Documents released to the public Tuesday in connection with the NCAA's investigation of the University of North Carolina shed light on some of the impermissible benefits received by football players at the school.
Flight records show employees of a financial advising company called Pro Sports Financial paying for plane flights by former defensive tackle Marvin Austin on at least two occasions.
Jeffrey Rubin, president of the company, paid $146.70 for Austin to fly from Raleigh-Durham to Baltimore-Washington on May 7, 2010, according to records. An Austin flight from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Raleigh-Durham on March 14, 2010, worth $237.40 was paid for by Crystal Sheffield, records show.
She is an executive assistant in charge of flight and hotel arrangements for Pro Sports Financial, according to the firm's website. Documents also show a Colin Keeler is identified as purchasing flights for Austin on two occasions; his association with Austin is unclear.
Efforts to reach Pro Sports Financial and Keeler for comment were unsuccessful.
The documents were part of a massive release of about 1,000 pages of public records by North Carolina in response to the NCAA's Notice of Allegations. On Monday, North Carolina released its 111-page letter to the NCAA detailing its self-imposed penalties as a result of allegations of nine major violations.
North Carolina self-imposed two years of probation, docked the football program three scholarships in each of the next three seasons, vacated its eight wins each from 2008 and 2009, and fined itself $50,000.
The Committee of Infractions will hear North Carolina's case on Oct. 28 in Indianapolis and will issue the final ruling on the penalties.
Now in its 16th month, the NCAA's investigation into academic misconduct and impermissible benefits resulted in 14 football players being held out of games in 2010, with seven missing the entire season. Former associate head coach John Blake, who is accused of working for the late agent Gary Wichard while at North Carolina, resigned at the university's request in September 2010.
Coach Butch Davis, who was not personally cited in the report, was fired in July as Chancellor Holden Thorp grew frustrated with continuing damage to the school's reputation.
On Tuesday, North Carolina released 80 "Exhibits" associated with its letter to the NCAA. Some of the information consisted of documents such as tutor handbooks, descriptions of North Carolina's academic honor code and brochures showing the school's efforts to educate athletes on agents and impermissible benefits.
There were 310 pages of Twitter pictures and posts by Austin, Greg Little and Kendric Burney that were gathered by the NCAA. Some information, such as players' academic transcripts, was heavily or completely redacted.
But some information provided more detail about the $27,097.38 in impermissible benefits received by players - $13,507.47 of which was accepted by Austin.
An invoice from Proactive Sports Performance in Westlake Village, Calif., showed charges for Austin and teammate Cam Thomas of $600 each to train in July 2009. It's not clear from the document who paid for the training.
The document also includes 95 pages of a transcript involving NCAA investigators and Todd Stewart, a longtime friend of Austin's from Washington, D.C., who said he paid for travel for Austin.
Stewart denied working for Pro Sports Financial in the transcript and again in a telephone interview Tuesday. But Southwest Airlines also lists Rubin as having paid for flights for Stewart.
On Tuesday, Stewart said any benefits Austin received came from lifelong friends and might have gone through Rubin's company, but that Rubin didn't provide benefits.
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