Friday mailblog

Leaving on Saturday for Greensboro, N.C. I'll check the mail before I go ...

Joanna writes: What are the chances that Dabo suspends Watkins for the Auburn game?

HD: The latest comments from Dabo Swinney are that Sammy Watkins "will sit, it's just a matter of how long." I'm sure he'll get asked about it again at media days, but it sounds like Watkins could see the field at some point against Auburn.

Alex in Douglasville, GA. writes: Hi Heather,What kind of message do you think Dabo sends if he only suspends Sammy for a quarter or two? I am a huge Tiger fan and would hate to see "The Deuce" gone for longer, but realistically should he at least suspend him for a game?

HD: Well, it's hard to say from the outside. Has he done everything Swinney and law enforcement officers have asked of him? Has he been apologetic? Was it his first offense? Has Swinney had Watkins running bleachers at 5 a.m., or taking an extra study hall, or doing other things we might not know about to atone for his mistake? It's been a long time since the incident occured on May 4. That's plenty of time to pay some dues. So it's very possible a quarter or a half might be appropriate.

Michael Goetschius in Sergeant Bluff/IA writes: I'm a big Canes fan., How will this situation with Ray ray Armstrong effect the canes this year. they were sighted as having one of the best safty squads this year

HD: Yeah, the duo of Armstrong and Vaughn Telemaque was billed to be one of the best in the country, but that never materialized and now it never will. It's a waste of talent if you ask me. Instead, the Canes will turn to A.J. Highsmith, who made the switch from backup quarterback to safety last year. He was No. 2 on the depth chart this spring behind Armstrong. The Canes also have junior Kacy Rodgers and senior Andrew Swasey, and they recruited seven defensive backs in the 2012 class. This is not a team that can afford to lose any more starters.

steven in miami writes: Heather, Appreciate all you do insofar as reporting and analysis. This question comes from a while ago and since I havent seen anything written lately I thought I would ask you: What is status of ACC, Orange Bowl and Notre Dame partnership....has anything moved forward. And would the ACC take Notre Dame's other sports if there was not a plan in place for football to join league in next 3-5 years.

HD: Thanks. No news, Steven, other than confirmation that the ACC has had discussions with Notre Dame about the possibility of an Orange Bowl partnership. I'm not sure how much interest the ACC would have in Notre Dame's other sports, but I'm sure the commissioner will get plenty of Notre Dame questions on Sunday at the ACC football kickoff. I'll give you any updates from there, so check back on Sunday evening.

Newtondt in Birmingham, AL writes: Heather,Any thoughts on potential B1G/ACC football matchup that is being debated over on the B1G blog? With ACC going to 9 league games (probably a mistake), I just don't see this happening. You?

HD: I wrote about this a little bit on Thursday, and basically said the ACC and Big Ten need to find a way to work it out. You're right: Georgia Tech, FSU and Clemson would probably have the biggest hang-ups about it with the nine-game schedule because of their built-in SEC rivals. I don't blame them. But if the leagues worked out some sort of rotation where they didn't have to do it every season, or only the Atlantic one year and the Coastal the next or something ... I think it would be well worth it for the fans and the conferences. I also think that if both leagues were seriously considering a scheduling partnership, it would be worth the ACC's time to go back and rethink the nine-game schedule. Maybe just scrap that in favor of a partnership with the Big Ten?

Paul Andrew in Angier,NC writes: I applaud you for continuing to point out the depth of the scandal at UNC. Why do you think so many in the media and the NCAA continue to ignore the academic fraud that has been documented? The academic fraud is far more serious than a player taking money from an agent. Why is the media so quiet on the school and Butch Davis not wanting his cell phone records released?

HD: I can't believe what has happened at Carolina. I can't believe the imaginary classes and the academic fraud and the laundry list of violations at a place that used to have such a shiny academic reputation. A big reason I don't think it's getting a lot of attention, though, is because the NCAA doesn't seem too interested in it. The bigger question is why isn't the NCAA interested anymore? Well, maybe because it's hard to prove that athletes were the target of these classes? I have no idea, but if the NCAA were nosing around, I don't doubt the media would suddenly become more interested. Right now it seems more academic than athletic. That doesn't mean that perception is correct.