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Coples Incident Extends NCAA Investigation

According to Charles Robinson who spoke with Adam Gold and Joe Ovies on 99.9 The Fan on Tuesday afternoon.

The full audio can be found here. These are some of the more salient points via WRAL’s Fankind.

The investigation would have wrapped up in April if it had ended with Marvin Austin and Robert Quinn and the few others that created the need for the investigation last year. Thanks to Quinton Coples, social media and the quest for a good time, that investigation has now been extended.

I’m pretty sure that college athletes are specifically warned not to attend draft parties. The reasons why are innumerable, but let’s just say agents, drink purchases, skipping on a cover charge…

The potential impact is great according to Robinson.

“I think things are going to get a little more serious for North Carolina now than they would have if that whole incident in April hadn’t taken place,” he said.

Now, Coples has not been proven to have done wrong to this point. He may or may not. The fact that the would-be-over investigation is not over, is not a good sign, though. Even worse sign, Robinson tells us that, members of the football staff have retained their own lawyers. You don’t have to be close to the situation or even know law to know that is not a good thing.

By way of explanation, when Robinson says the investigation would have been over in April he means the NCAA was done with the information gathering element and preparing to move forward with either the letter of infraction or notice of allegations. Then Quinton Coples ends up somewhere he shouldn’t so the NCAA has to reverse course and reopens matters. Fair enough but here is what I don’t understand. At this point no one has proven Coples to have done anything wrong right? Contrary to what was written above, the NCAA did not actually warn players to not attend parties but advised athletes concerning their responsibilities when it comes to attending such events. As far as we know Coples went to a post-draft party but nothing has been presented to say he actually committed a violation while he was there. Does it look bad? Sure but if the NCAA finds that Coples took care of his business I am not sure why it would hurt UNC. If anything wouldn’t that prove UNC has done a better job educating players on compliance issues?

As for assistant coaches retaining counsel, I think there could be a far less ominous explanation than Robinson suggests. Seeing that Robert Quinn was screwed over by a UNC lawyer and Devon Ramsay had the “death penalty” reversed by independent counsel a person retaining a lawyer to protect their personal interests strikes me as a smart move. The lawyers who work for UNC are out there to protect the school which sometimes means stepping on certain individuals to do it. If you are a coach, you know getting tainted by an NCAA investigation could end your career so why not get counsel if you can to ensure you have someone with just your interests in mind? The counter argument is if they did nothing wrong they shouldn’t need representation right? True but the NCAA’s burden of proof is so small, I could see how seemingly minor issues might explode into something more. So coaches lawyering up could be something or nothing.

At this point I have no idea what to make of Robinson other than he is clearly getting his information from the NCAA. Someone in Indianapolis must really like him.  The problem with Robinson is he has been taking letters and notices since December. In some respects we have wandered into the Boy Who Cried Wolf territory.

Oh and in case you are wondering how the resignation of Jim Tressel affects the situation in Chapel Hill, it doesn’t as Joe Ovies succinctly puts. Not that it will keep ABCers from trying.


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26 comments to Coples Incident Extends NCAA Investigation

  • 1. Don’t care what anyone outside of UNC fans would think.

    2. So very tired of the entire business. At this point the football program feels like it has jumped the shark. I really don’t care what happens at this point, I just want it to end. Really, it doesn’t matter to me. I still love Carolina football and I want to see it continue to grow but I’m done caring about what could be, why it matters, why it doesn’t, I’m just done. This has gone on so long, with so many turns and issues that I just can’t put anymore energy into this situation.

    I would strongly agree with THF on the hiring of your own lawyers. Nothing says cover yourself more than “employee at will”.

    Glad I was able to close out my ticket purchase last week, I wish I could find some equity in this process.

    Too tired to even correct my sloppy post - “malmummawithabananapatch” - The Jerk

  • chaucer1350

    I’ve been nervous mainly because I’ve been convinced that the NCAA needs another high profile burial, and soon. With all of the information flowing out of Columbus, especially the fluctuating narratives relative to the OSU compliance department, I’m feeling much better on that front.

