COUNTDOWN TO THE SEASON
Del Olaleye: The weekly college football update includes UNC, Ohio State
Not the way to start fall camp
If you’re UNC’s Larry Fedora you had to think the worst was behind you when last season ended. The 2017 season was a disaster. Injuries destroyed the depth across his football team and he finished the season 3-9. When you’re depending on LSU transfer Brandon Harris at QB to start the year things probably aren’t going in the right direction. A new season usually brings new hope. That is until your team is hit with mass suspensions because multiple starters sold exclusive Jordan brand shoes. North Carolina is one of a few football programs to wear the Jumpman logo on their uniforms and the players thought selling Jordan brand shoes wouldn’t be a bad way to make some some extra cash.
Tar Heel fans found about the suspensions this week but Fedora and his assistant coaches had this hanging over their heads since January when the violations were self reported. One the suspensions handed down just so happens to affect the most important position in their program. North Carolina entered fall camp hoping to settle a quarterback battle. That battle has some clarity now that potential starter Chaz Surratt has been suspended for four games for his entrepreneurship.
The NCAA has their rules and until they are changed they must be followed but multiple Tar Heels players will miss a third of the season for essentially selling stuff they own. They were given these things only because they play football so making money off them is considered an impermissible benefit. The NCAA calls these secondary violations. The same way they classify a coach seeing a recruit at the wrong time of year or calling a player during a “dead period.” Coaches get a slap on the wrist for secondary violations. They definitely wouldn’t be forced to miss a fourth of the season. UNC is an ACC opponent so I’m not crying that some of their players won’t be available for their game against Miami. I hope the Canes blow them out. Just know that if actual paid employees of the North Carolina program did the same thing nothing would come of it.
More on Ohio State and Courtney Smith
It turns out Ohio State never met with Courtney Smith despite her allegations that their former employee and her ex-husband Zach Smith was physically abusive to her. This is according to Ms. Smith’s lawyer, Julia Leveridge. As their six-person committee attempts to get to the bottom of who knew what and when, that factoid might be something Ohio State needs to answer for.
We’re not done with the Buckeyes
If you didn’t know college football fans are weird and borderline nuts just take a look at any video from the Urban Meyer rally. I guess the petition to save Meyer’s job that has 30,000 signatures wasn’t enough. They all wanted to look other crazies in the face. As simply as it can be put, the people in Columbus wanted to get together to try save the job of alleged enabler of domestic abuse. One person at the rally was the father of former Buckeyes and current Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. It just so happens the younger Elliott has had his own issues in regards to treating women in the correct manner.
We didn’t need Ohio State fans showing up en masse in front of a building to point out the obvious. We all know they value a great football coach over anything else. Urban Meyer left Florida because he couldn’t control the monster he had created. No one talks about that very much because he won multiple titles in Gainesville. The people in Columbus certainly didn’t care about all that after having to deal with a 6-7 season under interim coach Luke Fickell. Fickell was promoted to the position after Jim Tressel resigned following previously being suspended for five games for lying about his players getting free tattoos. There are people that haven’t forgotten about Meyer’s time at the University of Florida. His former players are talking about their time at Florida with Meyer and isn’t at all complimentary. I’m sure Buckeyes fans will blame Brett McMurphy for that too.