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UNC Having A Bad August (To Say The Least)

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In the movie I, Robot, Del Spooner has to ask an avatar for information about a death, and the avatar keeps telling him he has to ask the right question. When he does, it terminates.

In the case of the UNC investigation, Lenox Rawlings is probably asking the right questions at this point, which are: how far does it go, and, more to the point, will Butch Davis be able to survive it all?

For his part, Davis acknowledged a few facts: the investigation involves academic fraud or misconduct, it centers around a tutor, and that tutor used to work for his family as a baby sitter.

That last part is potentially a bit problematic for Davis. All of it is, of course, but obviously it wasn't a random person, it was someone he knew well enough to trust with his children. He can't claim that he had no idea who it was, certainly.

He also acknowledged that he had begun to plan for it by altering his depth chart for the LSU game, although A.D. Dick Baddour said one should be careful to understand that there was a difference between being investigated and being charged. Fair's fair.

Still, various reports suggest that a large number of players may be involved, with some suggesting it's as many as 12 and many of them possibly important members of the defense.

For UNC, which is still haunted by the 1960s basketball scandal which nearly shut the program down and which led them to a more serious than usual commitment to integrity within the athletic department, this is a very, very tough situation. Agents you can understand to an extent -- the ones who game the system are sleazeballs, and it's hard to blame that on a university. But academic fraud? There's no getting around that, least of all for UNC, which spent decades repairing the damage from the point shaving scandal. Baddour and Chancellor Holden Thorp are quite right to take it as a mortal threat. It's not just football, and it's not like it's Auburn. As much as we like to poke fun at them, UNC actually stands for something, and they've been an active advocate for their institutional values (and frequently partners with Duke on issues of integrity and reform). If they don't practice what they've preached for nearly half a century, things will get quite ugly.

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