Thirteen University of North Carolina football players are facing suspensions of one to four games this coming season for selling their team-issued shoes.
According to a report in the Charlotte News and Observer, a member of the public sent an email to the school’s athletic director in January alleging that a number of individuals who received the UNC Retro Air Jordan 3’s may have sold them to a local shoe business. Officials then determined that 15 players on North Carolina’s football team sold the school-issued sneakers for as much $2,500 in cash. UNC self-reported the allegations to the NCAA, and they have been deemed a secondary violation.
“I am certainly upset by our players’ actions and how their choices reflect on them, our program, and the university,” UNC 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.”
Because several of the players share the same position on the team, the NCAA approved UNC’s request to stagger some of the suspensions “to protect the health and safety of the students,” according to a university release.
Defensive end Malik Carney will sit out matchups against East Carolina, No. 23 Central Florida, Pittsburgh and No. 17 Virginia Tech, while fellow defensive end Tomon Fox will miss games against No. 8 Miami (Fla.), Syracuse, Virginia and Georgia Tech. Carney is a preseason All-ACC contender, and Fox, a sophomore, is seen as one of the league’s top young talents on the defensive line.