Sure, deflect your former program’s issues onto another conference.
As Ben noted Monday afternoon, the NCAA handed down sanctions on North Carolina’s football program relating to multiple players receiving impermissible benefits as well as an academic scandal. Among the sanctions with which the Tar Heels were slapped was a one-year bowl ban, loss of 15 total scholarships over three years and the vacating of all victories from both the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
While some felt that the program got off lightly given the scope of the scandal — one of Butch Davis‘ former assistants, John Blake, was in essence found to be a runner for an agent — at least one former player felt the exact opposite. And he attempted to express those feelings by slinging mud at everyone’s favorite target when things go awry with their respective football programs.
“What happened at Carolina is child’s play compared to what happens at the SEC,” ex-UNC defensive back Deunta Williams, who was suspended four games in 2010 for his role in the scandal, told the Charlotte Observer. “The SEC pays for players. I’m not afraid to say it, but the NCAA doesn’t go after them.”
Why Williams eschewed a “sCam Newton” blast is unknown, although he didn’t reserve all of his vitriol for the SEC.
“It’s a broken system,” said Williams of the NCAA and the game of college football. “College football is a business, and the people who run college football are only interested in money and using the players as product to make money.”
On that, the 2010 UNC graduate may very well have a point. Check that: he does have a very valid point, although it doesn’t change the fact that he and a baker’s dozen of his former teammates broke NCAA bylaws that led to significant sanctions for the program, sanctions for which, once again, players who had nothing to do with the scandal will suffer the consequences.
And that has absolutely nothing to do with the SEC and everything to do with the shortsightedness of a handful of now-former players and, more importantly, the suspect character of a once-trusted assistant.