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Coples Incident Extends NCAA Investigation

According to Charles Robinson who spoke with Adam Gold and Joe Ovies on 99.9 The Fan on Tuesday afternoon.

The full audio can be found here. These are some of the more salient points via WRAL's Fankind.

The investigation would have wrapped up in April if it had ended with Marvin Austin and Robert Quinn and the few others that created the need for the investigation last year. Thanks to Quinton Coples, social media and the quest for a good time, that investigation has now been extended.

I'm pretty sure that college athletes are specifically warned not to attend draft parties. The reasons why are innumerable, but let's just say agents, drink purchases, skipping on a cover charge...

The potential impact is great according to Robinson.

"I think things are going to get a little more serious for North Carolina now than they would have if that whole incident in April hadn't taken place," he said.

Now, Coples has not been proven to have done wrong to this point. He may or may not. The fact that the would-be-over investigation is not over, is not a good sign, though. Even worse sign, Robinson tells us that, members of the football staff have retained their own lawyers. You don't have to be close to the situation or even know law to know that is not a good thing.

By way of explanation, when Robinson says the investigation would have been over in April he means the NCAA was done with the information gathering element and preparing to move forward with either the letter of infraction or notice of allegations. Then Quinton Coples ends up somewhere he shouldn't so the NCAA has to reverse course and reopens matters. Fair enough but here is what I don't understand. At this point no one has proven Coples to have done anything wrong right? Contrary to what was written above, the NCAA did not actually warn players to not attend parties but advised athletes concerning their responsibilities when it comes to attending such events. As far as we know Coples went to a post-draft party but nothing has been presented to say he actually committed a violation while he was there. Does it look bad? Sure but if the NCAA finds that Coples took care of his business I am not sure why it would hurt UNC. If anything wouldn't that prove UNC has done a better job educating players on compliance issues?

As for assistant coaches retaining counsel, I think there could be a far less ominous explanation than Robinson suggests. Seeing that Robert Quinn was screwed over by a UNC lawyer and Devon Ramsay had the "death penalty" reversed by independent counsel a person retaining a lawyer to protect their personal interests strikes me as a smart move. The lawyers who work for UNC are out there to protect the school which sometimes means stepping on certain individuals to do it. If you are a coach, you know getting tainted by an NCAA investigation could end your career so why not get counsel if you can to ensure you have someone with just your interests in mind? The counter argument is if they did nothing wrong they shouldn't need representation right? True but the NCAA's burden of proof is so small, I could see how seemingly minor issues might explode into something more. So coaches lawyering up could be something or nothing.

At this point I have no idea what to make of Robinson other than he is clearly getting his information from the NCAA. Someone in Indianapolis must really like him.  The problem with Robinson is he has been taking letters and notices since December. In some respects we have wandered into the Boy Who Cried Wolf territory.

Oh and in case you are wondering how the resignation of Jim Tressel affects the situation in Chapel Hill, it doesn't as Joe Ovies succinctly puts. Not that it will keep ABCers from trying.