Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Sport | By Ellis Neal

NCAA: No Academic Violations at UNC

NCAA: No Academic Violations at UNC

The only violations that the committee concluded in this case was that two former staff members in the African Studies Department - Julius Nyang'oro and Debby Crowder - failed to cooperate during the investigation.

The NCAA actually began investigating the North Carolina football program back in June 2010 for impermissible benefits and academic fraud under former coach Butch Davis.

"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", SEC commissioner and Committee on Infractions chairman said in a statement.

Since 2014, investigators have been looking into a course, which was formerly called African and Afro-American Studies.

"A singular principle allowed UNC room to make its claims and, ultimately, limits the panel's ability to conclude that academic fraud occurred", the Public Infractions Decision said. However, NCAA policy is clear.

"Based on the general availability and the lack of specific examples, the panel can not conclude a systemic effort to impermissibly benefit student-athletes", it said.

The Tar Heels won a pair of national titles within the span - in 2005 and 2009.

The panel also determined that North Carolina did not fail to monitor or lack institutional control over the athletic department.

"As with any course that offers an easy path to a high grade, word of these classes got around", the report states. "In fact, they recalled that a number of their non-athlete fraternity members took so many AFAM classes that they inadvertently ended up with AFAM minors by the time they graduated". Initially, they were considered improper benefits - access to courses and assistance in those courses not available to regular students - but that charge was removed in the second NOA only to be refiled in the third.

In the end, the NCAA agreed with UNC - though reluctantly - that the matter was out of governing body's jurisdiction. They contend that this is a school issue, one that should be handled by its accreditation agency - they already hit the school with a year of probation. There were also allegations of tutors writing term papers and taking tests for student athletes at the Chapel Hill campus.

The NCAA report said the existence of "paper courses" - which never met and only required one final paper - was widely known around the school. He counted athletes who were no longer team members.

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