North Carolina to vacate wins, cut scholarships

The University of North Carolina has imposed sanctions in the wake of a scandal involving improper benefits that has rocked the program.

The school made its decision known on Monday, in response to the NCAA's original notice of allegations surrounding the discovery of the illegal activity.

North Carolina will also cut three scholarships for each of the next three academic years, and will pay a $50,000 fine, but will not impose a postseason ban.

"We have acknowledged our violations, and we've responded in the way you would expect of this University," said UNC chancellor Holden Thorp. "We think that the sanctions we have proposed accept responsibility and, at the same time, give our current and future student-athletes and coaches every opportunity for success. We go before the NCAA Committee on Infractions on October 28, and that will be another important milestone."

Under former head coach Butch Davis, who was dismissed in late July amidst the discovery of continued improper activity under his watch, the Tar Heels finished 8-5 in both '08 and '09, losing in back-to-back appearances in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

In the wake of the scandal, 14 players were penalized for one game and seven were suspended for the entire 2010 season, which UNC also finished 8-5. Of those players, four were either dismissed from the team or ruled ineligible by the NCAA.

Associate head coach John Blake resigned after last season's opener once it was revealed his relationship with a pro agent was a significant source of impropriety.

"I believe the report is a very thorough response to the NCAA. The University of North Carolina takes our standing and reputation in the NCAA community seriously and with great respect and our response to the allegations reflects that," said director of athletics Dick Baddour.

"We accept responsibility for mistakes that were made in terms that are balanced, measured and fair. I want to acknowledge the hard work that University and athletic department staff put in to prepare the report. The October 28th appearance in Indianapolis is the next major step and we will direct our efforts toward preparing for that hearing."