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On Ryan Houston’s health status after offseason shoulder surgery:
“He’s done a really good job. In talking to our trainer Scott Trulock yesterday, he felt like Ryan was definitely on schedule. He’ll be able to start practice when we start on Aug. 5. He’ll be held as far as limited contact probably through about the first two weeks of training camp. He’ll be able to do all of the running and catching balls and take part in some team things, but as far as scrimmage opportunities, it will probably not be until maybe the second week of training camp.”
Can you catch us up on your impression of what’s taken place this summer with the notice of allegations and everything else?
“Everybody said back in August and September and October that this is something that’s a process. It’s got to take time. Certainly, the University has done a remarkable job in full cooperation in working with the NCAA. Obviously, as the steps have transpired over the course of the last five or six months, getting the notice of allegations officially from the NCAA was just part of that process. We have our opportunity for 90 days to review those allegations and decide which ones they might want to contest and which ones they don’t think that there’s any contest to it and then in October, we’ll go in front of the infractions committee and then shortly sometime thereafter I’m sure we’ll find out what comes out of the entire investigation.”
Has there been a time when you didn’t think you would be back as UNC’s head coach?
“No. I fully expected to be the football coach. I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve gotten great support from the administration, the Board of Trustees, the athletic director, Chancellor [Holden] Thorp. I’m excited about the future of our program. I’m looking forward to the 2011 football season. We’ve got some good young talented kids, kids that have waited their turn for an opportunity to play and they’re excited about getting started here in a couple of weeks and looking forward to this new season.”
What are your feelings on the nature of the notice of allegations?
“There’s a limited amount that anybody has known. I think certainly as has been talked about many, many times, Dick Baddour as the athletic director has been the point guy. He along with our legal counsel and compliance department and Chancellor Thorp – they’re the ones that are in the know on absolutely everything. There's a lot of things that I don’t need to know, don’t know and they’ve handled everything. The one good thing is that I’m the football coach and it gives me an opportunity to focus entirely on football and maintain that focus on getting ready for the season. We had a great spring practice and good summer conditioning program and we’re looking forward to the start of training camp.”
What do you say to the allegation that John Blake was working for an agent?
“Obviously the NCAA has asked the institution to make absolutely no comments and don’t talk about the review process and any of the things that are there. So those are the kinds of questions that we’ve been trying to defer to Mr. Baddour.”
Will you go to the hearing?
“I will. Yes, absolutely.”
Will you tell us about the process of releasing your personal cell phone records?
“I’m definitely going to release those. It’s a personal cell phone that I’ve had for over 10 years. I fully intend – as we’ve done throughout this entire thing, we’ve been fully cooperative with this entire investigation. Those records have been looked at by the University’s counsel completely and entirely back during the fall of the season. It’s something they’ve already looked at. As soon as we can get it all put together – we just got the request here recently, so I’m going to do that here pretty soon.”
Has the NCAA seen those to your knowledge?
“I don’t know.”
You’re redacting some of the numbers, right?
“Again, obviously it’s a personal cell phone that I’ve had for over 10 years. So we’ll redact and I’ll go through it and things my wife and my son and my dad and my sister, close personal friends and family members, those kinds of things. Anything that has absolutely anything to do with UNC and business, those will certainly be completely open for public record.”
Do you have any reaction to Marvin Austin’s latest tweeting habits?
“No. I don’t tweet. I don’t have a Twitter account and I don’t follow it, but I know that Marvin is very disappointed in the Michael McAdoo result. They were very close personal friends. Marvin, being the type of person that he is, he was very hurt that Michael lost that bid to regain his actual eligibility to continue to play collegiately. That has an affect on it, but one thing I do know is that Marvin knows that I am completely ethical and that I always do the right thing.”
Is Michael McAdoo still welcome to join the team as a student-assistant on scholarship?
“Back in the spring time, before any of this came to fruition, we had some questions with Amy Herman, our compliance director, to inquire with the NCAA, not knowing the outcome of what would happen with Michael - would he, if he loses this case, be able to stay on scholarship? Because what gets lost in this is that it's about kids, it's about education. And we wanted Michael to stay on scholarship and finish his education if that's his choice. ... I haven't spoken to Michael recently so I can't tell you what his plans are, but it's something I'm sure we'll talk about.”
As much as last season set you back, the ones that you bring back - are you in better shape because younger kids got playing experience under their belt?
“I think the one huge advantage that we have this season is that we don't have the drama over who can play and who can't play. This is a very young, inexperienced football team. Some kids did get to play more than they would have if guys hadn't been suspended, but if you look at the 20 seniors last year, 14 or 15 of them were three or four year starters - guys that basically played in every game in my career at Carolina. So we've got a void of experience and there's no magic pill to give them that, they'll have to gain that every single time we play and know that we have high expectations for them."