Due to his ineligibility, North Carolina is vacating the statistics put up by current New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks during the 2008 season.
As reported earlier this week by The News and Observer of Raleigh, Nicks was benefiting from “academic fraud” by receiving improper academic help in 2008 from a tutor implicated in the scandal at UNC. If the proper channels were taken at UNC in 2008, Nicks would have never stepped on the field.
Now, four years later, UNC is attempting to pretend that he didn’t.
On Friday, a team spokesman said Nicks’ records and stats from that year will remain in the media guide but be noted with an asterisk.
The asterisk will explain that his participation was later vacated due to an NCAA penalty.
That participation — recognized or not — was one of the finest in NCAA history. The now vacated statistics: 68 receptions, 1222 yards, 12 touchdowns. Those numbers helped make him a 2009 first round pick in the NFL Draft. For a career at UNC — 2008 included — Nicks caught 181 passes for 2840 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Despite reports of receiving jewelry, money, and improper academic benefits, Nicks did dominate on the football field for the Tar Heels. Asterisk or not, college football fans in the ACC aren’t likely to “forget” the 2008 season he brought to the table.
Joe is also the host of Charm City Sports Talk on WNST.net in Baltimore and member of the Society of American Baseball Research