Brown started all 13 games last season and still has a year of eligibility remaining, though the school didn’t specify why he will sit out the season. Both he and Burney were among six players declared ineligible “for violating school and/or NCAA rules” before the opener against LSU. Neither has played this season. Burney had recently completed his six-game suspension but apparently still has one unresolved issue over academics. Last year in a win over Miami, Burney he finished with 170 interception return yards and set a single-game ACC record and a school record for an entire season.
Brown will be given the opportunity to use this season as a redshirt and return in 2011. Burney redshirted in 2006, so he would not be eligible to return next season.
A total of seven players have been cleared in the investigations, six players will not participate this season, and three players still have cases pending. Other than Burney, only two other players of the 14 players held out by UNC – defensive end Michael McAdoo and fullback Devon Ramsay – are still awaiting final rulings on their cases.
In addition, UNC tight end Zack Pianalto, leading the team with 30 catches for 311 yards and one TD, will miss the season after breaking his leg in last week’s win over Virginia.
Despite all this, UNC has managed to win four games in a row after a 0-2 start. The loser of Saturday’s game can all but kiss the ACC Coastal Division title goodbye as both already have a conference loss. The Heels have beaten UM three straight times.
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