CHARLOTTE — It hasn’t been a good day for the North Carolina football program.
Only hours after coach Larry Fedora caused a stir at the ACC’s annual preseason media event with some controversial comments about the connection between football concussions and the degenerative brain disorder CTE and a perceived “war on football,” news has broken that the Tar Heels have again run afoul with the NCAA.
Raleigh television station WRAL is reporting that UNC has self-reported NCAA violations involving athletes selling university-issued shoes and athletic gear.
The infractions are secondary in nature and university officials alerted the NCAA of them as soon as they were made aware of the situation. According to a source, those involved — as many as a dozen of which are football players — will most likely face suspensions ranging from one to four games.
That’s not the best way to start a season in which the Tar Heels, who are looking to bounce back from a 3-9 disappointment in 2017, open with two straight road games. UNC will play at California on Sept. 1 and at East Carolina the following Saturday.
“When we became aware of a situation within the football program, we self-reported what the NCAA deemed to be a secondary violation,” UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham said in a statement. “I worked closely with Chancellor (Carol) Folt and Coach Fedora to address this issue from an NCAA, university and department of athletics perspective, and we have taken appropriate disciplinary action.
“We have high expectations of all of our students, coaches and staff, and we expect to bide by and embrace NCAA rules. We are disappointed when we fall short, and we always strive to get better.”