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NCAA Investigating UNC Football[UPDATED]

UPDATE: Via Inside Carolina:

Inside Carolina has learned that the NCAA investigation surrounding the UNC football program centers on improper benefits provided to the NFL Draft prospects that elected to come back for the 2010 season. The NCAA inquired about benefits that included rent, jewelry and travel.

The investigation includes seniors Marvin Austin, a defensive tackle, and Greg Little, a wide receiver, but is not limited to them. The NFL Draft prospects in question weren’t the only ones interviewed by the NCAA representatives.

Joe Schad also tweeted that Marvin Austin was asked about driving former UNC and current San Francisco 49er Kentwan Balmer's vehicle and if he stayed in his apartment.

Obviously there is still more to be revealed but if they find players received improper benefits from agents then we are probably looking at suspensions and the players paying back the gifts which it what happened to John Wall at Kentucky.


So, does this mean UNC is now a legitimate football program?

Inside Carolina first broke the story that the NCAA was on campus having a heart-to-heart with UNC football players for issues not related to academics. Just in the last hour, ACC Now has narrowed it down to the NCAA talking with two Tar Heels about improper contact with an agent.

The NCAA is investigating two University of North Carolina football players in connection with possible improper involvement with sports agents, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation.

UNC athletic director Dick Baddour confirmed Thursday that the NCAA "had been to Chapel Hill to speak with some of our student-athletes" but declined to provide further details.

"We told [the NCAA] we will give them our total cooperation and maintain the confidence of their visit and review," Baddour said Thursday.

Baddour said he had spoken at length with NCAA representatives about the issue.

"I’m going to do exactly what they ask me to do," Baddour said. "We work hard in doing things the right way."

NCAA representatives met with the players on Monday and Tuesday, according to a source.

When the story broke, some sort of issue with an agent was bantered about as the most probably issue being investigated. UNC has several highly touted NFL prospects, some of who flirted with the idea of heading to the NFL before opting to play another season at UNC.

ESPN's Joe Schad said on Twitter that the purpose of the NCAA's visit was "to make sure no Reggie Bush stuff is going on." Schad also indicated that one of the players interviewed was Marvin Austin. Update: According to Schad, the NCAA asked players who was paying their rent. In other words they are wondering if anyone is pulling a "Reggie Bush."

It is possible this there is nothing to see here and the NCAA is simply looking into a situation will looks ripe for violations involving agents. Hopefully they find nothing and we can move on. That being said, this is an awfully aggressive move on the part of the NCAA. Obviously dropping the hammer on USC was just the beginning. Apparently the infractions committee has decided to be more preemptive in their approach.

And if you are interested in conspiracy theories you can have a lot of fun with the fact the infractions committee is being headed by former Miami AD Paul Dee. The same Paul Dee who hired Butch Davis at Miami and was subsequently left at the altar when Davis went to Cleveland.

For now, we wait and see and hope everyone is eligible come September.