I ran into a guy yesterday at a local gas station who works for a Columbus sports association that covers the Buckeyes and other regional sports. He was heading back to Columbus. I overheard him talking at the counter with a guy about going to the NC game to cover it, so I asked him about this situation.
He said the media overstepped their bounds and really blew this one, all for the sake of a story, because Washington was never suspended. Every official press release that he got only listed Clifford, while the other report, listing both kids, came from "unnamed sources". When I asked him about what I read, that Washington had appealed it, he stated that you can't appeal a violation of a team rule. There is no appeal process in that situation. Only what the coach decides, and his decision is final. If Washington had violated a team rule he would not be playing.