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The University paid outside lawyers $467,406 during a 17-month period of the NCAA investigation into the football program.
At the start of the probe in June 2010, UNC augmented the work of its own legal staff with Rick Evrard, an attorney with Bond, Schoeneck & King in Overland Park, Kan. Then in January 2011, the University added William King, an attorney with Lightfoot Franklin and White of Birmingham, Ala. Evrard and King have experience working with universities on NCAA investigations.
The legal fees emerged from records requests by The Associated Press and other media outlets. UNC said that no state-appropriated funds were used to pay the firms; they were paid with funds from the UNC-CH Foundation Inc. and the athletics department. The UNC-CH Foundation is part of the University’s endowment fund. The foundation holds unrestricted private gifts made to the University from individuals, corporations, estates and other foundations.
A UNC spokesperson cited two examples of other schools that paid outside law firms during NCAA investigations: Auburn University said it spent about $170,000 in a four-month period while the NCAA probed allegations that the father of quarterback Cam Newton marketed him to some universities in a pay-for-play scheme; and the University of South Carolina said earlier this year that it spent more than $535,000 to defend itself against allegations that it failed to properly monitor its athletics department.