Baddour: UNC should get appeal verdict Friday

BY BRIANA GORMAN

bgorman@heraldsun.com; 419-6668

RALEIGH — North Carolina’s Deunta Williams and Kendric Burney
will have their appeals heard by the
NCAA on Friday, UNC athletic
director Dick Baddour said after a speaking with the Raleigh Sports
Club on Wednesday.

Williams was suspended four games and Burney was suspended six
games after violating the
NCAA agent benefits and preferential
treatment rules, and they also had to repay a portion of the
benefit to a charity of their choice.

Burney received $1,333 in benefits and must make a repayment of
$575.19 while Williams received $1,426 and must repay $450.67.

The appeal process will take place via teleconference with the
Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement, and Baddour said he
expects to hear an answer later that day.

“I don’t know about instantaneous because there is a procedure
that you go through and then you get off the phone and they do
their deliberation and then they call you back,” Baddour said.
“Customarily, we would know in the same day.”

Both players already have missed three games. If the appeal is
denied, Williams would return Oct. 9 against Clemson and Burney
would not return until Oct. 23 against Miami.

Baddour called the penalties “unduly harsh” when they were
announced a week ago and said the major focus of the appeals is
based on trips to California.

Williams and Burney met a former UNC defensive back in Sutton’s
Drug Store in Chapel Hill and visited him and his family on the
West coast, which was a violation of the
NCAA’s preferential treatment
rule.

Williams took two trips to California, while Burney went once.
Even though both players paid for their own travel, the
NCAA ruled there were other expenses
that each player was responsible to repay.

“One of our students met a former athlete, hit it off, was
invited to come out and be with that family in California,” Baddour
told the Raleigh Sports Club. “The intention was that the student
would pay his way, and essentially that’s what happened. Because of
what the intention was and because of actually what happened,
that’s the reason I think this is unduly harsh.”

Burney also took trips to Atlanta and Las Vegas, but those
benefits were received from an individual deemed an agent by the
NCAA, who sources have identified as
former UNC player Chris Hawkins. It was recently discovered the
Hawkins, who also faces a felony drug charge in Georgia, paid UGa
wide receiver A.J. Green $1,000 for his jersey, and Green was
suspended four games.

“When you think about the bad agents, don’t think about people
in three-piece suits with briefcases because that’s not the way
they come,” Baddour said. “They come looking like students, and
they befriend students.”

Baddour also told the Raleigh Sports Club that he sees the light
at the end of the tunnel regarding the two ongoing investigations
into agents and academics that currently have 12 players sitting
out. He said the
NCAA is near the completion of
gathering information on the agent and extra benefit investigation,
and some players already have begun the reinstatement process.

“I never thought it would go this long, in all honesty, so I’m
really apprehensive about putting dates and timetables on it,” said
Baddour, who took questions from the audience for 26 minutes after
a 16-minute opening statement. “But I can see some closure.”

NOTE — Time Warner Cable will broadcast the East Carolina at
UNC
football game on Saturday to digital
cable customers across the Carolinas on channel 520 beginning at
3:30 p.m.