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Giglio: NCAA Guidelines On Punishments

Excellent piece from J.P. Giglio at the N&O summarizing what can be expected from the NCAA in their investigation of UNC's football program:

According to NCAA documents, for expenses less than $500, the suspension is zero games; between $501 and $700 is 10 percent of the regular season; $701 to $1,000 is 20 percent; and $1,001 "and up" is 30 percent.

The NCAA does not quantify a "point of no return" or an upper limit on the monetary value of expenses before a student-athlete would be unable to repay the amount and retain his eligibility.

Signing with an agent, or "an agreement indicating that an individual will represent him or her," results in a loss of eligibility, according to the NCAA document.

The NCAA classifies the college football season as 12 games and the college basketball season as 29 games, Brett said. The NCAA rounds the suspension up, Brett said, so in the case of football, 10 percent would be two games, 20 percent would be three games and 30 percent would be four games.

Giglio also points out that if we talking about four game suspensions, UNC's opening quartet of opponents are nothing to sneeze at. UNC opens with LSU in Atlanta and Georgia Tech at home following a bye. The Heels then travel to Rugers before returning home to face ECU. That is a fairly stiff test. Hypothetically speaking, let's say Marvin Austin and Greg Little are the only guilty players in this and they both get the maximum of four games. Certainly that will make facing the first four teams more difficult. Austin's presence on defense opens up a lot of opportunities for other players, Robert Quinn being the most prominent. Little is UNC's most experience and arguably best receiver. Losing him hurts an offense many already expect to struggle. On the bright side, the first four games only includes one ACC opponent in Georgia Tech. Playing the Yellow Jackets in Chapel Hill after a bye week is the best possible situation. Even if UNC is missing two key players, I think the rest of the players will step up their game to compensate. Losing Austin and Little for four games by no means breaks the season. UNC could reasonably still go 3-1 or even 4-0 with step-up games from other players and the offense being better than expected. The problem with any key losses is how it impacts your margin of error or your ability to absorbed additional losses. UNC still has a month of training camp to go through where injuries could crop up.

The article also notes that if UNC were to appeal, it would drag the process out longer with three weeks being the expected turnaround on a ruling. The timing of the NCAA announcing any discipline matters since we are roughly five weeks from UNC's opener with LSU. A ruling made within the next week or two would give UNC time to appeal if they so choose. However, given UNC's attitude of complete cooperation it is more likely they accept whatever comes and move on.