The NCAA is heading back to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. UNC has received a notice of inquiry from the NCAA that an investigation into academic concerns will officially be reopened in light of new evidence and reports concerning academic problems in the university’s athletics department.
The NCAA released the following statement Monday afternoon;
“The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, was cited by the Division I Committee on Infractions in 2012 for violations in its athletics program, including academic misconduct. As with any case, the NCAA enforcement staff makes clear it will revisit the matter if additional information becomes available. After determining that additional people with information and others who were previously uncooperative might be willing to speak with the enforcement staff, the NCAA has reopened its investigation. The enforcement staff is exploring this new information to ensure an exhaustive investigation is conducted based on all available information. The NCAA will not comment further to protect the integrity of the investigation.”
The university released a statement confirming a notice has been received by the school, but there will be no more comments from UNC about the investigation until it is completed.
In February UNC hired Kenneth Wainstein, a former U.S. Justice Department attorney, to lead the outside investigation focusing on lingering academic concerns following the NCAA’s original investigation. UNC previously disputed a report by CNN suggesting a number of student-athletes at the university were unable to complete college level work and faced problems of illiteracy. Former defensive end Michael McAdoo later claimed he was guided to no-show classes by a counselor hired by the university.
All of this information was reported after the NCAA wrapped up its initial investigation, but as with most investigations conducted by the NCAA there is always a statement confirming the case can be reopened if needed. Now it appears the NCAA has access to more information and may be able to get to talk to some witnesses or other people of interest who may have been unavailable or unwilling to cooperate previously.
What does this mean for UNC football? For now it is best to wait and see how deep the NCAA can dig at this time. The program may be able to get by without any punishments too severe for the program after already paying dues for previous incidents. As long as Larry Fedora has been running a clean program since being hired, the damage this investigation causes could be minimal. But if the NCAA finds similar problems still ongoing, it could be quite a different story.
The transfer portal taketh, the transfer portal giveth back.
After announcing late last month that he will place his name in the portal, Virginia Tech quarterback Hendon Hooker on Thursday revealed he had removed his name and will return to Blacksburg.
“I am taking my name out of the transfer portal and I truly believe it’s best to continue my career as a Hokie,” Hooker said in a statement posted to his Twitter account. “I regret the time that I’ve missed with my teammates in preparation for spring ball. I apologize to them and my coaches if I appeared to have a lack of commitment in what we are trying to achieve here at Hokie Nation.”
A native of Greensboro, N.C., Hooker redshirted in 2017 and then saw action in six games last fall. He did not total many snaps while serving as a reserve quarterback, but he did open his collegiate career with a 69-yard touchdown scamper in a 62-17 win over William & Mary in September. Hooker finished the year with 57 rushing yards and did not throw a pass.
However, his path to the field has cleared greatly in recent days.
In a bit of news that is no doubt related to Hooker’s reversal of field, Josh Jackson announced his plans to transfer to Maryland earlier this week. With Jackson out of the picture, Hooker will compete with junior Ryan Willis (who threw 364 passes last season) and fellow sophomore Quincy Patterson II for playing time in 2019.
I’m thinking this isn’t the most optimal of first impressions.
In a tweet posted to his Twitter account in early December, running back J.D. King, who announced his decision to transfer from Oklahoma State two weeks prior, confirmed that he would be continuing his collegiate playing career at Georgia Southern. Very early Sunday morning, the Savannah Morning News has reported, King (pictured) and two of his new GSU teammates, quarterback Ivan Corbin and running back Logan Wright, were all arrested for disorderly conduct.
The details of what led to the misdemeanor charges have not been divulged.
“We are aware of the situation and it will be dealt with internally,” Eagles head coach Chad Lunsford said in a statement. “We are disappointed with the decisions that were made and hopefully we can use it as a learning experience for our entire team as we move forward.”
King, who will have to sit out the 2019 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules, ran for 469 yards and four touchdowns on 99 carries as a true freshman for the Cowboys in 2017. This past season, King’s production dropped to 153 yards and no touchdowns on 43 carries in 10 games.
After sitting out the upcoming season, King will have two years of eligibility remaining.
As a redshirt freshman in 2018, Wright was fifth on the team 308 yards rushing and tied for fourth with three rushing touchdowns. Corbin, who has yet to attempt a pass at the collegiate level, will be fighting for a backup job as he enters his redshirt junior season.
The never-ending benevolence of the NCAA is on display yet again, with a playing member of the Arizona State football program the most recent beneficiary.
Citing multiple people directly familiar with the development, 247Sports.com has reported that Tyler Whiley has been granted a sixth season of eligibility by The Association. Recent rule changes proved to be the impetus for the decision that will allow the defensive back to play in 2019.
From the website’s report:
Whiley… is benefitting from a change made to bylaw 188.8.131.52 called “redshirt year provision.” It allows relief from the five-year eligibility rule if an institutional decision is made to redshirt a student-athlete in his freshman season and a subsequent season is missed due to injury or other qualifying hardship.
Previously, players needed to have two seasons of incapacitation due to injury, illness or other issue in order to apply for a sixth year with the NCAA. That’s no longer the case and the rule change is retroactive to anyone still within their five-year eligibility window. Whiley is part of the first class of players able to benefit from the change.
While took a non-injury redshirt as a true freshman in 2014, then missed the entire 2018 season due to a serious injury to his right leg. Those two factors triggered the affirmative decision for a sixth season of eligibility, which Whiley will be able to use in 2019.
Whiley played in 13 games in the season prior to his injury. He will likely enter summer camp as a favorite to claim a starting job at safety.
Wednesday, Auburn announced the hiring of Wesley McGriff as secondary coach. A day later, the man McGriff replaced was officially introduced by his new employer.
As expected, Purdue Thursday confirmed that Greg Brown has been added to Jeff Brohm‘s coaching staff as cornerbacks coach. Brown had spent the past two seasons as the secondary coach for the SEC Tigers.
“We’re excited to have Greg join us,” Brohm said in a statement. “He is a veteran coach with nearly 40 years of experience at both the collegiate and professional levels of football. Greg will be a great addition to our staff.”
The move to West Lafayette serves as a homecoming of sorts as Brown spent the 1989 and 1990 seasons with the Boilermakers as defensive backs coach.
Brown has spent the past decade and a half at Power Five programs, including stops at Missouri (2016), Louisville (2014-15), Alabama (2013), Colorado (2011-12; 2005-09) and Arizona (2010). Prior to that, he spent time with five different NFL teams over the course of a dozen seasons.