North Carolina defensive lineman Marvin Austin, who did not play a snap for the Tar Heels this season, may play in a college football all-star game.
UNC spokesman Kevin Best said Tuesday that the 6-foot-3, 305-pound defensive lineman is expected to make the trip and play for the East team in the Jan. 22 East vs. West Shrine Game in Orlando, Fla.
A preseason All-ACC pick, Austin did not play during 2010. After being withheld early in the season during an NCAA investigation into illegal involvement with agents, he was dismissed from the program on Oct. 11.
First of all, a nitpick of Tudor's write-up here. That is "former North Carolina defensive lineman Marvin Austin." The last I checked Austin was dismissed from the team(which Tudor notes) and UNC did not even bother attempting reinstatement with the NCAA because the case against him was so solid, Ben Matlock would have gone fishing instead of taking it.
Secondly and more importantly can someone please explain to me how the heck Austin gets named to an all-star game for college seniors without the benefit of playing a snap this season? I could understand it if Austin had been injured, recovered and now wanted to play in the game but that is not the case. In fact Austin so brazenly and egregiously flaunted NCAA rules in an effort to have his cake and eat it too it blows me away that the folks running this event would see fit to "reward" him. Not to mention, on what merit does Austin earn the slot? Reputation? Previous years?
I'm sorry but this is complete poppycock. Austin is taking a slot away from someone. Whoever that player is followed the rules and had enough loyalty to his team to put the success of his program ahead of his own selfish desires.I realize this is just an exhibition. Yet I also know Austin has done nothing but land UNC in heaps of trouble, did damage to what may have been an epic season and by no means should be allowed to participate in an college senior all-star game as though none of that happened.
Additional Note: chapelhillfan raised this point in the comments. Normally players in these games wear their college helmet. However, Austin was dismissed from the team and in my opinion no longer eligible to represent UNC in any capacity. Wearing a UNC helmet during the game most certainly would constitute representing the school not to mention be a nice, fat middle finger in the direction of UNC fans. Hopefully they will find him alternative head gear to wear, possibly something with a $ on it.
UPDATE: UNC has confirmed to WTVD's Derek Rowles that Austin will be allowed to wear a UNC helmet during the East-West Shrine Game.
While players in the game wear East or West jerseys, they typically wear the helmet from their respective University. UNC officials tell ABC11, "players wear the helmets of the college they last played for, so Marvin will be wearing a North Carolina helmet. He will be allowed to wear it."
Well, isn't that a nice punch in the gut. My issue here is that Austin not only committed numerous violations of NCAA rules which landed him and the football program in hot water but he was also suspended for violating team rules, declared ineligible for breaking NCAA rules and ultimately dismissed from the team. In my opinion he forfeited the privilege to wear a UNC helmet or uniform ever again. Chances are this issue has never really come up in quite this way before. The standard procedure is for players to wear the helmet of the college team they last played for and UNC is simply going along with that. In my opinion they should not.