    That said, I think the UNC case is going to get uglier before it’s done. Had the investigation closed in April, I feel the scales of justice tilted more towards “failure to monitor” rather than LOIC. Now, I would call it a coin flip. At best.

    I’m 3rd generation UNC raising what I hope to be Gen 4. I want this to end well. But growing up in SEC country, I was a college football fan from age 3, and I’ve paid at least some attention to a lot of NCAA cases. On the facts alone, this case has been a total disaster. Within the NCAA system, mitigating and aggravating factors count for a lot — more than the original transgression(s), in many cases. UNC clearly hopes their total cooperation earns them enough mitigation to escape the worst.

    But I strongly suspect that Baddour’s legacy will be a beautiful new football stadium with a smoking crater of a program to play in it.

  • 850inExile aka UNC RAJ

    Hey great. Another embarrassing article about our football program. When the football program is a source of more embarrassment then pride isn’t it time to make some changes?

  • briarcliff

    If UNC were waging a public relations campaign, perhaps.

  • 850inExile aka UNC RAJ

    ^Right. I forgot about all the on the field accomplishments that the current leaders of the football program have given us… all those conference championships, BCS bowl bids, top 25 rankings … don’t know how those could have slipped my mind?

    So … we have the embarrassment of an NCAA scandal without any of the pride associated with the items listed above. Isn’t it time to make some changes?

  • yawper

    When was the last time UNC football had three consecutive 8-win seasons? UNC football was already a “smoking crater” when Davis got here. Conference championships, BCS bids and Top 25 rankings are far more likely to come if we stick with the current staff, which has proven it can attract top tier talent to UNC, than if we tear it all down and start over yet again with another unproven head coach. If we can get over this NCAA hump without a disastrous ruling, the foundation is in place for a solid football program, finally. That’s a big “if”, but it’s way more attractive than the alternatives.

  • ncsu1987

    Bear in mind that the extremes on both sides of this issue are wrong. The ABC’ers who predict nothing short of Armageddon are wrong. The rose-colored glasses fans who say “we’ve already received our punishment last year” are wrong. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of space in between. I do suspect, however, that the NCAA will tread carefully with UNC. The basketball team is far too important to the cashflow associated with the NCAA brand, and if their sanctions damage the school too much, it could impact the bottom line. Expect a significant penalty, but far less than other, less privileged institutions would receive.

  • chaucer1350

    Mack had us a couple of blocked punts away from playing for a national championship (I still remember State making some special teams plays against Texas in his opener, thinking, “Damn, Brown actually took his special teams guy with him.”)

    Yes, the program did hit rock bottom as the result of some poor hiring decisions by Baddour. Frankly, minus Williams (and I give Baddour no credit for that one), every Baddour hire has been underwhelming, and I would classify Doherty as a disaster. Davis is heading in that direction.

    I don’t think people appreciate the gravity of Blake’s presence in the NCAA matters. He had a horrible reputation; we can’t pretend we didn’t know. I did. I remember thinking when he was hired that they were making a serious mistake. A program with a recruiting director on the illicit payroll of an NFL agent who was suspended by the NFLPU. Read that sentence to yourself slowly, several times. If it doesn’t send a chill down your spine, then you don’t understand NCAA cases very well.

    Again, I hope this ends well. But Dick, Butch, and John put us in this situation. We can blame the players and the media all we want. Other programs with high-profile professional prospects keep their nose clean in football. We’ve got one on campus on basketball, last I checked.

    Just watching the fall-out from Tressel, I understand this will be an unpopular view. Some OSU fans still insist Tressel did nothing wrong, and others insist his exit exonerates the program. I want to believe some things about our current case as well, badly.

    UNC will get past this, whatever comes. That I know.

    UNC will get whatever they deserve, given the facts in evidence rather than some sort of special exemption “because your basketball team sure do look good on TV.” That I know.

    Miami. Alabama (twice). USC. Big programs do get buried. I don’t know where people get the idea that the NCAA pulls punches for the big boys. And when it comes to CFB, we’re not exactly on that level.

