Burney's Father Comments On His Son's Academic Issues[UPDATED]

You gotta love some of these players' fathers and their willingness to comment to the media on what is really happening.

Newly cleared CB Kendric Burney's father Tyrone Burney reveals to the J.P. Gilgio at the N&O what happened with the academic issue that kept his son out of the Miami game

Tyrone Burney said his son was cleared by the university's honor court on Oct. 19. Burney had a grade in writing class from a previous semester - a core class necessary for Burney to graduate - changed by a half of a letter grade.

Burney did not fail the disputed class, which resulted in his appearance before the honor court, his father said. The grade was changed from a "C" to a "C-minus," his father said. Under university policy, Burney needed a "C" in the core class to graduate.

The change in grade affected Burney's academic standing with the NCAA. The NCAA requires athletes to carry a minimum of 12 credit hours, unless as a senior they need fewer hours to graduate.

Burney was on track to graduate in December, his father said, and is taking one class, or three credit hours, this semester. Since the grade was changed in the core class, Burney needs six hours to graduate. Under NCAA rules, he needs to be enrolled in six hours or receive a waiver from the NCAA to participate.

Burney received the waiver and the school announced his return on Tuesday.

Burney, a fifth-year senior, will have to re-take the class in the spring to graduate, his father said.

First of all, let's reconcile what Burney's father has revealed vs what we previously reported at THF. There were two different "sources" we relied on. The first was straight deduction. We knew Burney went before the honor court and subsequent to that he said he needed another class to be eligible. Based on that we assumed that the honor court had given him a failing grade(which is consistent with UNC policy) and therefore Burney needed another class to retain eligibility via NCAA bylaw 14.1.8.2.1.3.

This line of thinking was confirmed via posts on IC Premium by reliable sources that Burney received a failing grade from the honor court and needed an additional class to remain eligible. Obviously there is a discrepancy here between Burney having a grade changed from C to C- and the notion he actually failed the class, except not really. Burney is a communications major and part of the curriculum for that degree includes making a C or better in certain core classes. If the grade was reduced from C to C- then for all intents and purposes Burney failed the class where his degree is concerned. I imagine he gets credit for the hours since he passed the class but it does not count towards his degree. Obviously it is much easier to say "he failed the class" than launch into a detailed explanation of it. Additional note: According to my brother, who is an English professor, it is not uncommon for first year composition classes to fall under the "C or better" requirement. Burney's father said it was a writing class from a previous semester/ At any rate, Burney's C- minus nixed some class he needed, it is unclear which one.

The leads to another question. What happened at the honor court that resulted in a simple grade change vs Burney failing the entire class? The best guess is the honor court chose to fail one assignment, possibly one he received illicit help on rather than the whole class. Here is what the honor code says is one of the available sanctions(emphasis mine):

B. Available Sanctions: Individuals.

The following sanctions alone or in combination may be imposed in connection with offenses under this Instrument: 1. Academic Sanctionsincluding but not limited to the following:

a. Failing Grade. Receipt of a failing grade in a course, component or aspect of a course, or on an assignment.

Based on that it is reasonable to conclude the honor court opted to fail one of Burney's assignments for the class in question and as a result his grade was dropped from the necessary C to a C- which invalidated the class for degree purposes. Since that changed Burney's status and put him in violation of the aforementioned NCAA bylaw, it was necessary for the NCAA to waive the rule which is apparently what happened.  It should also be noted that Burney was not totally "cleared" by the honor court, if the above speculation is correct. He was found guilty of something just not on the same scale as Charles Brown and others. The NCAA, in a rare moment of grace, apparently felt it was not enough of an issue to preclude Burney from playing, especially since he basically served a one game suspension for it on top of the other six games for improper benefits.

UPDATE: Tyrone Burney also talked to Greg Barnes at IC and like the rest of us he was mystified as to why his son was not put into a class once they knew what was happening.

“That’s what really disappointed me,” Burney said. “First of all, I was disappointed in Kendric beyond a shadow of a doubt, but by the same token, what disappointed me with Carolina is that nothing was put into place. When you get this close to graduating, and then something like this happens, there was nothing ever put into place…

“That’s what puzzled me – they knew this investigation had been going on forever how long. The best thing you can do is to look at the worst-case scenario and say, ‘Kendric, let’s go ahead and put you in this class right here, and if everything works out, we can just take you out of the class because you won’t need it.”

There was an effort made to put Burney into an online class but the late date and the fact the class was full precluded it. Burney thought it was a done deal hence the news breaking last week he would be cleared for the Miami game.

Let me also point out this is going to draw a lot of fire from ABCers who will claim something shady is going on. Let me offer the following rebuttal: If UNC wanted to be shady about it then Burney comes off suspension after six games and no one breathes a word about the academic issue. Also consider this. UNC apparently had no qualms about allowing the honor court to end the seasons of Brian Gupton, Jonathan Smith and Charles Brown but suddenly they want to play fast and loose with the system to get Burney on the field? UNC had no qualms about holding Shaun Draughn, Da'Norris Searcy, Linwan Euwell and Ryan Houston out of a total of 14 games without a clear indication of any wrongdoing while a snail's pace investigation moved merrily along but now they say "hey, screw the rules, lets get Burney cleared!" Michael McAdoo and Devon Ramsay(who was pulled midway through the season) have apparently been banished to a janitor's closet in the basement of the Dean Dome never to be heard from again but Burney is getting a free pass? Besides that ABCers somehow think UNC has the NCAA on a leash when everything that has happened thus far in this mess indicates the opposite. Someone can correct me here but this might be the first time the NCAA has given UNC a break in this mess. My expectation of Burney's outcome was he would be royally screwed and there was nothing UNC could do about it.The fact Burney will play again is a shock to me.

I have said this many times. Look at the body count in this thing. Look at the degree to which this football team has been hamstrung. If UNC is making an effort to skirt the system and get players on the field they're doing it wrong. Of course you can never be right if your critics keep moving the goal posts which is a discussion for another time.

Note: Thanks to Doc for researching the curriculum and honor court information.

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