North Carolina cornerback Kendric Burney and safety Deunta Williams have finally had their fate determined by the NCAA after weeks of deafening silence, as both players will be forced to repay benefits received and sit additional games, pending an appeal by the UNC athletics department.
Burney, a senior with nine career interceptions, will have to repay $575.19 to a charity of his choice after the NCAA revealed he had accepted $1,333 in benefits from an individual who falls under the classification of "agent."
His six-game suspension is already two games deep, and will be appealed to the NCAA, according to UNC athletics director Dick Baddour.
Williams, a fellow senior with 12 career picks, will have to repay $450.67 of the $1,426 he received, also to a charity of his choice. He has been suspended an additional two games on top of the two already missed, the length of which will also be appealed by UNC.
Burney's benefits included trips to Atlanta, Las Vegas, and California, the purpose of which have not been explicitly specified.
The name of the "agent" who paid for Burney's trips has not been released, but conventional wisdom says it was the same Chris Hawkins who has been involved in Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green's jersey-selling scandal.
Williams had two trips to California payed for him by a former North Carolina football player. It is believed that these trips were made in connection for a training camp attended by football players of various levels, while rumors hold that Seattle Seahawks defensive end Kentwan Balmer was the former Tar Heel who paid for the trips.
Both of these players will be unable to play while the appeal process is going on. Given the slow-footedness of the NCAA regarding, well, everything they do, it would be safe to assume that both players will be absent for Saturday's contest against Rutgers in beautiful Piscataway, NJ.
The reaction in Tar Heel nation is bittersweet: Bitter in that it is now fact that some players were involved in improper actions, but sweet in that official news has finally started to trickle out.
The jury is still out regarding nearly a dozen other Tar Heels, on both academic and benefit-receiving allegations, as the season that was supposed to change the nation's view on UNC football continues on its path towards infamy.
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