Wait...it's Thursday and UNC got good news about the NCAA probe? Get. Out.
Based on new information provided by the University of North Carolina, the NCAA has determined that no violation has occurred in the case of football student-athlete Devon Ramsay. As a result of this ruling, Ramsay is immediately eligible to return to competition.
"We are delighted for Devon," said Dick Baddour, University of North Carolina Director of Athletics. "He is an outstanding young man and this is the right decision. Devon and his family never wavered in their belief that he did not commit a violation as we worked through this process. We appreciate the time and attention given to this case by the NCAA staff."
As Doc noted on Twitter, this is a shock. The NCAA rarely reverses the death penalty, which is what this was. Devon Ramsay's mother has been telling anyone who will listen that her son did nothing wrong. Apparently the source of the alleged violation was an email exchange in November 2008 between Ramsay, then a freshman, and now former football tutor Jennifer Wiley concerning changes that should be made to a paper. Ramsay's mother, Sharon Lee, had insisted the exchange did not constitute a violation. After Ramsay was declare ineligible, UNC appealed. Through the course of the appeal former NC Supreme Court justice, Robert Orr, decided to take the case which led to a change in strategy. Instead of appealing, Orr sought to prove no violation occurred at all. Apparently he was successful. Ramsay will have one year of eligibility left and return to play next season.
[UPDATE (Doc): Ken Tysiac of the ChaRaleigh Observer offers some clarification of how all this came together. You may recall that UNC asked for a delay of Ramsay's appeal, originally scheduled for December 16th, two days after Michael McAdoo's appeal hearing. Tysiac writes that Orr orchestrated the delay because to appeal meant an admission that a violation had occurred.
Orr asserted that Ramsay's request for assistance from Wiley is, in and of itself, not a violation. What can be inferred from this is that if Ramsay made a legal request for help and the help she provided him was illegal, then the violation was committed by Wiley and not by Ramsay. That is a logical, albeit technical, distinction.]
No one has said what the "new information" was that cleared Ramsay or why it did not come out before now. I do know this is the sort of thing that will cause the heads of the Anybody But Carolina crowd to explode. You know what? I don't give a crap. The NCAA has now determined Ramsay did not commit a violation. You know what that means? Ramsay sat nine games of UNC's season while being innocent. He was not able to play six of UNC's eight wins including the bowl game. Ramsay also had his reputation besmirched time and again by the media who paint the 14 players who missed games during the 2010 with the same brush. If anyone wants to say UNC is getting a pass or someone is covering something up should also admit that Ramsay was punished for doing nothing but having contact with the now radioactive Ms. Wiley.
So, let them whine, complain, beat their chest and concoct conspiracy theories while numerous seats in the RBC Center stand empty during a home game versus Clemson. I say screw 'em. Ramsay did nothing and got hosed anyway. [Doc: It is important to note that while Ramsay had his eligibility restored for next year, he still lost 9 games this season.] If that is UNC getting a break from the NCAA then heaven help the Heels if the boys from Indy actually drop the hammer.