The News and Observer is reporting that three Tar Heels are no longer with the team and a fourth will not be on the 105 man roster when training camp opens on Friday.
Senior defensive tackle Shawn Underwood, redshirt freshman defensive tackle Greg Webb and sophomore linebacker Clint Heaven are no longer on the North Carolina football team, a team spokesman said on Wednesday.
All three players were on scholarship, and Underwood was listed on the Tar Heels' preseason depth chart as a possible starter at defensive tackle. The status of another scholarship player, sophomore offensive guard J.J. Patterson, is unclear, said Kevin Best, the UNC football spokesman.
Patterson will not be among the 105 players who practice with the team on Friday when UNC beings preseason camp. The loss of Underwood and Webb, meanwhile, leaves Ethan Farmer, a senior, as the only remaining player who ended the spring on the depth chart at defensive tackle.
While it hasn't been explicitly stated, the conjecture is these are academic casualties, especially with UNC spokesman Kevin Best citing "privacy laws" when pressed for an explanation for the departure.
While the players in question were not necessarily big contributors last season, their loss does invite some uncertainty regarding depth, especially on the defensive line. UNC is still in recovery mode from NCAA mandated scholarship reductions. This sort of thing exacerbates the depth issue a bit though it's not quite crippling.
Not yet anyway.