  • HeelYeah

    ncsu1987, come on now. You are giving us the typical “UNC is privileged” & “NCAA doesn’t want to hurt precious UNC basketball status” lines that we always hear from State fans. Why don’t you tell me how the media has been using kid gloves with us because of the well known “All media loves UNC” conspiracy theory? Then we can discuss how the Heels get all of the calls from refs, since, you know, that is also part of the conspiracy. Hell, I wish UNC had the media and NCAA in their back pockets the way State fans seem to think we do. The we could put this behind us for sure.

  • 850inExile aka UNC RAJ

    ^^^Sorry dude but our fanbase has turned into an awfully cheap date if they are willing to piss away the University’s reputation just to win 8 football games each year…

  • chapelhillfan

    Excellent points and observations by 850 and chaucer.

  • ncsu1987

    @HeelYeah (like the handle, BTW): I don’t believe that UNC has “the media and NCAA in their back pockets” by any stretch of the imagination. If that were the case, there would be zero reporting and absolutely no worries about impending sanctions (back to the “rose-colored glasses”). My only point is that UNC is an integral part of the NCAA’s branding with respect to basketball and that this fact will likely influence the degree of the judgement - nothing more. I don’t even mean to imply that it’s “wrong”; one could easily argue that UNC has earned the right to such consideration by virtue of long-standing success. Denying it while simultaneously attributing tangential and unsubstantiated claims to cast me as part of the lunatic fringe is disingenuous at best.

  • makeitWayne22

    What has butch davis done other than put players into the pros… Those players were going there anyway even if they didnt have on a UNC jersey.

    Butch is a terrible game day coach, and worst of all he wants to bring Navy into the Carolina color scheme…..

    The football team is now a joke in the state….

  • HeelYeah

    ncsu1987, sorry if I placed in the with the other lunatic fringe crowd, but the “UNC gets special treatment” mantra has been blasted at me from so many State fans that I hear it in my sleep

    I’m not sure that UNC’s basketball presence will play any role here. Our football program has always played second fiddle both nationally and at home. I think that even if our football program gets hammered it will have no impact on our basketball popularity. In fact, it would probably shift the focus even more to basketball, especially given the hype surrounding next season.

    The NCAA has looked even more foolish than usual as of late with respect to rule enforcement and punishment, so I think they will be out for blood. If the situation with Coples turns out to be bad, then I think we may lose whatever good grace we built up by fully cooperating with the NCAA earlier. I’m not saying we will get 1st degree murder, but maybe 2nd degree. At this point I think manslaughter is out of the question.

  • ncsu1987

    @HeelYeah: understood, and I sympathize. Every fanbase has its lunatic element, it’s just that the NCSU fringe is really LOUD. The vast majority of State fans are more balanced, more circumspect and (in general) more sane about things - it’s just hard to hear us sometimes. But that’s just my experience, YMMV.

    Back to the debate: it’s easy to jump to conclusions without having access to the facts in evidence, but I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that things are smelling really bad in Columbus these days. I believe that the NCAA will make an example of tOSU (assuming that a significant percentage of the rumors turn out to be true). tOSU is a power in the college football world, but football has a larger number of top-tier players than basketball, and I think it’s less risky from a brand perspective to single them out (than, say, a UNC, Duke or Kentucky would be in basketball). With tOSU as Emmert’s “get tough” posterboy, there may be some leeway in the UNC case. This, of course, assumes that the case against tOSU can be resolved ahead of UNC, which may not be practical. Again, not expecting a free ride, just saying I wouldn’t panic if I were you at this point.

    Then again, what do I know - I’m certainly no NCAA insider. I do hope that the NCAA surprises us all and executes whatever they intend to do expeditiously.

  • OldSchool

    Hypocritical nonsense. It’s a witch hunt. I don’t know all the details (nobody does because the NCAA investigation process is not transparent), but what I’ve heard is that Coples went to a post-NFL draft party. My guess is that an agent paid for some of the party materials and Coples therefore received an “inappropriate benefit.” The NCAA has very little credibility with me. The university and Butch Davis have done everything the NCAA goon squad has asked of them and more. Give it a rest. Get a real job.

