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Tysiac: Mock Enforcement Seminar Holds Clues For UNC's Fate?

The NCAA hosted several members of the media for something they called the "NCAA Enforcement Experience" which may or may not have included the use of a rectal probe(should be fun to see what Google Ads does with that.)

Ken Tysiac of the CharNews & Observer attended the event and noted some items which might apply to UNC's situation.

NCAA officials weren't commenting on ongoing investigations Tuesday, but some general principles presented applied to UNC.

For starters, UNC has reached the average length of time for a Notice of Allegations delineating formal charges to appear - if the NCAA staff determines that institutional violations were committed.

A couple of principles seem ominous for UNC:

-One of the NCAA's power point slides said that regardless of knowledge or involvement under NCAA rules, institutions are responsible for actions of staff members, student-athletes and boosters.

In other words, UNC's assertion that coach Butch Davis didn't know about the violations might not save the program from penalties.

-Academic fraud is considered an aggravating factor for a school, so that could have a negative impact on UNC.

Other principles could work in UNC's favor in the NCAA process:

-Former Committee on Infractions chair Josephine Potuto said that in NCAA rules compliance, "you can't be everywhere and you can't do everything, and the committee understands that perfectly."

-Cooperating with the NCAA can lessen the blow for a school. It has to be "exceptional cooperation," according to the NCAA, but UNC athletic director Dick Baddour has said the school provided that.

Did anyone else catch the NCAA talking out of both sides of its mouth? On one hand they say a coach not knowing about violations is not an excuse but on the other hand the committee understands that compliance cannot be everywhere at once. In other words the NCAA is saying we are going to penalize you regardless of whether coaches knew what was happening but if we think the violations were athletes acting on their own we might go easy on you.

On a side note, it has never been my impression UNC's insistence Butch Davis knew nothing was a ploy to save the program from penalty but to more or less cast Davis in the best possible light. Since Holden Thorp has decided Davis is going to be the head coach, as a PR move it is necessary to present him as someone who was doing his job but was stung by a rogue assistant and bad decisions by a few players. In others words, the coach himself is not a violator even if violations occur within his program. Yes, we are splitting a mighty thin hair here and it does not get you around the notion that regardless of knowledge, Davis is in charge of the program. However there is and should be a distinction between a coach overtly committed violations or willfully turning a blind eye(see Tressel, Jim) and a coach who made efforts to educate players but they did not listen. Of course Davis' biggest issue remains the fact he hired John Blake. The NCAA's determination of Blake's role will go a long way to sorting this whole mess out. Davis' decision to hire him may turn out to be the worst of his tenure at UNC.

On the upside, cooperating allegedly buys you good will from the NCAA and by all accounts UNC got that part right, maybe even to a fault if you take Robert Quinn's account into consideration. Tysiac also noted, according to the NCAA, average wait time for a notice of allegations is 10-11 months. UNC is at that point now which means there could be a letter of inquiry and/or notice of allegations forthcoming in the very near future. And yes, that is based on actual statistics not what the blue jays outside Charles Robinson's window tell him.