It's been a difficult week for the North Carolina football team but some good news arrived on Thursday: Ethan Farmer, a senior defensive tackle, has been cleared to play, UNC announced.
Farmer had been facing an undisclosed eligibility issue and UNC had been waiting on the NCAA to decide his fate. As recently as Wednesday, coach Larry Fedora said he hadn't heard from the NCAA about Farmer's status.
Evidently, that soon changed. Farmer's return, if you can call it that, is a significant boost for the Tar Heels' defensive line. He entered the preseason atop the depth chart at defensive tackle, and he's the most experienced player on the defensive line.
Farmer has started 13 games, second only on the defense to Travis Hughes' 15 starts. The news of Farmer’s status comes one day after Fedora suspended Desmond Lawrence, Donnie Miles, M.J. Stewart and Brian Walker for the season-opener against Liberty.
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The four are suspended while the university investigates an off-campus altercation.
Andrew Carter is the UNC athletics beat reporter for The News & Observer and Charlotte Observer. Follow him on Twitter at @_andrewcarter .