More analysis to come, but here quickly are the salient points from the press conference with Chancellor Thorp, AD Baddour, and Coach Davis:
- An investigation into academic impropriety has been opened. There are now two prongs to the investigation into the UNC.
- UNC is taking the lead (and inferred sole discretion) on the academic investigation with the NCAA's blessing.
- The academic piece was discovered during player interviews about the agent investigation.
- The academic concerns have just been discovered.
- Baddour has assembled a team including the current and former faculty athletic representatives, compliance office, and legal counsel's office to look into the academic matters.
- There is no timeline on the academic side of the investigation. It seems likely it will not be resolved before the LSU game.
- The tutor involved had worked for Butch Davis and his family as an academic tutor for his son Drew, a high school junior. She apparently worked with UNC's academic athletic support at some point as well.
- Davis received a vote of confidence from both Baddour and Thorp. Read into that what you will.
Other than that, it was 25 minutes of not a whole lot. Thorp assured that academic integrity was paramount and that UNC would get to the bottom of this. Baddour revealed how they found out there was academic problems but would not elaborate on how many players were involved or how long this might take. He reiterated that Carolina has significant education about agents and guidelines for academic support. Davis acknowledged the elephant in the room right off, saying the tutor in question once worked for his family.
The bigger point for me is that Carolina has maintained the cone of silence regarding improper contact with agents. But as soon as academic integrity was called into question, the chancellor, AD, and head football coach were out front and center talking to the media, and more important, to alumni and fans. That's what you want to see in a situation like this.
More to come...
UPDATE(THF): Let me chime in here. So I was right that big news would break with me on vacation I just didn't think it would be more...er...stuff hitting the proverbial fan. Nothing like picking up your Blackberry for the first time today and reading UNC football is now neck deep in academic infractions. So what happens now? Does Holden Thorp get Dick Baddour, Erskine Bowles and go all Star Trek III on the football program? Do we get a more surgical response that means taking a hammer approach to the guilty players in hopes they can shore up the issue at hand and still maintain the program momentum from a recruiting standpoint? Everyone says they support Butch Davis but generally when that comes from the AD or Chancellor it usually does not end well. That might not be the case here but public votes of confidence from the administration have long been considered bad omens. Doc is correct, you want to see Thorp and company out there dealing with this. It is clear they ain't fooling around which also means no one will bat an eye if they do blow up the Enterprise.
Whatever happens, as UNC fans all we want is for someone to make this right and for UNC to do the right thing regardless of results. If that means dismissing players, so be it. This newest twist also will result in additional garbage flung from the ABC side of the room which is expected and possibly a little sad but that is the cost of doing business. All I want is someone to make this all go away...please...I'm begging you.
Exit question: Does William Friday's ranting against big business college athletics look more sane than it did two months ago?