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UNC Suspends Jones, Reinstatement Pending [UPDATED: Jones Cleared by NCAA]

See update at end of post...

In an NCAA eligibility dance Carolina football fans unfortunately know all too well, UNC has suspended senior wideout Dwight Jones for the Independence Bowl after his appearance on a flier for a New Year's Eve party with Jones being the featured birthday guest.

From the News and Observer:

"Coach [Everett] Withers and I met, and Dwight realizes he made a mistake," UNC athletics director Bubba Cunningham said in a statement. "Dwight has cancelled the party and we have submitted a reinstatement request with the NCAA."

UNC will leave on Thursday for Shreveport, La., to begin on-site preparations for the Independence Bowl. It’s likely the NCAA will notify the university of Jones’ status for the bowl game before the team departs for Louisiana.

It is standard operating procedure in a situation like this for the school to declare the player ineligible and appeal to the NCAA for reinstatement. Based on the very similar situation of Sammy Watkins at Clemson, it is reasonable to expect Jones to be cleared before the bowl game, despite the N&O's breathless headline.

UPDATE: WCHL is reporting Jones has been reinstated by the NCAA and will participate in the Independence Bowl. No surprise here.