The whole internet loves the turnover chain, the Miami Hurricanes’ lovely chain that’s given to players on the football team that force turnovers. But I regret to inform you that the maker of the chain has a shady history with the NCAA and interacting with athletes.
The chain has become a cottage industry of sorts for the university, as the Hurricanes have risen to the top of the college football rankings this season thanks to a thus-undefeated run, but it turns out the man who made the turnover chain has gotten into trouble with the NCAA in the past.
The News Observer reported on Friday that the South Florida jeweler who made the chain, John Machado, was banned from contacting University of North Carolina athletes thanks to an NCAA investigation into the Tar Heels football program in 2010.
The report is a wary account of Machado, who those at UNC say made at least one player on the team academically ineligible to play for the Tar Heels.
UNC on Oct. 25, 2010, sent a letter of disassociation to Machado addressed to his store, A.J.’s Jewelry, in Cutler Bay, Fla. In the letter, Dick Baddour, who was the UNC athletic director at the time, wrote that Machado’s “involvement with one of our student-athletes has led to the NCAA declaring one of student-athletes permanently ineligible.”
The whole investigation into UNC athletics is actually pretty amazing considering the fact that it started because an athlete tweeted a song lyric. But don’t try to taint the turnover chain. It’s too pure for this kind of slander.