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13 October 2017, 07:42 | Sandy Nunez
Toothless NCAA Couldn't Find Academic Violations at North Carolina, Tar Heels Get No Punishment
The NCAA enforcement staff alleged that UNC committed five Level I violations - the most serious the NCAA can levy - connected to the bogus African Studies courses at the heart of the investigation.
The NCAA Committee on Infractions announced Friday it could not find North Carolina violated NCAA rules involving years-long academic scandal involving athletes across multiple sports.
The case has been of particular interest to Syracuse fans, largely due to the NCAA investigation that the SU basketball program endured. UNC's argument, which will likely be the crux of their appeal, is that the NCAA is overstepping their jurisdiction. "The NCAA defers to its member schools to determine whether academic fraud occurred and, ultimately, the panel is bound to making decisions within the rules set by the membership". However, NCAA policy is clear. They've been covering Carolina athletics for two decades and will have all of the fallout, including recruiting impact and what's coming next. "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". What the panel found was two violations: "the former department chair and a former curriculum secretary failed to cooperate during the investigation".
Some assumed the NCAA wouldn't tackle this issue because some version of that occurs at all schools, although it has never been publicly brought to light like at North Carolina.
More than 3,100 students were enrolled in the "paper classes" over an 18-year period.
At UNC - much like athletes need a certain minimum GPA to remain eligible to compete - each Greek house needs to achieve an overall minimum GPA among its members to maintain university recognition and stay on campus. None of that, was judged by the NCAA as an impermissible benefit.
According to a university-commissioned investigation, North Carolina had for almost two decades offered a "shadow curriculum" of fake classes into which athletes were steered.
The probe centered on allegations that the university based in Chapel Hill gave athletes extra benefits, including offering them easy courses not available to non-athlete students.
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