The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has notified the National Collegiate Athletic Association's enforcement staff that it identified "two new pieces of information" regarding NCAA violations, UNC announced Friday. The new information was discovered in the course of responding to the NCAA's notice of allegations from May that stated the university demonstrated a lack of institutional control when it allowed athletes to participate in years' worth of phony "paper courses."
For 20 years, some employees at UNC knowingly steered about 1,500 athletes toward no-show courses that never met and were not taught by any faculty members, and in which the only work required was a single research paper that received a high grade no matter the content, according to a report released by the university in October. The NCAA is currently conducting its own investigation into the matter, and the university was expected to offer its response to the allegations this week. With the finding of new possible violations, that process will be delayed, potentially for another five months. This means UNC will now likely avoid receiving any sanctions until after National Signing Day for its football team and the NCAA postseason for its basketball teams.
Of the new possible charges, one concerned "improper academic assistance" being provided to women's basketball players, the university said, adding that the assistance was "directly related" to the paper course scandal. The other involves potential recruiting violations with the men's soccer team, and is unrelated to the NCAA investigation.
“We identified this new information as part of our due diligence in preparing our response to the notice of allegations and materials for public release,” Bubba Cunningham, UNC's athletic director, said in a statement. “Consistent with NCAA process, we promptly notified the NCAA’s enforcement staff. We continue to work cooperatively and expeditiously with the enforcement staff to complete our review, and we are confident this can be done quickly to allow the NCAA to bring closure to the investigation.”
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