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NCAA Repeats Charges in Third Notice of Allegations

The enforcement staff of the NCAA has sent UNC a third notice of allegations in a long-running saga over athletics and academics issues that reiterates that UNC violated “issues that go to the core of the collegiate model” when it failed to recognize and stop a system of classes run by the chair of the former department of African and Afro-American studies and his administrative assistant that were found to be academically fraudulent.

As in the original notice of allegations issued in June 2015, the NCAA charged UNC with failure to exercise institutional control. An amended notice of allegations sent in April 2016 had steered away from charges of special benefits to athletes, concentrating instead on what it said was the University administration’s failure to monitor the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes and the AFAM department.

Where the original notice had said that advisers in the academic support center used the courses set up in the AFAM department “to maintain the eligibility of academically at-risk student-athletes, particularly in the sports of football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball,” the amended notice did not mention men’s basketball and football. In the third notice, received by the University on Dec. 13 and made public on Dec. 22, those terms reappear: “Many at-risk student-athletes, particularly in the sports of football and men’s basketball, used these courses for purposes of ensuring their continuing NCAA academic eligibility.”

The new notice also shows that the NCAA considers the October 2014 Wainstein report to be the definitive account of the events of the system of fraud. UNC said in its August response to the second notice that it and the NCAA had agreed not to consider the testimony of the AFAM principals, Julius Nyang’oro and Deborah Crowder ’75 to Wainstein. But the NCAA in September rejected the notion that the entire Wainstein report was out of bounds.

The timetable from this point is uncertain. The University clearly is frustrated with the process. In a letter to the Committee on Infractions, Rick Evrard, an attorney with a firm retained by UNC, wrote: “The University wants to move this matter forward, but now faces a third Notice of Allegations in a process that increasingly lacks clarity on what the University is expected to defend.”

That letter and the documents from the NCAA, as well as archived documents, are at carolinacommitment.unc.edu.


 

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