Sidelines with John Clay

North Carolina scandal: Opposing view on Louisville penalties

North Carolina head basketball coach Roy Williams reacted to a spectacular dunk near the end of their practice at FedExForum in Memphis, Tn., Thursday, March 23, 2017 during the NCAA Tournament.
North Carolina head basketball coach Roy Williams reacted to a spectacular dunk near the end of their practice at FedExForum in Memphis, Tn., Thursday, March 23, 2017 during the NCAA Tournament. cbertram@herald-leader.com

For my Sunday column, I wrote that the NCAA penalties against Louisville’s basketball program was not good news for North Carolina.

The infractions committee showed that it was willing to vacate U of L’s 2013 national championship, which would be the first time a Division I title had been taken off the books for NCAA violations.

North Carolina received a third notice of allegations from the NCAA with regards to its academic fraud case.

Meanwhile, Andrew Carter of the Charlotte Observer thinks the opposite about how the Louisville case will affect North Carolina. In fact, Carter doesn’t believe the U of L case will have much impact on UNC’s case.

He writes:

Q. Should UNC be more worried about a banner coming down after what happened to Louisville?

“A. No more worried than it was before Thursday. While it’s fair to wonder about the penalties UNC will ultimately receive, it’d be a stretch to infer that UNC’s national championships are more in danger now because Louisville’s 2013 championship is likely to be vacated (the NCAA is leaving it up to Louisville to determine in what games ineligible players competed).

“The NCAA cases at Louisville and UNC differ in a lot of ways, and one of the most important differences is this: at Louisville, basketball players who received “impermissible inducements, offers and/or extra benefits” (that’s the NCAA’s jargon) have been ruled retroactively ineligible.

“That means that, according to NCAA rules, the games that those athletes played should be vacated. That’s why the 2013 national championship is in jeopardy. It will be vacated, presumably, because Louisville had ineligible players competing in it.

“At UNC, meanwhile, the NCAA has never made the case, in any of its three notices, that UNC used ineligible athletes in competition in any sport, or that the participation in the classes in question would make an athlete ineligible.

“Historically, that has been the standard for vacating records – the use of ineligible athletes in competition. The NCAA has never accused UNC of doing so, and proving that an athlete who took one of the bogus African studies should have been ineligible is likely an impossible task.”

Read the rest of Andrew’s story.

Here are some more links about Louisville and the NCAA:

▪ Eric Crawford of WDRB looks at Louisville’s avenues of appeal after Thursday’s ruling.

▪ Rick Pitino’s defiance is making things worse for Louisville, writes Mark Story of the Herald-Leader.

▪ Katina Powell is sorry for the fallout but says ordeal was worth it, reports the AP.

▪ NCAA announces that the sherriff is back in town, writes Ed Hardin of the Greensboro News and Record.

▪ Both Louisville and the NCAA should be ashamed, says Paul Ziese of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

▪ How Louisville’s infractions report compares to Syracuse’s report, from the Daily Orange.

▪ Louisville’s claim of victim status rings hollow, says my column from Thursday.

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