13 UNC players suspended at least 1 game each for selling team-issued Jordans
Thirteen North Carolina players, including potential starting QB Chazz Surratt, will be suspended for selling shoes they’d been given by the team in January. Nine players will miss four games each, and four other players will miss a combined three games. The Heels’ opener at Cal is on Sept. 1, followed by East Carolina, UCF, and Pitt.
From the school’s statement:
In total, UNC will be without 11 players against Cal, 10 against ECU, and eight against both UCF and Pitt, as calculated by WRAL’s Marilyn Payne.
As Inside Carolina noted in its initial report on the matter, UNC’s recent switch to Nike’s Jordan Brand likely made Heels team gear that much more enticing:
Per NCAA rules, players aren’t allowed to sell gear, and most other regular-person methods of making money are also forbidden.
Tar Heel Blog reacts:
The news will likely anoint Nathan Elliott as the starting quarterback, and truth be told while the amount of players is high, the news could have been a lot worse.
UNC will get their two key defensive ends for the opener against Cal, none of the major weapons on offense besides Surratt were affected, and most of the players listed aren’t starters but depth players. It’s a blow, but one that UNC can work around.
The other good news is that this information came out about a month before the first game, which will give the coaches and players time to adjust. Expect UNC to take advantage of the new NCAA redshirt rule which allows players to play for four games and still retain a season of eligibility.
This all comes shortly after head coach Larry Fedora went a little overboard in his defense of football’s rules, becoming something of a national laughingstock for a day or two.
The Heels were supposed to be decent this season, bouncing back from a slightly fluky 2017, and they were also supposed to be done with NCAA stuff, after wading through a seven-year investigation.