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UNC Taking Some Time to Vet Gene Chizik

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John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Last week unofficial word leaked out that former Auburn head coach Gene Chizik had accepted an offer to become defensive coordinator at UNC. Despite the numerous details about the hire, including the contract parameters, UNC has yet to officially confirm the hire. Art Chansky at Chapelboro.com says it's due to an extended background check.

Despite widespread reports last week that UNC football would name Gene Chizik as its new defensive coordinator, sources close to the university and athletic department say the vetting process for the former Auburn head coach is still going on.

This, apparently, is a much more detailed review than has occurred with past coaching hires due to the NCAA sanctions and academic scandal that have rocked Carolina over the last three-plus years. It could be considered redefining what "institutional control" means at UNC.

Chizik coached Auburn to an undefeated season (14-0) and national championship in 2010, but he was fired two years later amid reports that his program was immersed in similar issues that have confronted Carolina since an NCAA investigation began in Chapel Hill over the summer of 2010.

As Chansky notes the extended vetting process isn't new. It has been in place for previous coaching hires at UNC since everything went south with the NCAA in 2010.

The process serves two purposes. The first is, you know, actually looking for red flags. One of the complaints UNC had with the NCAA about John Blake is they vetted him as far as asking the NCAA if there were any red flags and Blake was cleared. The assumption here is the vetting process goes beyond simply asking the NCAA if there were any problems.

The other aspect of this is what Chansky is calling "institutional control." One misconception about compliance is that it should prevent any and all violations. That's not how the NCAA views it. When violations occur the NCAA looks at the type of processes a school has in play and whether actions are being take to actively prevent violations from occurring.

In an ideal world all of this happens before the news leaks out but in this era of social media and 24 hour news, that's unlikely to happen.