  • coleheels

    I don’t know how much the NCAA will really hit ohio state, the last time a very major program was in this much trouble was SMU back in the 70s, the NCAA learned their mistake after they hit them with the death penalty, and are just now beginning to build back a program. They may hit them with some hard penalties but nothing that will hurt their program much in the long run.

    Our program on the other hand isn’t exactly rock solid so similar penalties will set us back to where we were before butch with nothing but a losing team and a reputation of cheating. If butch ends up leaving Baddour is going to have to bring in a big name to continue getting recruits to come and have any chance of building a consistant top 25 team.

  • carolinablue74

    UNC is low-hanging fruit for the NCAA. It’s football program is not as huge as OSU or Auburn, and yet it is still a big enough school, where any show of censure is sure to draw some oohs and aahs. In the end I still think NCAA is the most corrupt organization in sports today. It’s like a cartel, a slave-lord, enriching itself on the indentured servitude of underprivileged athletes.
    Take OSU, compare the stuff that happened there to UNC, and remember that this stuff kept happening for 10 years. It was only when Tressel made the cardinal mistake of lying about his knowledge of these infractions, that he was sacked. Remember the NCAA is yet to show up on campus, let alone hand out any meaningful sanctions to this very high-profile football program. At the most it will be a slap on the wrist with a featherbrush. That’s NCAA for you, corrupt and self-serving.

  • 850inExile aka UNC RAJ

    ^^Trust me. The LAST thing you want is for Baddour to be the one who selects our next football coach. If Butch goes we better cross our fingers and hope that Baddour goes with him.

    (We also better hope that Baddour retires before Roy does because I don’t trust him to pick a good basketball coach either)*

    *And, no, he doesn’t get any credit for bringing Roy Williams to UNC. Roy said he took the job because he couldn’t say no to Dean Smith (not Dick Baddour) twice.

  • yawper

    850, when 8 wins is the baseline, I expect some years to be better and some worse. I think it’s reasonable for UNC to expect a program that can win at a VT-like rate, or like a UVA under Welsh. Unlike you, I don’t think Carolina’s reputation is going to be “pissed away” whether Davis stays or goes. Maybe it’s because I live farther away from NC and the ABC’er drumbeat. Most of the damage that was going to be done is already done. The best option, unless some Tressel-like smoking gun emerges, is to stick with Davis as a head coach. Whatever his lack of judgment (clouded by a longstanding personal relationship?) in hiring Blake, there is little doubt that Davis is as good a CEO/head coach of football as we’re likely to have at UNC and keeping him and the current staff (minus possibly the OC), in my opinion, gives us the best chance to compete for an ACC championship. Otherwise, just dismantle the whole damn thing and take the dook approach to football (which is essentially what we did from 1999-2006).

  • 850inExile aka UNC RAJ

    ^Thanks for the clarification,,, so when are we going to get some of those “better then 8 win” years? This season will be Butch’s 5th year. Is it appropriate to expect Butch’s 5th season to be the one where he finally delivers wins at a VT-like rate? If not, how much longer should we wait?

  • chaucer1350

    If Davis is the best we can do, then yes, just punt.

  • notoriousii

    ^^Raj, it took Frank Beamer 7 years to top 8 wins at VT and earn his first bowl game birth on the back of Antonio Freeman. If BD is not ran out of town, Bryn Renner will hang the ACC championship banner and Marquise Williams will hang the BCS Championship banner.

  • 850inExile aka UNC RAJ

    ^How many major NCAA scandals did VA Tech have in Beamer’s first 7 years? And how much was Beamer paid?

  • notoriousii

    ^His salary and NCAA violations were about what one would expect for a coach whose team is averaging 4-5 wins per year.

  • 850inExile aka UNC RAJ

    ^The word “expect” in your comment piques my interest. Are you saying we should expect NCAA violations if we want to win a certain number of games each year?