Mack Brown makes first comments about players’ involvement in fatal crash

UNC head football coach Mack Brown told reporters that players Zach Rice, Travis Shaw, and Malaki Hamrick will be involved in spring practice this year but could face “disciplinary action” from the team.
(Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)



Ten people – including six UNC students – are facing charges related to the January 21 car wreck that killed UNC sophomore Mary Rotunda on Highway 54. Rotunda was in the car along with two other people, who both survived the crash. Police say the car was traveling 120 miles per hour when the driver, sophomore Flemeeja Beatrice Brewer, lost control.

Police have charged Brewer with driving while impaired.

Three of the six students charged are UNC football players – Zach Rice, Travis Shaw and Malaki Hamrick. This week, head football coach Mack Brown made his first comments to the media since the police charged the players. All face underage possession and consumption of alcohol charges along with a variety of other misdemeanors. Brown said the three players will be involved in spring practice this year but could face “disciplinary action” from the team.

“It’s the first time something has come up like that,” Brown said.  “We can investigate it, we’ve always done that. We’ve stayed out of it, it’s not our place. We’ll let the legal process take its course. And then what we will do is obviously, they’ll have consequences and disciplinary actions within our program. But they will be involved in Spring practice.”

Brown said the players have an otherwise clean legal record.

“We’ve had the best record in the country of anybody, and I’m really, really proud of those guys, and disappointed in the three that are are being questioned. But that’ll work itself out.”

Police say the investigation is still open. Brown said he would not involve himself or other team members in the legal process, as it could be considered tampering.

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