1.22.2011

Former UNC football player moving past scandal

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ORLANDO, Fla. -- North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin is exactly where he wants to be this week - back on the football field.

He returned with two goals: To showcase his skills and remove any doubts about his character.

Austin practiced for the first time in months as he prepared for Saturday's East-West Shrine Game after missing his senior season for his role in an agent scandal that engulfed the Tar Heels' football program. He told The Associated Press Thursday that there is no one to blame but himself, that he regrets his mistakes and is focused on "showing everybody who I really am."

He expressed remorse following his final walkthrough before the first major college football all-star game of the 2010 postseason.

"It wasn't so much that the spotlight was on me (this week), it was just getting out here and playing, showing that I was training and was working while I was out," Austin said. "And just to get out here and show that I still got it.

"I've been working. I've been working the whole time (since his dismissal). I wouldn't have been able to get through these practices if I wasn't working."

Austin was suspended by the Tar Heels for their first five games and dismissed from the program on Oct. 11. He and teammates Greg Little and Robert Quinn were ruled to have violated the NCAA's rules governing agent benefits, preferential treatment and ethical conduct.

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