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NCAA probing UNC’s Coples over post-draft soirée

A couple of weeks before the April NFL draft, the NCAA “gently reminded” the 20 former collegians invited to the New York City event that players not eligible for the draft can’t receive benefits or services such as travel, lodging, meals or entertainment if they attend parties.

“Please do not jeopardize the NCAA eligibility of your friends or former teammates,” the NCAA’s director of player security services wrote -- in bold letters -- in the letter circulated by the NFL.

So, of course, nearly a month after the draft and its myriad parties were held, a player’s eligibility may -- stressing the word “may” -- be in jeopardy.

According to‘s Joe Schad, and citing unnamed sources, an NCAA investigator this week interviewed North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples in regards to his attendance at a post-draft party in Washington D.C. The party took place at the “Ultrabar” nightclub and Coples was seen in photographs posted on Facebook next to Marvin Austin and Robert Quinn, a pair of 2011 NFL draft picks who missed all of UNC’s 2010 season after being caught up in the agent scandal that rocked the Tar Heels football program.

Ironically, it was Austin’s prolific postings on a social media site regarding a party he attended in South Beach in the spring of 2010 that caught the NCAA’s attention and ultimately led to multiple players missing either multiple games or the entire season.

As long as Coples can prove that he paid for everything on his D.C. junket -- including transportation, hotel accommodations, food and drink and admission -- and otherwise wasn’t the beneficiary of benefits deemed impermissible by current NCAA bylaws, he has nothing to worry about. If not? Coples could find himself in the exact same position as the former teammates he was photographed with -- a high-round NFL draft selection after getting a year off from the football grind.