In Which UNC Football Players Have a Slight Problem with Parking Tickets

First, a little background. I'd estimate over the three years I had a car at UNC - freshman aren't typically allowed to have a car on campus - I had about six parking tickets. I don't know how much they cost me, as you could always hoof it down to the parking enforcement office behind Morrison and throw yourself on the mercy of the folks working there. My personal low point came when I got three tickets in three days without moving my car. I had literally forgotten where I parked, and every day parking enforcement folks came by to put a new ticket on top of the previous one. Had I not on Wednesday walked down to Ehaus where my car permit was for (I lived in Graham) and found my car not in it's usual lot, it could have been weeks before I remembered that I had left it up on North Campus. I believe my entreaty to the parking folks that time was, "I'm an idiot. Pity me." The fines were reduced.

All of this is a long way of saying when it comes to the parking violations UNC football players picked up over the last four years or so, recently released after a lawsuit, I am not someone who can cast stones. Plenty of folks are, of course. But I can't help and find the whole thing silly. Robbie Pickeral laid out the main offenders, and got Duenta Williams on the record:

 

Still, according to records and interviews, the parking scofflaws included:

 

Greg Little, a former wide receiver who was one of two players ruled permanently ineligible last season for violations of NCAA agent benefits, preferential treatment and ethical conduct rules, appears to have been responsible for 93 tickets and still owes $125.

 

Ryan Houston, a tailback who redshirted last season, has 74 tickets. He apparently owes $740.

 

Marvin Austin, a defensive tackle who was dismissed from the team last season, has 68 tickets.

 

Linebacker Bruce Carter had 10 tickets and owes $700.

 

Twitter response seemed to be mixed. There were those who fessed up to their own parking mishaps, and there were those who were above reproach and saw this as a program out of control. The latter were prone to throwing the total number of tickets issued (395 for $13,125; all but 30 have been paid.) while the former would counter with the number of tickets issued campuswide (47,092 in the past year).

 

It is very easy to not get a ticket at UNC. Don't drive very often and don't be in a hurry to get anywhere. Then, avoiding temptation is easy. Unfortunately, that doesn't apply to football players, who can't be late for anything and are often driving from off-campus. And yes, as Williams points out, some players are already counting the cash they'll be making in the NFL. Parking fines are chump change from that perspective.

 

So I really can't draw any conclusions from this release beyond the fact that Greg Little, whose tickets came in 5 different cars with 9 plates, is probably an entitled asshole. Here's a secret: I kind of thought that before this came out. I'll even go as far as say the same thing of a lot of college athletes at a lot of institutions. I wait with bated breath for their parking records to be released.

 

The important thing is, there doesn't appear to be any impropriety. The tickets get paid, nobody gets special treatment, and Little's five cars were all owned by family. If they want to send their discretionary income to the university, that's their idiocy. Unless something else comes from this, there's just nothing there.

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