While the most obvious issue for programs under NCAA investigation is the fact that they wound up in that position, another problem is the impact that the uncertainty can have on recruiting. That’s been the case for North Carolina, which despite having a deep roster expected to contend in the ACC and nationally next season, has been dealing with this uncertainty.
With there being no known penalties or Notice of Allegations from the NCAA regarding the ongoing investigation of academic fraud, the door is left open for opposing programs to negatively recruit against Roy Williams’ program. In an interview with the Asheville Citizen-Times on the night that he was inducted into the Western North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, Williams discussed the difficulty of recruiting while dealing with the uncertainty.
On the UNC academic scandal and NCAA investigation. Williams says he hasn’t signed some top recruits the past couple of years because players fear the school will be put on probation:
“It would help if the NCAA would just tell us what the allegations are. That would help because it would give us the information. It’s been a hard process, and I know that has been quite a lot of negative recruiting going on and other things that don’t make you very happy.
“But at the same time, we made some mistakes at our university, mistakes we are not proud of. And yet it has been so sensationalized, just off the charts about what has happened.
“We’ve lost over 30 people at the university – chancellor, athletic director, football coach, head of academic support. We’ve initiated over 75 new policies.
Earlier this spring North Carolina fell short in its recruitment of five-star forward Brandon Ingram, who picked rival Duke over the Tar Heels and other programs. And according to the News & Observer, the uncertainty regarding the investigation proved to be too much for UNC to overcome in its pursuit of Ingram’s commitment.
Williams won’t be operating with an empty cupboard in 2015-16. But how he recruits the Class of 2016 and beyond will be impacted by the investigations, especially if it continues to drag on without a resolution.