UPDATE: The AP is reporting via WRAL that UNC WR Greg Little will not travel to Atlanta for the season opening game vs LSU. No real surprise here considering Little's connection to the seemingly eternal investigation into agent contact with UNC players. There are also rumors that Little is a part of the academic probe as well.
The first shoe in the NCAA's investigation into potential improper contact with agents by players at UNC, South Carolina, and Alabama has dropped as Alabama's Marcell Dareus has been suspended for two games by the NCAA and ordered to repay $1700 and change to a charity of his choice.
According to NCAA guidelines, improper benefits of that amount should have resulted in a four-game suspension, but mitigating circumstances reduced the penalty by half. Alabama coach Nick Saban has indicated the Tide will appeal to try and get the suspension reduced to a single game. Pretty important for Bama, as they play Penn State next week.
It was reported earlier this week that SCAR would find out their fate before Thursday's game against Southern Mississippi, but that did not happen. In addition to TE Weslye Saunders, who had been suspended for matters not related to the NCAA investigation, SCAR was looking at as many as ten players possibly held out for their involvement in the hotel benefits situation, but only two did not play: OL Jarriel King and DB Chris Culliver. King was one of the ten players possibly involved in the hotel benefits situation, but interestingly, Culliver was not.
In Chapel Hill, ACC Now's Joe Giglio reports the afternoon passed with no news about who would have a seat on the bus to Atlanta. Giglio notes that Butch Davis said UNC could still be sorting out player issues through the middle of the afternoon on Saturday. Giglio also writes in a separate post that UNC did release an injury report without any surprises or any big names.
So what can be taken from the news on Marcel Dareus? Apparently the NCAA has decided there was agent contact at the party so that at least gives a road map on the minimum that can be expected for Austin and Little.
Meanwhile, no news is, well, no news. Bus loads in 12 hours; let's see who is on it.