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Nicks not surprised by NCAA penalty

Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks celebrates after scoring

Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Seahawks at Qwest Field in Seattle. (Nov. 7, 2010) Credit: Getty Images

Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks said today he wasn’t surprised about the NCAA’s recent ruling that his statistics at North Carolina in 2008 would be vacated as a result of an investigation into academic misconduct in the school’s football program.

“I’m not necessarily surprised because of the things they were doing in the past, and I wasn’t willing to respond,” said Nicks, speaking for the first time since the ruling earlier this month that his stats would not count. “They’re obligated to do what they had to do over there. That’s their job. It is what it is.”

Nicks, the Giants’ first-round pick in 2009, set school records at North Carolina with 2,840 career receiving yards, 21 touchdown catches and 1,222 receiving yards in 2008. The school vacated its wins and statistics for ineligible players from 2008-09 after the NCAA found that the school had provided improper benefits and committed academic misconduct. Nicks did not cooperate with NCAA investigators.

Nicks’ stats will be listed with an asterisk in the school’s media guide. There will be a note accompanying the asterisk that says “participation later vacated due to NCAA penalty.”

“I’m not ashamed of where I went to school,” said Nicks, who is recovering from a broken foot and has not been cleared to practice. “I’m proud of [North] Carolina, proud to be a Tar Heel. Much love for the school.” 

New York Sports