UNC Star: NCAA Probe Of Program Is ‘Good Thing’

Almost eight months into 2010, I can confirm that we now have the clubhouse leader for 2010 quote of the year. Reporter J.P. Giglio of the RALEIGH NEWS-OBSERVER does the honors:

(Where would he get such a wack idea? Read on…)

Despite the potential for Austin and Little to be suspended or lost for the season, junior defensive end Robert Quinn tried to find a positive in the investigation. He made the note that the NCAA had also been looking into agent dealings at Florida this month, in addition to the punishment handed down on USC.

“I was like, ‘Man, we’re in the category with Southern Cal and Florida,’ ” Quinn said. “Two big programs and North Carolina, so I guess with all this craziness going on, that’s a good thing. We must be doing something right.”

Before you guffaw and assume Quinn is a fool, Giglio has additional feedback from recruits the Tarheels are pursuing that may give a clue why Quinn said what he said.

Tim Scott, a cornerback from Stafford, Va., said he was told by UNC assistant coach Charlie Williams that the program’s bowl status would not be affected by the NCAA investigation. He also said that the players involved in the NCAA investigation would be affected, not the program.

“Coach Williams said the players involved would have to pay back what they received and it wouldn’t be an issue for future recruits,” Scott said in a telephone interview Sunday.

Scott has since backed off his statements, which assistant coach Williams apparently attributed to UNC head coach Butch Davis: “I didn’t talk to Coach Davis about the investigation.”

If Scott hadn’t retracted the statements linked to to Davis, UNC would be cooked.

By saying multiple “players … received” something that they had to “pay back“, Davis would’ve been admitting to serious NCAA violations.

There’s more from Giglio and the N&O:

A second recruit, receiver T.J. Thorpe from Durham, said he talked to Davis on Thursday. Thorpe said Davis told him that the NCAA investigation would not “jeopardize the character of the program.”

“[Davis] said the NCAA will handle it and the program will move on,” Thorpe said. “He didn’t make it sound like a big deal, beyond the players involved, or anything like what happened at USC.”

If Davis is indeed downplaying possible NCAA sanctions to recruits, you wonder what he’s telling current players … like preseason first team All-American Quinn. After hearing what may be going on behind the scenes, Quinn actually sounds like he’s being kept well-informed by the UNC coach staff!