CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — UNC Head Football Coach Larry Fedora announced Wednesday the suspension of four players following an off-field incident.
WTVD-TV reported that the players suspended were defensive backs Des Lawrence, M.J. Stewart, Donnie Miles and Brian Walker.
Fedora said he had enough information to make a decision, and that everyone is held accountable for their actions.
“We hold our players accountable for their actions at all times,” said Fedora. “These players did not meet the high expectations we have for them as members of our program and have been disciplined accordingly. They will not play on Saturday or be on the sideline with their teammates.”
Fedora also said the game plan will not change.
The group of players on the team are reportedly under investigation for an alleged “hazing incident” earlier this month.
The university confirmed Tuesday that an incident happened, and Fedora confirmed then that Jackson Boyer is still practicing despite reports other teammates hurt the redshirt walk-on wide receiver during what university officials called “an incident.”
A Yahoo Sports report that specifically describes the incident as a group assault hazing that took place in Boyer’s room at the Aloft Hotel in Chapel Hill during a training camp the first week of this month.
The report claims Boyer, who is a freshman, allegedly suffered a concussion. However, Chapel Hill police told ABC11 Wednesday that there is no report of an altercation at the hotel.
UNC Athletics officials released a statement saying: “We are aware of an incident involving members of the UNC football team that took place earlier this month. We take this allegation seriously and the university is conducting a thorough review.”
The incident comes as the NCAA reopened its investigation into academic irregularities involving the team this summer. It is adding new pressure for the 23rd ranked Heels, who are opening their season this weekend against Liberty in the top 25 for the first time since 2010.
“It’s hard when things happen, like with all the allegations of cheating,” UNC Junior Holly Angevine said. “The students, we just have to trust the university’s handling it like we would want it to be handled.
“My freshman year, Coach Davis was fired two weeks before I came to school,” UNC Senior Chase Furr said. “Timing is never good right now, but hopefully we can focus on the field, play Liberty and have a great game.”
On Twitter, radio station WCHL disputes claims of team hazing – calling it “a fight between two guys over a girl.”
Orange County Emergency Services checked 911 calls and emergency service requests for the Aloft hotel. Officials found no record of a disturbance at the hotel for the entire month of August.
“I suspect if there’s a question of whether this rises to a criminal level, they will contact us,” said Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall, adding that in the past, UNC’s Athletics Department has consistently reached out to him if there was concern for potential criminal activity involving its athletes.
Calls to Starwood Hotels & Resorts, the owner of A-Loft in Chapel Hill, were also not returned.
Boyer grew up in Chapel Hill. ABC11 tried to contact Boyer or his parents, but we were unsuccessful.