And then there were ten.
The NCAA today clarified the status of two additional members of the North Carolina football program and, while it’s not exactly optimal for their starting defense, it’s better than what the alternatives could’ve been.
In a press release issued Wednesday afternoon, North Carolina announced that cornerback Kendric Burney has been suspended for six games while safety Deunta Williams has been suspended for four. Since both have already sat for two games, they’ll miss an additional four and two games, respectively.
The NCAA determined that Burney and Williams had committed violations of the NCAA agent benefits and preferential treatment rules. It was found that Burney had received $1,333 in benefits, and must repay $575.19. Williams was found to have received $1,426 in benefits, and must repay $450.67.
Both players can pay the money owed to the charity of their choice, but the money must be repaid before they will be eligible to return.
As for the specific violations, the release states the following:
According to the facts of the case submitted by the university, these benefits in part included trips to California, Atlanta and Las Vegas for Burney and two trips to California for Williams. The majority of the benefits Burney received were from an individual who meets the NCAA definition of an agent. According to NCAA rules, an agent is any individual who markets or promotes a student-athlete. The majority of Williams’ benefits were preferential treatment violations associated with visiting a former North Carolina football student-athlete.
While the school does not dispute that violations occurred, they do not agree with the severity of the suspensions and will appeal.
“We plan to appeal the length of the suspensions,” says Dick Baddour, North Carolina Director of Athletics. “While I respect the NCAA process, I believe the penalties to be unduly harsh given the individual circumstances in these cases.”
There has been no word of the fate of the other ten players who have been held out of the first two games of the 2010 season due to the NCAA’s twin investigations into relationships with agents and alleged academic misconduct.
Running back Shaun Draughn had previously been cleared by the NCAA after missing the opener.