"I can acknowledge that representatives from the NCAA have been to Chapel Hill to speak with some of our student-athletes," UNC athletic director Dick Baddour told Inside Carolina on Thursday afternoon.
"One of the things that they instructed us in very clearly is that we are to maintain the confidence of their visit and their review. They've requested that we not discuss it publicly. Obviously, we're going to fully cooperate with the NCAA in every way that we can by making things available to them and in particular by following their instruction on discussing it publicly."
Inside Carolina's sources indicate that those "student-athletes" include members of the football program.
Baddour could not confirm that the football program is involved, nor could he provide any detail into what the investigation concerns or how long the process would ultimately take to conclude.
Inside Carolina has learned that the NCAA investigation surrounding the UNC football program centers on possible improper benefits provided to the NFL Draft prospects that elected to come back for the 2010 season. The NCAA inquired about benefits coming from non-University influences that included rent, jewelry and travel.
The investigation includes seniors Marvin Austin, a defensive tackle, and Greg Little, a wide receiver, but is not limited to them. The NFL Draft prospects in question weren't the only ones interviewed by the NCAA representatives.
The UNC football program enters the fourth year of Butch Davis's tenure as head coach with lofty expectations for the 2010 season. The Tar Heels, who return eight All-ACC players from '09, are coming off back-to-back 8-5 seasons and will likely be ranked in the preseason top-25 nationally.