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College Sports, Division I, Education

UNC Responds to NCAA Notice of Allegations with Self-Imposed Penalties

The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC) released its response to the NCAA notice of allegations, which was issued on June 21, 2011. UNC’s response included numerous self-imposed penalties. The enforcement staff alleged:

  • An academic support center tutor and football student-athletes engaged in academic fraud-which resulted in the student-athletes being ineligible to compete in athletics competitions. The tutor’s academic fraudulent activities included: a) preparing portions of writing assignments; b) providing substantive materials that were submitted for course credit; and c) composing and typing citation and works-cited pages for writing assignments. [NCAA Bylaws 10.1, 10.1-(b) and 14.11.1]
  • An academic support center tutor provided approximately $3,500 in impermissible extra-benefits to football student-athletes, including an airline ticket and free tutoring services. [NCAA Bylaw 16.11.2]
    An academic support center tutor and an assistant football coach committed unethical conduct for refusing to furnish information to the enforcement staff and UNC. [NCAA Bylaws 10.1, 10.1-(a), 10.1-(c) and 19.01.3]
  • Seven football student-athletes received $27,097.38 in illicit benefits from individuals, some of whom triggered NCAA sports agent legislation. [NCAA Bylaws 12.1.2.1.6 and 12.3.1.2]
  • A football student-athlete provided false and misleading information to the staff and UNC. [NCAA Bylaws 10.1 and 10.1-(d)]
  • An assistant football coach partnered with a National Football League Players Association-certified sports agent and a sports agency company to represent individuals in the marketing of their athletics abilities in violation of NCAA legislation. [NCAA Bylaw 11.1.4]
  • An assistant football coach failed to report $31,000 in athletically-related outside income from a sport agency company that represents professional football, basketball and baseball athletes. [NCAA Bylaw 11.1.2]
  • UNC failed to “adequately monitor” the conduct and administration of the football program, including: a) failing to monitor the conduct of “an individual triggering NCAA agent legislation” and providing the person with access to athletics facilities and close contact with projected top-round picks in the NFL draft; b) failing to “adequately and consistently monitor social networking activity that visibly illustrated potential amateurism violations within the football program”; and c) failing to investigate information related to preferential treatment and benefits from individuals who triggered NCAA sports agent legislation. [NCAA Constitution 2.8.1]

According to a report on ESPN.com, UNC “will vacate all 16 football victories from the 2008 and 2009 seasons, and reduce scholarships”, place “the football program on two years of probation”, “cut three scholarships for each of the next three academic years” and “pay a $50,000 fine”. The institution did not impose a post-season ban, however.

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About Michael L. Buckner, Esquire

An attorney who provides clients with internal investigation, civil litigation, estate planning and compliance services.

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