UNC football players drink, wreck, skate?

WTVD reports on a May 29 crash and the weirdness that followed:

Herman Davidson, a football player who transferred from UNC three weeks before the crash, was driving the vehicle and swerved to miss an unidentified car.

UNC players Carl Gaskins, Jr., Dion Guy and Ebele Okakpu were passengers in the car Davidson was driving.

The crash caused $18,000 in damage to the car Davidson was driving, which belonged to Okakpu’s father.

The police report also indicates Davidson had alcohol on his breath but was not impaired. The report doesn’t say whether the other players had been drinking.

It is rather difficult to believe that, out of four players out on a Saturday night, the only one who had been drinking was the friend of the guy whose father owns the car. The police report is also suspect, as WTVD reports:

The initial report said the car was traveling the speed limit at the time of the crash; but nearly 16 hours later, the report was later changed to say the car was going 45 mph in a 25 mph zone.

The investigating officer, Sergeant Shawn Smith, wrote in the report, “I changed the travel and impact speed of the collision from 25 to 45 based on the severity of the collision and other factors combined. To have an incident of this magnitude, the vehicle had to have been traveling higher than the posted speed of 25 mph.”

Davidson only received a citation for not having a valid driver’s license. He was not issued a speeding ticket and none of the players were taken into custody.

So now we supposedly have a Saturday night crash in which drinking was involved, but only by the driver (one wonders: are the other players under the legal drinking age?), and not enough to impair him, high speeds, vehicular damage, and the only official police action taken is issuance of a citation? What is going on?

Smith also was assigned to Coach Davis for home and away games.

UNC says Smith resigned on July 15, six weeks after the crash, but won’t say if the crash led to his resignation.

Smith denies a cover-up, but when asked about his resignation, he told the I-Team it was a “self-inflicted wound” and a “hard lesson learned.”

Already with nine major NCAA violations under investigation, the firing of the coach “without cause” leaving him positioned to receive several million dollars in hush money severance pay, and leadership trying to reverse the impression that athletics is the tail wagging the academic dog, UNC would not wish there also to be a cozy relationship between athletics and campus law enforcement (nor would UNC students or their parents want that, for many obvious reasons).

As it is, the carefully constructed narrative that these systemic abuses are hermetically sealed within the football program and touches no other revenue sports program is hardly credible.

If there is such a relationship between sports and campus law enforcement, however, UNC needs to root it out. Now.

Jon Sanders / Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...