Syracuse Orange fans know the feeling.
It seems like it’s been decades while the NCAA finishes the investigation process with the North Carolina Tar Heels. As the process continues to drag out between NCAA Enforcement and UNC, the rest of the college sports world waits for the outcome. Spoiler Alert: no one’s going to be happy with the final penalties, no matter who you are.
While everyone outside of Chapel Hill assumes that the NCAA should hammer the Tar Heels for the years of “paper classes”, Maryland’s President Wallace Loh went a step further when he said,
“For the things that happened in North Carolina, it’s abysmal. I would think that this would lead to the implementation of the death penalty by the NCAA. But I’m not in charge of that.”
We’re still months from this case being resolved, but I can tell you that the death penalty isn’t happening. UNC also won’t be losing any NCAA Championships as a result of the case. Expect to see a lot of what Syracuse faced, which means a lot of anger over “getting off easy” and a lot of Heels’ supporters claiming that the NCAA went too far.
Media members will step up and defend Roy Williams, angry fans online will grumble about the NCAA being afraid of Tobacco Road, and maybe next year Jim Nantz can find something other than “swirling innuendo” to describe UNC’s overcoming adversity on the court.
If we learned anything from Syracuse’s sanctions, we should know that disappointment and anger are going to be the prevalent emotions for all sides. This has taken so long that the only people left in Chapel Hill that have ties to the nonsense are overpaid administrators. Good people lost jobs as part of the “show the NCAA we’re changing things”, future students are going to lose out on scholarships because the system thinks that’s a fair punishment.
Let me caution you now, don’t expect the punishment you think UNC’s going to receive. You’re going to see a lot of talk of extra benefits, Roy’s going to talk about someone who graduated in less than four years while saying “that daggum guy was a serious student”, and we’re all still going to hate the NCAA.