RALEIGH, N.C. – North Carolina has released documents showing a group of Tar Heel football players accumulated more than $13,000 in parking citations over a 3½-year period.
The school released the documents Thursday, a day after the state Court of Appeals denied the school's request to delay the release of those records pending an appeal. A Wake County Superior Court judge had ruled in April that the school withheld documents it should have provided to requesting media outlets covering the NCAA investigation into the football program.
The documents show that the players combined for 395 citations between March 2007 and August 2010, though the records don't specify which players received each violation. The citations ranged in penalty from $5 for improperly displaying a parking permit to $250 for parking in a fire lane or in a handicapped parking space.
The total amount of the citations was $13,185.
The university said in a statement that the citations include records for 11 players requested by the media as well as an additional player, whom the school said had 68 tickets. The school said not all of the 11 players requested by the media had received tickets, but didn't specify which citation belonged to which player.
Of the 395 citations, the school said 30 remain unpaid.
"Student-athletes at Carolina do not receive special treatment when it comes to parking," the school said in a statement, adding that athletes "are expected" to pay parking fines like any other student.
Students who amass too many tickets are put on a payment plan, while nonpayers can receive holds on their accounts which prevent them from registering for class. The school said it can pursue collections through the state for students who are no longer attending.
The school said it found that each car was registered to the student, a parent or grandparent, or a fellow student.
The school also released hundreds of pages of phone records of head coach Butch Davis, athletic director Dick Baddour and former assistant coach John Blake, who resigned in September. Blake's friendship to late NFL agent Gary Wichard became a focus of the NCAA probe into improper benefits and academic misconduct.
Blake's attorneys have confirmed Wichard loaned money to Blake, but they characterized the transactions as one friend helping another through tough financial times.
Wichard died in March from diabetes and pancreatic cancer. Less than two weeks earlier, investigators with the North Carolina Secretary of State's offices issued a search warrant for financial records connected to Wichard and his California-based firm — Pro Tect Management LLC — as part of its probe whether the states sports agent laws were broken.
The university had previously released partially redacted phone records for Blake, which showed a long line of calls or text messages to Wichard's cell or office lines.
The NCAA has informed the school that it plans to complete its investigation this month.
In all, 14 players missed at least one game this season due to the probe with seven being ruled out for the entire year. An eighth was cleared to return at midseason but decided to redshirt.
The ruling is in response to a lawsuit filed by several news outlets, including The Associated Press.