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Suspended Tar Heels players lose appeal

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The NCAA denied on Friday an appeal to shorten the suspensions for North Carolina cornerback Kendric Burney and safety Deunta Williams.

Burney was suspended six games and Williams four for receiving improper benefits connected to several trips, including to California to visit a former North Carolina player. Burney also had trips to Atlanta and Las Vegas linked to former college player Chris Hawkins, whom the NCAA has said qualifies as an agent.

Spokesman Steve Kirschner also says an NCAA investigator returned to campus Wednesday and Thursday to participate in the school-led investigation into possible academic violations. Most of those cases are being handled by the student judicial system.

Meanwhile, an attorney representing NFL agent Gary Wichard says his client will meet with investigators from the North Carolina Secretary of State's office as they review whether the state's sports agent laws were broken.

Howard Silber says Wichard is scheduled to meet with investigators next week, though he wouldn't specify exactly when. A spokesman for Secretary of State Elaine Marshall declined to comment.

Marshall's office launched its inquiry shortly after the NCAA began investigating the football program at North Carolina.

Wichard's friendship with former Tar Heels assistant coach John Blake has been a key part of the investigations.

Utah St. 31, BYU 16: Diondre Borel passed for 192 yards and ran for 68 more, throwing for one touchdown and running in another as the host Aggies ended a 10-game losing streak to Brigham Young. Derrvin Speight ran for 91 yards and two touchdowns as Utah State (2-3) handed BYU its fourth straight loss and a 1-4 record for the first time since 1973. Fans stormed Merlin Olsen Field, celebrating Utah State's first win in the series since a 58-56 thriller in 1993.

Georgia: The 1-3 Bulldogs, who have dropped three straight SEC games for the first time since 1993, are counting on the return of star receiver A.J. Green to shake them from their doldrums when they take on Colorado today. Green was suspended for four games for selling his Independence Bowl jersey for $1,000 to former North Carolina and Marshall player Chris Hawkins. The NCAA deemed Hawkins was an agent. Green said he never met or talked with Hawkins, selling the jersey on Facebook because he needed money for spring break.

South Carolina: The NCAA says the Gamecocks' compliance director should not have approved football players living at a hotel paying reduced rates.

While the NCAA has not assessed any penalties in its investigation, it says the university's evaluation of the arrangements at the Whitney Hotel was "flawed."

South Carolina released more than 400 pages of documents through an open records request by media outlets.

The school says players were being charged $450 per person for a two-bedroom suite, a monthly rate compliance director Jennifer Stiles deemed permissible under NCAA rules. But Stiles wrote Aug. 30 that the NCAA determined the players should have been charged a rate of $57 per night, which would've brought the monthly total to $1,710. That difference was found by the NCAA to be an impermissible benefit.

The NCAA has investigated South Carolina since the summer when tight end Weslye Saunders was under scrutiny for possible contact with agents in connection with a party in Miami. Saunders has since been dismissed from the team.

In August, coach Steve Spurrier asked those living at the hotel to pay their bills and find other arrangements. All have done so.

North Texas player dies: Freshman walk-on receiver Josh Rake, 20, died from injuries suffered in an automobile accident a day earlier, the university said in a statement.

Basketball

Kentucky: Freshman center Enes Kanter must sit out all team activities until the NCAA determines his amateur status. Kanter played on a club team in Turkey in 2008-09. The NCAA is reviewing whether he received any extraordinary benefits during his time there.

Seton Hall: Former Pirates forward Robert Mitchell, 24, pleaded guilty to criminal restraint and burglary charges after admitting he entered a house near campus in March to buy drugs, but he and a co-defendant decided to rob the eight people there at gunpoint. Mitchell was kicked off the team by then-coach Bobby Gonzalez.

Suspended Tar Heels players lose appeal 10/01/10 [Last modified: Saturday, October 2, 2010 1:33am]

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