Might be 30, might 630...feels like the latter.
ACC Now is reporting UNC has hired a former NCAA lawyer as a consultant:
North Carolina athletic director Dick Baddour said the school is using Evrard as a consultant. NCAA investigators have been to campus twice in the last six weeks in a probe of possible improprieties between football players and sports agents.
Baddour said he still has complete faith in assistant athletic director for compliance Amy Herman and university legal counsel Leslie Strohm.
"This is just something that we felt like, let’s don’t leave any stone unturned," Baddour said this morning. "Let’s don’t look back on this and wish we had done something in a different way. Somebody who has experience going through this who can bring knowledge about what other schools have done, what’s been helpful in the past, what’s not been helpful, and help us know what to expect at each turn."
Translation? UNC is in completely uncharted waters where this sort of thing is concerned. They also might not be getting as much information from the NCAA as they would like so they are hiring someone with experience from within the NCAA to tell them what to expect. Heck, the guy in question might still have connections with the NCAA and be helpful in moving things along. I am not convinced UNC is concerned about stones having been left unturned. They are looking for some insight into what might be coming down the line and someone who spent seven years with the NCAA would be able to advise them. Of course no one knows when Evrard was hired. For all we know he may have been around all along and it is simply coming out today because the media sniffed it out.
That being said I think this story coming out casts even further doubt on stories this probe was close to being wrapped up or the rumor on the message boards that UNC has already received the report and is simply waiting.
In news that broke yesterday but I was not inclined to post:
UNC had their media day on Thursday and the prevailing wisdom in Chapel Hill was to trot Dick Baddour out since he is the only voice at UNC that can speak about the NCAA investigation. The intent was for Baddour to soak up all the investigation questions thus curtailing the media from asking Butch Davis about it. It worked for the most part save one testy exchange between Davis and ACC Now's Joe Giglio as it pertained to John Blake.
Here's a transcript of the questions about Blake and Davis' response from today's press conference:
Q: What was the primary reason that you hired John Blake?
Davis: "He was a very good teacher, a good defensive line coach."
Q: Was there any question in your mind about his relationship with Gary Wichard? Any concern?
Davis: "Any question in my mind? No. ... I'm not talking about any of the things that have anything to do with this review."
Q: Just to be clear, you're saying that the assistant coach is involved in the review?
Davis: "Just to be clear, I said we're not going to talk about the review."
Q: I didn't ask you about the review, I asked you about a coach.
Davis: "I know you did and I told you that anything that has anything to do with any kind of investigation or any kind of review, we're not going to talk about it. I'd be happy to talk all you want about football."
One slight problem with Davis' response. He basically connected the dots that Blake is part of the investigation. Now before you say "no crap THF, everyone knows that!" it is important to note that no one at UNC has confirmed this. Giglio asks about Blake's relationship with Gary Wichard and Davis said he is not talking about the investigation. What Davis probably should have said was: "No, I have never been concerned about John's relationship with Gary Wichard" or something to that effect. For Davis to comment how he personally feels about Blake's relationship with Wichard would not be the same as talking about the investigation. Basically Giglio asked Davis if he knew what time it was and instead of Davis simply saying "yes" he actually told him the time. Again, not a huge deal since everyone knows Blake is being looked at but it does illustrate the strain this is all having on everyone involved.
As for Baddour's part, it can be summed up like this: There is no timetable. We are cooperating in every facet from telling the truth to making sure the investigators get their preferred bottled water and that all of the green M&Ms have been removed candy bowl in the conference room. Baddour also maintains that the supposed Friday conclusion to the investigation is not happening. As I said yesterday, they could be playing coy as they did when Butch Davis was hired or it could be the truth. The fact more information has popped up this week leads one to believe that the NCAA could not possibly wrap this probe up that quickly unless they new info had already been factored in.
In other news, the N&O obtained a letter sent by NC Secretary of State Elaine Marshall to all sports agents registered in the state asking them to preserve any documentation they might have as it relates to the following Tar Heel football players: Marvin Austin, Greg Little, Deunta Williams, Kendric Burney, Bruce Carter, and Quan Sturdivant. She also asked them to confess or tattle on other agents if they witnessed wrongdoing. Yes, that latter request speaks to the absolute cutthroat nature Marshall knows every agent has. First of all, much is being made about the fact Marshall is interested in what agents might have on these six players. I have even seen some fan comments that this means the probe has expanded to six players from two. Not so. First of all, these six were already known to have talked to the NCAA because five of these players are expected to go high in the NFL Draft and therefore would be on the radar of various agents. Little is also considered an NFL prospect though not of the early round variety. Robert Quinn's name is notably absent since he is likely to be a first or second round pick as well. Still, these names have already been out there as part of the NCAA investigation and Marshall's request for agents to hold onto documentation pertaining to these six should not be shocking. What it is, quite frankly, is a tad stupid. When agents break the law to provide money or gifts to college players they generally use runners. I am also fairly certain that unless they fell of the turnip truck last week, they probably don't have any official documents lying around their office detailing how they might be circumventing the law or destroying some kid's college eligibility. Maybe they do but I have serious doubts as to whether Marshall is going to find a smoking gun in Joe Agent's file on Deunta Williams. No, this is about Marshall getting elected to the U.S. Senate by looking as though she is doing something even though most people think her investigation is going to turn up very little. There are less than three months left until Election Day with this story having far less life than that left in it. As soon as the NCAA rules, which could happen by September, no one is going to give a crap about Marshall's investigation anymore. Strike it while its hot Elaine because the time you can effectively exploit this issue for political purposes is fast running out.
Oh and one more rumor: Skinner says the teachers will crack any minute, purple monkey dishwasher.