Well, this NCAA investigation of Carolina’s football program is still in full swing, so let’s go over the latest quasi-relevant details and unsubstantiated rumors, shall we?
- Tar Heel Fan has a nice wrapup of recent developments, including plenty of people coming out of the woodwork to say they have seen Marvin Austin receive gifts, like possibly staying at a 4-star hotel in Miami on an agent’s dime recently.
- The newest intriguing wrinkle appears to be the inclusion of South Carolina TE Weslye Saunders, who is good friends with Austin, in the investigation. Saunders’ father is also N&O columnist Barry Saunders, for whatever that little tidbit is worth.
- Carolina March points out that which NCAA group is investigating the matter may indicate just how serious they are about UNC’s alleged infractions.
- Also, SI’s Stewart Mandel says the NCAA has been compiling evidence “for months.” So yeah… that’s probably not good.
- And while we’re at it, in case you hadn’t heard already, linebacker Quan Sturdivant was charged with marijuana possession last week. All in all, not a great week for UNC athletics.
Moving on to items not related to the sudden moral collapse of Carolina’s football program…
- There’s been a lot of talk about Dean Smith’s health lately, mostly surrounding the supposed loss of his usually razor-sharp memory. His family released an official statement last week that makes the condition sound a bit less severe than indicated by other outlets. Regardless, prayers and well wishes go out to Coach Smith and his family.
- JUCO prospect Carrick Felix explains why he turned down Duke, saying that he never really felt comfortable there in the first place but was just pressured by others around him to take the scholarship offer. I’m sure Kyle Singler returning and the prospect of more time on the Devils’ bench didn’t help his comfort level any, either.
- New Tar Heels Harrison Barnes and Reggie Bullock earned high praise for their performance at the NC Pro-Am, including some great indications that Bullock may be more than just a spot-up shooter. John Henson also earned the top spot in this Pro-Am highlight reel that included some nice dunks from CJ Leslie, Kyrie Irving, and… Justin Watts?
- Former Duke PG Greg Paulus is easing his way into the college basketball coaching circuit. Too bad Wojo’s already got the market cornered on scrappy ex-point guards working as a big man coach.
- In a bit of welcome news for everyone’s ears, it looks like CBS will get to broadcast one of the Duke-UNC matchups next March. Unfortunately, looks like ESPN will still be broadcasting the other one (do we still get Erin Andrews to at least lessen the pain of Vitale?)
- And finally, an interesting tidbit from rivalry lore: apparently Christian Laettner came closer than most people realize to playing a few miles down Tobacco Road. His mom openly wept when he chose Duke over UNC, according to an interview Laettner gave to Devils Illustrated. Definitely an interesting “what if” to ponder over while you spend your week trying to avoid NCAA investigation news…