The NCAA handed down a much-anticipated ruling about academics involving North Carolina athletes on Friday. The NCAA found the Tar Heels did not have any violations and the university will not face any major penalties.
The NCAA’s Committee on Infractions said it “could not conclude North Carolina violated NCAA rules.”
— NCAA (@NCAA) October 13, 2017
Here is part of the statement the NCAA released about the ruling:
A Division I Committee on Infractions hearing panel could not conclude that the University of North Carolina violated NCAA academic rules when it made available deficient Department of African and Afro-American Studies “paper courses” to the general student body, including student-athletes.
The panel found two violations in this case – the former department chair and a former curriculum secretary failed to cooperate during the investigation.
“While student-athletes likely benefited from the so-called ‘paper courses’ offered by North Carolina, the information available in the record did not establish that the courses were solely created, offered and maintained as an orchestrated effort to benefit student-athletes,” said Greg Sankey, the panel’s chief hearing officer and commissioner of the Southeastern Conference. “The panel is troubled by the university’s shifting positions about whether academic fraud occurred on its campus and the credibility of the Cadwalader report, which it distanced itself from after initially supporting the findings. However, NCAA policy is clear. 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.”
At its core, the case involved allegations that North Carolina provided student-athletes with extra benefits through special access and course assistance, including heavy involvement from the former department chair and a former curriculum secretary. The panel also evaluated whether a former counselor provided too much help to women’s basketball student-athletes and whether the university lacked control of or failed to monitor its athletics programs.
The full statement can be found here. North Carolina was facing five major charges, including lack of institutional control. The NCAA’s investigation looked into courses Tar Heel athletes took between 2002 and 2011.