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"What should be a day of focus on who is playing and how well they played in the recent game, I'm afraid is just the opposite. I apologize to the university community for that. It is my responsibility to bring all of these issues to a close and I assure you that the university staff is working tirelessly to make that happen. Let me anticipate a few questions about the current situation.
"One, with respect to the timetable. We learned late Thursday afternoon that the NCAA was going to give us a decision. We learned a little bit about that decision and got the details on Friday. We needed some time to work with our student-athletes, with their families, as well as with – some of them are represented by legal counsel. Another question that you may have is why announce Marvin now – why not let it run through the process? Just last week we got some findings from the NCAA, along with the notion that there could be some potential ethical conduct issues for him. The amounts involved with Marvin were in excess of what the other student-athletes had and we felt it was appropriate and in the best interests of the university to take that action immediately.
"We will honor the scholarships of these students and we will of course put stipulations on those scholarships, and that is that they make advancement in their academic work and advancement toward graduation to do what is expected of them in the classroom and outside the classroom. There are no academic issues with respect to the two prongs with these students.
"With this announcement, we move much closer to closure, especially on the agent/extra benefits side of things and we expect more movement this week. I want to acknowledge this team and how well that they have represented the university and this coaching staff and how well they have prepared this team. And especially to Coach Davis, for his cooperation. Butch is absolutely committed to finding solutions for all of these issues and he has my complete support in doing so."
Do you plan to appeal to the NCAA on behalf of Robert Quinn and Greg Little?
"No, we will not appeal."
When you said Marvin's amount was in excess of the others, how much was it?
"There's still some uncertainty there, but in the $10,000-$13,000 range."
Is the NCAA still investigating Marvin Austin?
"I'm not sure how to answer that, because I can't speak for the NCAA. We are not involved with them right now in the discovery or any ongoing things with Marvin. I don't want to rule out that that could happen, but there is not anything ongoing right now with Marvin and the NCAA in that we have declared him ineligible."
Will Marvin still be on scholarship?
"Yes, if he wants to be."
Will these players still be able to practice?
"None of them will be involved with the program."
Can you say who or how many people provided benefits?
"Don't think I can do that. It's so varied that I'm not prepared to speak off the cuff on that. If it is something that I could give to you later, if I'm allowed to do that through the investigation and in protecting their rights, I'd be willing to do it, but I'm not prepared to do that today."
Is it safe to say there are multiple agents involved?
"There were multiple trips involved. It's a fair question, but then you get wrapped up into who's an agent and who's not an agent, who was representing someone, was it with a friend or whatever. So I really don't know how to answer that question. I think it's better if you think about it – you should think about it in terms of agents, but you also have to think about it in terms of extra benefits and preferential treatment. And all of that, when you're accumulating the dollars involved, all of that counts the same. What would be different with an agent would be a commitment to an agent for representation and we don't have any evidence of commitment to an agent for representation on any of these people."
Is there any concern that John Blake either provided benefits or was involved in the process of these athletes gaining improper benefits?
"I have no evidence to support that whatsoever."
"How concerned are you about penalties or sanctions for the program?
"We've been so wrapped up in the conclusion of this on an individual basis. You know that we contacted the NCAA a couple of times laying out our plan as we move forward. I think we did that on two or three occasions, inviting them to send someone. They've now decided to do that. We announced that. So that process is going to take a while. We have a strong compliance program in place in all of these areas. I think that anyone who looks at that program would say that we were doing more than significant things to protect our institution and protect individuals. Obviously, we need to do more… So that part is just going to have to evolve as we go along."
"One thing that I would like to make clear is that these findings and the outcome that has resulted today – by no way does it represent the type of football program that we're trying to build here and certainly it does not represent in any form or fashion the type of football program that the University of North Carolina deserves. As head football coach, it's my responsibility to be in charge of the football program, to help educate the players and help educate their parents to make sure that everyone understands exactly what the rules and stipulations of extra benefits and inappropriate relationships entails.
"I want to apologize to the chancellor, the Board of Trustees and our faculty. I want to apologize to the alums and our supporters for having to go through this.
"It is a very difficult and a very trying time as we go through this. I'm also sad and disappointed that these individuals made these extraordinarily poor choices. Not only did they jeopardize themselves and their lives, they certainly have jeopardized this team and the university. I know that they are very remorseful about that, but it doesn't diminish the fact that these actions were poor choices in these kids' lives."
When did you find out the news?
"I found out this morning. I ran into Greg earlier this morning and he had just let the offensive staff know. He was pretty upset. I felt for him because it seemed like he was going through a tough time."
Do you think Little thought he ultimately would return to the field?
"Every time I spoke to him, he spoke positively… He might have known, he might not have known. I don't know. Every time he spoke to the guys or to me, he kept a very positive vibe just to keep morale up."
On the news that Quinn, Little and Austin are off the team:
"My heart goes out to them and their families. I think people really have to understand the position that they're in right now. As hurt as the fans may be for the season, they really have to understand that we're still people and that we're going through this thing as humans."
Did you notice any of those guys wearing fancy jewelry around town?
"Guys didn't wear it around. I'm never seen any of these things that they're talking about. I've never seen that type of stuff. I don't even know if they had it."