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September 8, 2010UNC head coach Butch Davis gave an update on the status of several of the UNC players prior to Tuesday's practice.
Thirteen players were suspended for last Saturday's narrow loss to LSU in the Georgia Dome, but all of the players with exception of Marvin Austin practiced last week and are still practicing this week as UNC has a bye week.
"They (the other twelve players) were practicing last week and they'll continue to practice until we get some kind of resolution," said Davis. "That's correct (Austin is not practicing). He's still not practicing."
Davis and the rest of the Tar Heel players and coaches continue to await whatever findings the NCAA is going to make on players like Austin, Greg Little, Robert Quinn, Deunta Williams, Kendric Burney, Charles Brown, and Michael McAdoo.
They're also awaiting official word on 'withheld' players such as Da'Norris Searcy, Jonathan Smith, Linwan Euwell and three others who figure into the academic investigation.
"I know that's one of the things that Mr. Baddour and the compliance department and everybody is working as hard as they possibly can to work with the NCAA to try to find out exactly what we can do," Davis said.
It's clearly a blessing in disguise that Carolina had this weekend off not only to get extra time to prepare for Georgia Tech, who rolls into Kenan Stadium September 18 as defending Atlantic Coast Conference champions, but also to hopefully clear up some of this stuff regarding the players held out Saturday night.
"It's probably certainly a good thing that we have an open date this week---that gives us a little more time to work through some of this to resolution and it will come a little bit clearer," he said.
Davis indicated that he had a one-on-one conversation on Labor Day with Austin, who shocked many both in Atlanta and watching on national television when he was seen sitting in the stands at the game along with Brown.
UNC officials indicated they didn't have prior knowledge of Austin attending the game.
"Marvin and I visited (Monday) for about an hour, and we just talked at length in detail about him. Marvin and I had a very healthy conversation," Davis said.
"Marvin is a good kid at heart," he added.
"One of the things as a head football coach, you're more a lot of times than just X's and O's in a lot of these kids' lives. You're a surrogate father figure. You're a mentor to them."
"You can help try to put things in perspective of helping them recognize where there's things they need to grow just as an individual," Davis continued.
As Austin continues to miss practice, his future with the Tar Heels appears to clearly be the most in doubt.
As for the rest of the players involved in this full-blown crisis in Chapel Hill, they'll continue to wait patiently as powers outside their control make decisions that could directly impact their lives in a dramatic way.