NCAA suspends Pack's Wilson four games

jgiglio@newsobserver.comSeptember 3, 2012 

N.C. State's C.J. Wilson (20) celebrates after picking off a BC pass and returning it for a 29-yard touchdown to make the score 34-10 in the third quarter.

ETHAN HYMAN — ETHAN HYMAN - ehyman@newsobserver.com

— N.C. State senior cornerback C.J. Wilson will serve a four-game academic suspension from the NCAA, Wolfpack coach Tom O’Brien said Monday.

Wilson, a three-year starter, did not pass enough credit hours in the spring semester, O’Brien said. Wilson graduated in Dec. 2011 but under NCAA rules, he needed to take 12 hours in the spring and pass six. Wilson did not meet the NCAA standard, O’Brien said.

“He put himself in a hole and had some family issues and thought he could save himself and he didn’t,” O’Brien said.

Wilson was not available for comment on Monday. The senior already sat out N.C. State’s season opener against Tennessee and he will miss the team’s next three games. He is eligible to return for N.C. State’s game at Miami on Sept. 29.

Wilson completed 12 credit hours, with a 3.4 grade point average, over two summer sessions, according to O’Brien, which helped Wilson re-gain his eligibility for the final eight regular-season games of the 2012 season.

“The NCAA said we’ll give you four games instead of a year suspension because of the fact that he was a graduate … and he had extenuating circumstances during the semester,” O’Brien said. “He came back and demonstrated to them that he would be serious going forward.”

Wilson has started 29 games in his career and has three interceptions, all returned for touchdowns, and 95 tackles. He was replaced in the lineup by junior Dontae Johnson and freshman Juston Burris. N.C. State gave up 333 passing yards in the 35-21 loss to Tennessee.

O’Brien said Wilson’s absence wasn’t the reason the Pack’s secondary struggled.

“I don’t think it had any effect on (Friday’s) game,” O’Brien said. “We had all preseason camp knowing that he wasn’t going to be there.”

But there was at least one miscommunication between corner David Amerson and safety Earl Wolff during the game which resulted in a 72-yard touchdown by receiver Zach Rogers. Wilson and Wolff typically play the same side of the field together.

Johnson started at the boundary corner but moved inside when N.C. State went to a nickel against Tennessee, which was often. That put Burris, a freshman, on the outside for his first college game.

Wilson is the second N.C. State player to receive and NCAA suspension this season. Linebacker D.J. Green was suspended in February for testing positive for a banned supplement. Green is suspended for the whole season.

Giglio: 919-829-8938

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