Thirteen members of the football team will serve game suspensions for selling team-issued shoes, a violation of NCAA rules, UNC reported Monday.
Quarterback Chazz Surratt, who started seven games last year, and two projected defensive line starters — ends Malik Carney and Tomon Fox — are among those to be suspended. Surratt will miss the first four games of the season. Carney and Fox also will miss four games, but the NCAA will allow the suspensions to be staggered so that not all the players are out of the same games.
The University self-reported the violations to the NCAA in January. The news became public in July, when WRAL TV first reported the story.
“I am certainly upset by our players’ actions and how their choices reflect on them, our program and the University,” head coach Larry Fedora said in a statement. “These young men knew the rules and are being held responsible for the poor choices they have made. Accountability is an important core principle in this program. We will learn from this and aim to do better in the future.”
Athletics Director Bubba Cunningham said the NCAA ruled in March that the shoe sales constituted a secondary Level III violation of its bylaws. He told a news conference Monday, “So this case is closed, and as soon as we get the suspensions served, that will be the end of it.
“We are disappointed,” Cunningham said. “Chancellor Folt, Coach Fedora and I have high expectations of all of our students, coaches and staff, and we expect everyone to embrace and abide by all team and NCAA rules. We always will strive to get better.”
Nine players will serve four-game suspensions.
The others are offensive linemen Brian Anderson, Quiron Johnson and Jordan Tucker; wide receiver Beau Corrales; defensive end Tyrone Hopper; and linebacker Malik Robinson.
The University reported that Greg Ross and Tre Shaw, both defensive backs, will miss two games and that quarterback Jack Davidson and offensive lineman Jonah Melton will miss one game.
The suspended players will be allowed to practice and participate in other team activities while suspended.
The school said 15 players exchanged shoes for cash after receiving them in January.
UNC in 2017 announced a partnership with Jordan Brand, associated with Michael Jordan ’86, for its football gear. Carolina players wore jerseys with Jordan’s Jumpman logo last fall. The shoes involved in the violations were UNC Retro Jordan 3s.
College athletes are not allowed to sell gear issued by the school or exchange it for something of value.