A number of University of North Carolina football players will be starting out the new season this fall on the wrong foot. Thirteen Tarheels were just suspended after being caught selling their team-issued exclusive Air Jordan sneakers.
It is not known what specific sneaker or sneakers were sold by the players involved, but speculation across the internet has the Air Jordan 3, which the team showed off in January, as a prime candidate.
The university is sponsored by Jordan Brand, who often supplies the team with player-exclusive sneakers and other gear. But because team members are amateur athletes, they are not permitted to resell the Jordan equipment under NCAA rules. The temptation for players to resell their sneakers is understandably strong, since the rare Air Jordans for schools like UNC, Michigan and Oregon can fetch thousands of dollars on the resale market.
UNC self-reported the violation to the NCAA in January — the admission hints that the shoes sold were, indeed, the team’s new Air Jordan 3 that debuted the same month — and the punishment was just handed down.
According to a report by ESPN, the 13 players were each suspended at least one game for the upcoming season. Starting quarterback Chazz Surrat, defensive end Malik Carney, offensive lineman Brian Anderson, linebacker Malik Robinson, wide receiver Beau Corrales, defensive ends Tomon Fox and Tyrone Hopper, offensive lineman Quiron Johnson, and offensive lineman Jordan Tucker were each suspended four games. Defensive backs Greg Ross and Tre Shaw will miss two games. Quarterback Jack Davidson and offensive lineman Jonah Melton will miss one. Because some players share the same position, the NCAA allowed the team to stagger certain suspensions during different games.