone on the University of Nebraska's coaching staff confronted Suh about the rumor. Sanders also stated that he followed up with Thigpen after the initial phone call, and learned that Thigpen had relayed the message to Blake.

Excerpts from UNC-Chapel Hill's response to the NCAA's notice of allegations. UNC released the response Monday.

Self-imposed penalties

Page 7: The University is embarrassed and disappointed by these violations. It has attempted to respond in an appropriate and timely manner to the issues it confronted, student-athlete eligibility and employment decisions among them. The University has taken the same approach with regard to self-imposed penalties. It understands and acknowledges it is responsible for [redacted] and [former UNC associate head coach John] Blake's conduct that violated bylaws with institutional implications. As a result, the University will vacate wins for the 2008 and 2009 seasons in their entirety. The University also will reduce the number of initial and total grants-in-aid as follows: (a) a reduction of three initial and total grants in aid for the 2012-2013 academic year; (b) a reduction of three initial and total grants in aid for the 2013-2014 academic year; and (c) a reduction of three initial and total grants in aid for the 2014-2015 academic year. The University also will self-impose two years of probation. Finally, the University will pay a monetary fine of $50,000.

Social networking

Page 62: The University does not agree that the information contained in Allegation No. 9 (b) is substantially correct or that a violation of NCAA legislation occurred. Allegation No. 9 (b) is unprecedented. No NCAA member institution has ever been found to have violated NCAA legislation due to an alleged failure to monitor "social networking activity" of student-athletes. The NCAA constitution and bylaws are silent with respect to any alleged institutional obligation to monitor the day-to-day communications of all of its student-athletes on undefined and ever-multiplying "social networking" sites. If the Committee agrees with the enforcement staff that a member institution is required to monitor student-athlete communications on all social networking sites, the University agrees that it did not do so. The University believes, however, that for the period relevant to this Allegation, its efforts to monitor football student-athlete social network communications were consistent with the requirements of NCAA legislation and the monitoring efforts of other institutions.

John Blake's contact

Page 74: The enforcement staff interviewed Marvin Sanders on January 21, 2011. Sanders reported that two independent sources - Sanders' agent, Shane Meacham, and an unidentified high school coach in Los Angeles, California - informed him that Blake had attempted to contact then-Nebraska football student-athlete Ndamukong Suh shortly after the 2008 college football season, during which time Suh was contemplating entering the NFL draft. Sanders reported that he informed Nebraska head football coach Bo Pelini about the rumors, and that Pelini instructed Sanders to contact the University of North Carolina coaching staff to ask them to refrain from contacting any Nebraska players. Sanders contacted then-linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen at the University of North Carolina and asked him to tell Blake to refrain from contacting Suh. Sanders stated he had no knowledge about whether anyone on the University of Nebraska's coaching staff confronted Suh about the rumor. Sanders also stated that he followed up with Thigpen after the initial phone call, and learned that Thigpen had relayed the message to Blake.

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