NCAA actually accuses UNC-Chapel Hill of bad behavior the second time around

The NCAA has issued their Notice of Allegation regarding the UNC-Chapel Hill academic and athletic fraud. Recall the university was creating paper classes for athletes.

I’ve been following this mess and have discussed it several times. Get a fresh cup of coffee and walk with me as I learn more about this fiasco.


The allegations may be found here. Here’s my summary:

  • Allegation 1 – providing improper assistance to students – level 1 violation
  • Allegation 2 – women’s basketball program violations – level 1
  • Allegation 3 – obstructing NCAA investigation – level 1
  • Allegation 4 – failure to cooperate with NCAA investigation – level 1
  • Allegation 5 – lack of institutional control over an academic and an athletic program; this includes fabricating classes, or ‘anomalous courses’ as the document states – level 1

Apparently there are four levels of violations with Level 1 being the most severe. That makes five Level 1 allegations.

Reading the allegations makes it clear to me that this is not just an academic fraud. It is an athletic fraud as well.

I don’t quite understand the document – after reading through it I feel like other people must feel when they read through some technical accounting discussions.

I know enough that an accusation of “lack of institutional control” is a severe charge in the academic world.

Of course, other than the staff in one department and the staff of most sports at UNC, everyone knows that fabricating classes & grades is a severe violation as well.

Timeline for followup

The University has 90 days to prepare a reply. The NCAA then has 60 days to consider the comments. Then a hearing will be held. The NCAA will release their report 6 or 8 weeks after the hearing.

That puts a hearing into the November of December timeframe with a report somewhere around January or March.

UNC’s announcement is here. The Athletic Director says the problems have all been fixed and won’t recur.


The Daily Tarheel is wondering Will The Banner Fall?

At issue is whether the men’s basketball 2005 NCAA championship will be revoked.

Apparently 10 of the 15 players on that year’s team majored in the department that fabricated all the classes. Ten of fifteen.

All five of the starting players that year plus another player took a total of 69 paper courses in that department. That’s an average of 11 fabricated classes apiece. That’s 33 semester hours. That’s a quarter of the classes for a full degree.

The article reminds us that over 3,100 students took paper classes during an 18 year time span.

The athletic director thinks it’s time to move on, according to the article. Apparently it’s all been resolved.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

He characterizes the Wainstein report as one man’s opinion after sitting through 126 different interviews. Some statements attributed to him are incorrect. He thinks the combined NCAA/UNC investigation will find out what actually happened.

(I do so hope he was misquoted.)

Report may not be as big a deal as it seems

A CBS Sports report asks Why do I sense a sigh of relief from UNC coming out of Chapel Hill?

The sports reporter points out things I would not recognize. Such as the NCAA is only looking at 10 years of paper courses, not 18.

Also a long string of named athletic department coaches are not mentioned and thus will skate on this case.

Also, Allegation 1 refers to “extra benefits”, not academic fraud or the tactful equivalent thereof.

His guess is the consequences will look something like at Penn State. That would put them in the range of fairly stiff but still tolerable as a cost of doing business. Recall that after the publicity died down, the NCAA removed most of the penalties.

A report from The News & Observer says NCAA allegations will be hard on UNC, but not most individuals.

Article names eight people, all the way up to the athletic director, who escape mention or focus. This article suggests the NCAA is blaming the academic department, not the coaches or the academic advisors.

On the other hand, this article says the exhibits mention involvement by men’s basketball, men’s football, softball, field hockey, women’s basketball, women’s soccer, women’s tennis, and women’s track.

Article also points out that lack of institutional control is the most serious allegation. Two other cases of NCAA punishment for lack of institutional control were fairly strong in those cases but the violations were a fraction as severe as UNC’s.

Another News & Observer article summarizes NCAA allegations say UNC lacked institutional control. The end of this article explains the NCAA called this “extra benefits” instead of academic fraud because there is no usable definition of academic fraud.

I don’t quite understand this, so maybe the article is just saying that UNC is not able to figure out or define what constitutes academic fraud.

Full disclosure: As I have mentioned before, the rules of journalism indicate I need to mention that I graduated from the University of Maryland. If I recall college rivalries correctly, that means I’m supposed to really dislike the tobacco road schools.

So you can know how totally irrelevant the Atlantic Coast Conference basketball circuit is in my life, let me share that when I saw a picture here, I learned for the first time that UNC won the 2009, 2005, and 1993 basketball championships. After seeing the picture, it still doesn’t matter to me. That is in contrast to one person quoted in one of the above articles for whom cutting down the net after the 2005 win is apparently the highlight of his life.

On the other hand, massive systemic academic and athletic frauds do catch my eye. But you already figured that out.

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