If someone wants to come up with some kind of dramatic logo for these updates, you know like the ones used on CNN, I am all for it.
The NCAA's deep probe into potential agent/player violations at UNC continues unabated. The absence of any substantive news means we have plenty of speculation to consider. The foremost on that list is a piece written by Aaron Wilson at the National Football Post which claims, among other things, that Marvin Austin is likely to be suspended for the season. It also states the NCAA has talked to Kendric Burney, Deunta Williams, Quan Sturdivant, Bruce Carter and Greg Little. Oh and UNC officials have a "growing concern" about all of this. Ya think?
Now let me be absolutely clear. I am not attempting to impunge Mr. Wilson's reputation nor am I saying he is wrong in what he has posted. My problem is none of this information is necessarily new or surprising. In other words his sources are telling things which are predictable based on previous NCAA action and basic speculation. Heck, I told someone in the office earlier today I thought Austin was done as a Tar Heel just based on how this feels.The list of players named are the same players touted for early picks in the NFL Draft with Robert Quinn being the notably absent. Again, not rocket science to come up with that list.
As Adam Gold and Joe Ovies(who interviewed Wilson today) pointed out this afternoon on 99.9 The Fan there is a ton of hedging going on here but you cannot really refute any of it because Wilson could be right. Since there is nothing substantive being put out right now by the people who actually know something, this kind of post gets reported breathlessly by anyone and everyone as though it is something when in fact it is just speculation. The key point here, as expressed by WRAL's Jeff Gravley is the NCAA is still investigating so any talk of punishment from their end is wholly premature. Also, given that the NCAA has tagged both SCAR and now Florida going after agent issues it clear this is the summer of divine retribution from the governing body after what happened at USC.
Among other tidbits out there.
- ESPN's Joe Schad said he spoke with the NCAA and social networking sites such as Twitter have been a treasure trove of information to launch these types of investigations.
- Speaking of Twitter, is this tweet from Austin the spark that started the whole fire?
- The UNC football team is having an already scheduled team meeting on Tuesday. How much would you give to be a fly on the wall in that room? Then again, given the NCAA's gag rule, the information the players receive might not be all that interesting.
Two exit questions:
1. It is safe to assume UNC has conducted its own probe alongside the NCAA. If they have also concluded Marvin Austin's actions are worth a suspension should they get ahead of this as much as possible by dropping the hammer on Austin(and others) themselves?
2. Is it just me or does it seem like UNC has had a string of major PR gaffes over the past year not to mention being caught completely flat-footed far too often?