Monday, March 12, 2012
UNC leaders react to penalties
By Matt Fortuna
There is still "The Carolina Way," former North Carolina athletic director Dick Baddour insisted during a teleconference Monday, a message that was echoed by both chancellor Holden Thorp and current AD Bubba Cunningham.
"Obviously this has been a painful, difficult experience — we don't like to have this kind of attention brought to any part of the university, especially one as visible a part of the athletic program," Thorp said. "But again, I think the recovery plan that we have with the hirings we've made and the steps we've taken I think shows that we're serious and we understand the seriousness of the case, but we also understand the importance of Carolina football to the UNC family. And I feel like we've done a good job of balancing all of those things."
Holden said the school considered appealing the sanctions this morning but came to the conclusion that it would not make sense given how long it would take, along with previous schools' successes with such procedures. Ultimately, he said, the Tar Heels wanted to move forward.
Cunningham said the additional six scholarship losses — in addition to the self-imposed nine — is the harshest of the penalties. The school discussed a self-imposed bowl ban for several weeks but decided against it because the school cooperated directly with the NCAA throughout the process.
The school will still receive an equal share of bowl revenue from the ACC, despite its bowl ban for the 2012 season. Current seniors on the roster are eligible to transfer without penalty because of the bowl ban.
North Carolina officials also stressed that former head coach Butch Davis "absolutely" gave full cooperation throughout the investigation.