NCAA's verdict in North Carolina academic case: No violations, penalties for UNC

NCAA's verdict in North Carolina academic case: No violations, penalties for UNC

More than years later, the NCAA determined that its investigation into academics at the University of North Carolina was much ado about nothing.

UNC-Chapel Hill on Friday morning received its long-awaited judgment from the NCAA Committee on Infractions, which "could not conclude academic violations" in the case, according to a statement the NCAA released along with its findings.

Nyang'oro received a five-year show-cause penalty lasting until October 12, 2022.

The other person, retired AFAM office administrator Deborah Crowder, initially refused interviews but reconsidered and interviewed with NCAA investigators in May as well as attended the school's hearing with the panel in August.

"While student-athletes likely benefited from the so-called "paper courses" offered by North Carolina, the information available in the record did not establish that the courses were exclusively created, offered and maintained as an orchestrated effort to benefit student-athletes", said Greg Sankey, the Committee on Infractions panel's chief hearing officer in a statement.

Some assumed the NCAA wouldn't tackle this issue because some version of that occurs at all schools, although it has never been publicly brought to light like at North Carolina.

In its latest notice of allegations, which is the NCAA equivalent of a lawsuit or indictment, the NCAA's enforcement staff pointed to the high enrollment of athletes in the classes - almost half, according to the university-commissioned investigation led by Kenneth L. Wainstein - and emails in which advisers requested spots for athletes.

The ruling comes roughly eight weeks after UNC appeared before the infractions panel in August in Nashville, Tennessee, for a two-day hearing that included Chancellor Carol Folt, athletic director Bubba Cunningham, men's basketball coach Roy Williams, football coach Larry Fedora and women's basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell.

The university faced five Level I charges from the NCAA, including lack of institutional control, in a case that grew as an offshoot of a probe launched in 2010 into the football program.

"As with any course that offers an easy path to a high grade, word of these classes got around", the report states.

Since 2014, investigators have been looking into a course, which was formerly called African and Afro-American Studies. The athletes were reportedly guided into the classes to help remain academically eligible.

"The panel concluded that while student-athletes and athletics programs may have benefitted from utilizing the courses, the general student body also benefitted", a release from the NCAA said.

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