How does North Carolina get to compete for a National Championship? They have received 3 letters from the NCAA(Notice of Allegations or NOAs). The NCAA is just hoping the Tar Heels can win a championship before they have to put them on probation. I have not heard one announcer on TV even discuss this investigation.
If this were Arkansas and we received 3 NOAs, we would have been excluded from competing for an SEC Championship and the NCAA tournament. That is what should have happened to North Carolina, in my view.
The UNC mess is pretty unprecedented for the NCAA. Including how hard UNC is pushing back. Usually schools get hammered when they defend themselves too aggressively, but UNC has done so, which may explain why the third notice of allegations was stiffer than the second. Basically UNC argued that the NCAA has no business regulating academics at any school at all. Committee on Infractions said “oh yeah? Just hide and watch.” UNC’s 2005 NC in hoops may be one of the casualties.
There should be an additional investigation on how the BB refs consistently favor UNC throughout March Madness. It is simply amazing the open door the refs have given UNC to the Final Four. It’s a joke!
I am a big Hog fan living in Chapel Hill and retired from working at UNC for 34 years. All I can say is the following–
(1) The UNC investigation is complicated. But to the extent that things were done academically just to keep players eligible over the years, shame on UNC (and shame on college sports). This is not just a sports issue, it is also an academic issue. So much an academic issue that one problem with the investigation is that the NCAA is not supposed to go into investigating academics and whether specific classes are Kosher or not (Jay Bilas, a former Duke player and a lawyer, explained that). And coaches are not supposed to be getting into academics either, other than making sure players go to class and do the work.
(2) Roy Williams getting the Tar Heels to two Final Fours in a row while his recruiting has been hampered by the cloud of this investigation is remarkable. For example, the best player on Duke last year (Brandon Ingraham) was a long time UNC fan who went to Duke instead because of the scandal. He was one and done. There are plenty of other examples similar to that. UNC has good talent but it would be great talent without the NCAA investigation hanging over it.
(3) Mike Anderson did a great job this year. And I think an even better job last year. When we lost our two best players to the pros, we had really no proven players coming back. I had no idea how many SEC games we would win, if any. And although people (including Anderson) were disappointed we did not do better, I thought it was a terrific coaching job for us to do as well as we did. He kept the ship upright year before last, got us to the NCAAs and did remarkably well in them this year, and looks like he has us set for next year and the year after. Kudos to him.
(4) And please. There were some bad calls in the UNC-Arkansas game. Like near the end Berry either traveled or charged, or both, but nothing was called. The refs are not perfect. Or maybe not even close to perfect. If you want you can say they are incompetent. But to say they are biased, or giving UNC or anyone else all of the breaks because they wanted them to make the Final Four for TV, without a shred of evidence, is ridiculous (even though conspiracy theories are fun). I am no Duke fan, but think the NCAA and TV would like THEM in the finals? And all I hear from Duke fans is how horrible the refs were in the 2nd half of the South Carolina game. IF Duke got a raw deal, it was that they had to play South Carolina practically at their place (Greenville, SC) because the games were moved from Greeensboro, NC because of HB2.
If I have my history right, UNC has made the last two final fours riding the players they had signed prior to the cloud of investigation came over them. The impact of the investigation will be felt the next couple of years.
I thought the officiating in the Arkansas-North Carolina game was lopsided. I saw several calls in the closing minutes that I questioned. I also thought North Carolina got some breaks against Kentucky. But the key thing in both games, North Carolina made some shots in the closing rush to the horn. That will win you games.
In the game with UA, only 10 fouls were called against UNC, 20 against Arkansas. UNC enjoyed 25 free throw attempts to UA’s 10. In the closing minute or so, UNC’s Bell ran into Adrio Balley without any foul or travel call. UNC gets the tip in to go up 68-65. And how about the no call on Beard’s shot? I thought he was definitely fouled. If not, the UNC player tipped the ball and it should have been the Hog’s possession vice UNC.
Yes, UA hurt itself with cold shooting at the end including Kingsley’s missed FTs.
But the refs opened the door for UNC with the one-sided officiating.
Against Butler, UNC had 33 free throw attempts to Butler’s 21 and against UK, UNC had 26 attempts to UK’s 19. To me, that’s a trend. And both UA and UK spent a lot of time driving into the paint without fouls being called against UNC.
The correct history is that ALL of the players on the UNC roster were recruited under the cloud of the investigation. The investigation has been going on for a LONG time. And Swine Fusion has this exactly right. UNC’s last response was that the NCAA had no business investigating classes. That may be technically correct, Jay Bilas thought so. But I think it is safe to say that that response pissed the NCAA off. They did not like being hoisted by their own petard.
If you watched that game and thought it was merely us missing wide open shots, then you’re just being that guy.
Our offense became stagnant and had it not, we might have overcome the officiating.
But, to suggest the officiating wasn’t a huge factor or that we were just whining about refs like we always do–is kinda silly–Not a “7- page thread griping about Bob Holt asking the obvious follow-up question” silly, but silly, nonetheless.
National media members far and wide were going berserk about the officiating. I posted about 30 links to their comments that night. It was pretty egregious according to the vast majority of people who watched it, including Darryl Macon.
Some just assume that if the call had gone our way, everything else after that would have played out exactly the same way. That totally ignores intangibles such as momentum, human mind and flow of the game. Playing down one and a call in your favor is a lot different in players’ mindset than down 3 and the feeling you got hosed.
North Carolina knows what it did was wrong. They know it. Everyone else knows it. I don’t think the proper defense is to tell the NCAA enforcement staff it’s not your area, never mind that what we did in academics was to give our athletes a shell of a class. It’s sad that a school like North Carolina that is so proud of its academics is even fighting this at all. They should be ashamed.
Clay, I absolutely agree that UNC should be ashamed. And most people at UNC are ashamed. This is not just a sports scandal, it is an academic scandal. Championship banners are not just at stake, the value of degrees is at stake.
The UNC response to the NCAA telling them that academics is basically none of their business (based on what the NCAA rulebook itself says) may be technically correct but is also shameless, and no wonder the NCAA is not happy about that response. UNC is trying to clean up the academics AND respond vigorously to the NCAA to avoid penalties at the same time. I would feel better if they cleaned up the academics (which they are doing) and told the NCAA that they messed up in the past, but look at the steps they are taking now to ensure that it will never happen again, and suffered the consequences.
And this is not just a UNC thing. Notre Dame also had issues (not to UNC’s extent). When two proud institutions who always claimed they were above it all, that athletics would never take precedence over academics, have problems such as this, it makes you wonder if there is a bigger problem. I am NOT saying that because UNC and Notre Dame have problems that Arkansas or anyone else must have them too. But although there is passing mention here of Anderson and Bielemma making sure athletes go to class and get a degree, how much of it goes beyond just wishing student-athletes well and hoping they stay eligible. Not by many people, and I am to blame too. By the way, there was a great article in SI a while back about a high school student who was a pretty good football player but decided not to pursue football and instead concentrate on academics with the ultimate goal of becoming a doctor. Good for you. I LOVE sports, but it does need to be seen in context.