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There Was In Fact a Police Report for the Aloft Hotel Incident

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Alternate headline: "Why Are We Still Talking About the Aloft Hotel Incident?"

I am unclear on what the point of this story is though co-author Andrew Carter does attempt to snarkily clarify it here.

The gist, as I understand it, is a police report filed for the UNC football training camp incident at the Aloft Hotel, was somewhat incomplete.

The first report filed by UNC police only shows an "allegation of aggravated assault." It doesn’t identify the victim, any involved parties, or who contacted police about the incident. It identifies the police station as the location of the incident, and says it happened on Aug. 8, four days after the incident.

A crime log kept by the department to provide information to the public and the federal government also misreported the time, date and location of the alleged assault.

The assault allegations didn’t become public until Aug. 26, when Yahoo! Sports reported that Jackson Boyer, a walk-on receiver for the team, had suffered a concussion from what Yahoo reporters described as a hazing by teammates at the Aloft hotel. The team was staying at the hotel during training camp.

UNC-Chapel Hill Police Chief Jeff McCracken now acknowledges the report was inaccurate, but he said the mistakes were inadvertent. The department has filed a corrected report and updated the crime log.

"If there was some effort to cover this up," McCracken said in an interview this week, "a report never would have been filed."

The rest of the piece goes on to say that the report was filed to satisfy the Clery Act which is a Federal law that stipulates schools report any criminal acts to the police. As such, someone at UNC filed the report on the incident even though UNC police had no jurisdiction(the Aloft Hotel is off-campus) and Chapel Hill police had not been contacted by the victim(Jackson Boyer.) And for good measure we get some former state prosecutor playing armchair police chief on what the Chapel Hill Police did wrong and what not.

So if you are asking what the point of this piece was, that's a valid question. I suppose it's newsworthy and adds a little extra information to a story no one is paying attention to anymore. The issue here, at least for me, is the headline. Instead of using a word like "inaccurate" or "incomplete" or "raises questions"(which Carter does in his clarification), the N&O went with "misleading." The word "misleading" would indicate that someone filed a report  and either intentionally left information out or put something false into the report. After all "misleading" comes from the word "mislead" which, according to Merriam-Webster, means, "to lead in a wrong direction or into a mistaken action or belief often by deliberate deceit." While it's true the N&O never alleges a cover-up, the use of the word "misleading" in the headline would certainly lead(or mislead?) the reader to believe someone was acting with "deliberate deceit" despite the article saying nothing of the sort.

Then again, the piece does have Dan Kane's name on it and this sort of damning headline followed by very little actual substance is old hat. Part of the problem with the perception of this article is the fact Kane's name is in the byline. Over the past few years, Kane has been responsible for publishing a litany of pieces heavy on insinuation hidden behind headlines which tend to overstate his case by a country mile. As such, a piece like this will automatically be perceived as just the latest in a long line of Kane Klassics.

If this piece were published in a vacuum, then there would be the customary, "why does the N&O hate my school" complaints which all fan bases have in response to negative attention. However, the larger context of Kane's UNC coverage means anything with his name on it will be viewed as part of the pattern. A pattern, mind you, that includes pieces on minor, irrelevant points for the sole purpose of keeping the story alive in the public eye in hopes it will become something more or keep the heat on UNC.

Outside of that, the report from the N&O does nothing to change the facts on the ground regarding the incident. Larry Fedroa suspended four players for it. All four returned against San Diego State, with one of them, Brian Walker, enjoying a big game and earning ACC co-defensive back of the week honors. As far as we know the matter is still under consideration by student affairs which may or may not lead to additional action. In all likelihood the matter will quietly go away, that is unless Dan Kane finds a typo in some other report on the incident.