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** On Wednesday, UNC announced that Burney had received $1,333 in benefits and must sit out six games and make repayment of $575.19 to a charity of his choice, while Williams, who received $1,426 in benefits, must sit out four games and make repayment of $450.67 to a charity of his choice. Athletic director Dick Baddour termed those penalties as "unduly harsh" in a prepared release on Wednesday, and Davis echoed those sentiments one day later.
"I was a little bit disappointed, in light of some of the other institutions where extra benefits and the values of some of the things that were involved," Davis said. "I thought it was a little bit harsh."
If there is a silver lining, it's that two months of rampant speculation is over, at least for Burney and Williams.
"Obviously, there's clarity," Davis said. "I think that would be the best way to put it. At least you know what you're dealing with. Certainly, I think that would be something that the coaching staff and the administration – we'd like to know that on all of the players. We've gotten it for those two and hopefully we'll get some more in the immediate future."
Both players will likely see an increase in activity with the defense in the week leading up to their respective returns, but Davis was hesitant to speculate on what their roles would be once they regained eligibility.
"Obviously, they're going to contribute," Davis said. "Obviously, conditioning aspects will play a certain role. They've been out of playing… I would suspect that they'll be able to get back into the game and play a significant role on this football team."
Several of the dozen Tar Heels that have missed the first two games of the season have approached Davis and strength and conditioning coach Jeff Connors about doing additional conditioning to make up for the loss of being able to play on Saturdays.
** The fourth-year UNC head coach will not play a role in the appeal process for Burney and Williams, but he did say that he thought the documents have already been filed.
"Hopefully there will be some kind of a resolution that maybe there will be a reduction in the penalties," Davis said. "That would be an optimistic and hopefully a good outcome."
** Davis has long preached the importance of learning something new about yourself every time you step on the football. That philosophy has apparently carried over to the NCAA investigation.
"I think that every situation is an opportunity to really learn something – whether it has to do with the players, whether it has to do with the agents, whether it has to do with academics," Davis replied when asked if he felt responsibility for the events that have taken place. "Clearly, we're going to put some things [in place] and we've already put some things in place that I think are going to make us better."
Some of those improvements include keeping better track of where players are going on during the offseason and the travel methods they use to get to those places, as well as their associations outside of the program.
** Davis reiterated the fact that the athletic department has no real role in the academic support system and that it's run by the School of Arts and Sciences.
"Basically, our role as coaches in the athletic department is to provide the time," Davis said. "'What time do you want to meet with these student-athletes? What's the best time? Is it during the day? Is it mornings or afternoons? Is it at nighttime?' Certainly, the kids that use the academic support system, some of them use it for a year and then they may never use it again. They may use it when they're juniors and seniors. It's there as a support system.
"But After looking back at, certainly I'm going to take the responsibility that if there are ways that I can help make sure that these things don't ever happen again, then we're clearly going to in all of the areas… Obviously, we've got to do a better job and we've got to do more of it. And we're going to do that."
** Davis indicated that he was unaware that the tutor in question had developed friendships with players that were considered to extend beyond the professional standards for her role prior to the academic misconduct review.
"When we found out that she was not going to be a part of the academic support system, I assumed that potentially she had graduated and gotten a job," Davis said. "And when I inquired, there was no cause for concern that she wasn't retained and so we just moved on."