NCAA ‘could not conclude’ academic violations in UNC case

North Carolina has avoided major penalties after an NCAA infractions committee panel “could not conclude” there were academic violations in the multi-year case focused on irregular courses.

In a report released Friday morning, the panel said it found only two violations out of five charges the school originally faced: a failure-to-cooperate charge against two people tied to the problem courses in the formerly named African and Afro-American Studies (AFAM) department.

Former AFAM chairman Julius Nyang’oro faces a five-year show-cause penalty through 2022 in what amounts to the sole penalty imposed in the wide-ranging case filled with starts, stops and twice-rewritten charges. Nyang’oro had refused to interview with NCAA investigators after the case was reopened in 2014.

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. She was not punished, but the NCAA says it is making note of her initial lack of cooperation.

North Carolina also faced an improper-benefits charge tied to athlete access to the problem courses and lack of institutional control, while a former professor and academic counselor for women’s basketball was charged with providing improper help on assignments.

“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 solely created, offered and maintained as an orchestrated effort to benefit student-athletes,” said Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey, the panel’s chief hearing officer.

It’s a long-awaited step for both the school and NCAA. Investigators first arrived at UNC more than seven years ago in a football probe that ultimately spawned into this case focused on irregular courses featuring significant athlete enrollments.

The ruling comes roughly eight weeks after UNC appeared before the infractions panel in August …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

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