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13 October 2017, 08:06 | Anna Jefferson
UNC receives report from NCAA on academic scandal
The NCAA's investigation had focused on how those classes, which existed for 18 years, benefited athletes. The allegations also included tutors writing papers for student athletes for class credit and having others complete "take home tests". The athletes were reportedly guided into the classes to help remain academically eligible.
UNC has challenged the NCAA's jurisdiction in this matter. The panel noted the former secretary credibly explained during the hearing that she treated all students the same.
In its report issued Friday morning, the NCAA's Committee on Infractions determined that it could not conclude that UNC had violated its academic rules because the so-called "paper courses" in the AFAM program were made available to the general student body, as well as athletes. "Additionally, the record did not establish that the university created and offered the courses as part of a systemic effort to benefit only student-athletes".
Former U.S. Justice Department official Kenneth Wainstein released an independent investigation into the scandal, and by his estimate more than half of the 3,100 students that enrolled in those course from 1993-2011 were Tar Heel athletes. North Carolina also won a national championship this past season, but that title was never in question.
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.
The allegations included a lack of institutional control, failure to monitor, and extra benefits in association with the courses.
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 announcement comes roughly eight weeks after UNC appeared before the panel for a two-day hearing in Nashville, Tennessee.
The NCAA was unable to determine whether or not academic fraud occurred at North Carolina due to an NCAA principle that states that individual member schools are responsible for policing themselves.
The school had been alleged to have been cycling football and basketball players through non-existent courses in African American studies.
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