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North Carolina investigating alleged hazing incident with football team

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Dec 28, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; A North Carolina Tar Heels helmet lays on the field prior to the start of the game against the Cincinnati Bearcats in the Belk Bowl at Bank of America Stadium. (Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports)

The University of North Carolina confirmed to Yahoo Sports on Tuesday that it is investigating a training camp incident between football players that escalated from what multiple sources described as an alleged hazing into a group assault of a teammate.

"We are aware of an incident involving members of the UNC football team that took place earlier this month. We take this allegation seriously and the University is conducting a thorough review," Kevin Best, North Carolina's assistant athletic director for communications, said in a statement to Yahoo Sports.

Members of the team and coaching staff were not made available for comment Tuesday because of the ongoing nature of the investigation, Best said.

During the first week of August, redshirt freshman walk-on wide receiver Jackson Boyer was involved in an alleged physical altercation with multiple teammates in his room at the Aloft hotel in Chapel Hill where the team was staying during fall camp, sources told Yahoo Sports. The incident allegedly left Boyer with a concussion, sources said.

When reached for comment last week by Yahoo Sports, Rob Boyer, Jackson's Boyer's father, acknowledged that an incident occurred with his son but said, "I'm really not ready to comment on it."

According to the UNC Office of the Dean of Students, the school has a clearly defined policy on hazing: "The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is committed to fostering organizations that provide a positive and safe environment for new and existing members. To that end, UNC expressly prohibits hazing or any activity that puts a student's physical, emotional or psychological health and safety at risk. The Instrument of Student Judicial Governance defines hazing as action, 'that causes or permits an individual, with or without consent, to engage in activities that subject that individual or others to risks of physical injury, mental distress, or personal indignities of a highly offensive nature, in connection with recruitment, initiation, or continued membership in a society, fraternity or sorority, club, or similar organized group, whether or not recognized by the University.' "

There has been no public indication of team discipline for the as-yet unnamed players involved in the incident. The Tar Heels, coming off a 7-6 season in 2013 and entering their third year under Larry Fedora, open the 2014 campaign Saturday at home against Liberty. North Carolina was banned from postseason play in Fedora's first year, 2012, due to NCAA violations committed under previous coach Butch Davis, and remains on probation. The NCAA recently said it has reopened its investigation of the school for alleged academic irregularities involving both football and basketball players and dating back many years.

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