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College Sports, Division I, Education

ACC Infractions Committee Reprimands UNC for Rules-Violations

The infractions and penalties committee of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) issued a public reprimand to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC) in response to the finding of major violations of NCAA legislation that occurred at the institution. The reprimand, which was announced on Friday, April 20, 2012, was issued by the ACC approximately one month after the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions issued its infractions report and sanctions.

The Committee on Infractions, in its March 12, 2012, public infractions report, determined UNC was “responsible for multiple violations, including academic fraud, impermissible agent benefits, ineligible participation and a failure to monitor its football program”. The committee held that “over the course of three seasons, six football student-athletes competed while ineligible as a result of these violations, and multiple student-athletes received impermissible benefits totaling more than $31,000″. Most importantly, the committee elaborated on its monitoring expectations for NCAA member institutions with a “heightened awareness” of possible rules-violation. The Committee on Infractions imposed the following penalties (including sanctions self-imposed by UNC): public reprimand and censure; three years of probation; vacation of all records of student-athletes who competed while ineligible, as well as the former head coach’s record; reduction of grants-in-aid by a total of 15 for a three-year period; one-year postseason ban in football; show-cause order placed on the former assistant coach for a period of three years; self-imposed financial penalty of $50,000; and an annual compliance reporting requirement.

ACC commissioner John Swofford, in response to the ACC committee’s decision, noted “The ACC’s balance of academics, athletics and integrity will continue to be the cornerstones by which this league operates. As I have said previously, it is disturbing anytime one of our member institutions has NCAA infractions issues. Such issues are counter to the goals and aspirations of our conference.”

Media articles on this story can be found by clicking on the following links: CBSSports.com; The Herald-Sun; ESPN.com.

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About Michael L. Buckner, Esquire

An attorney who provides clients with internal investigation, compliance, professional development and legal services.

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