UNC escapes penalties in surprise decision by NCAA

UNC receives report from NCAA on academic scandal

UNC receives report from NCAA on academic scandal

So UNC gets no punishment.

The NCAA infractions panel could not conclude that North Carolina committed academic violations.

"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 exclusively 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.

Sankey said the panel was "troubled" by the University's shifting opinions on whether the classes constituted academic fraud - but that NCAA policy defers this determination to member schools.

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Some assumed the NCAA wouldn't tackle this issue because some version of that occurs at all schools, although it has never been publicly brought to light like at North Carolina. It is on the school itself to determine if academic fraud is happening on their campus.

"Based on the general availability and the lack of specific examples, the panel can not conclude a systemic effort to impermissibly benefit student-athletes", it said.

The NCAA report concluded that since other students at the university were privy to the classes, there were no special benefits given to student athletes.

It was alleged that at least 50% of the student athletes in those two sports were given credit for "paper courses", that did not really exist.

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Sankey asked the enforcement staff to look at new information in November of 2016 - and a third notice of allegations in December of 2016 included both men's basketball and football once again and had UNC facing five top-level charges - including a lack of institutional control and the initial extra benefit charge.

Since 2014, investigators have been looking into a course, which was formerly called African and Afro-American Studies. "In fact, they recalled that a number of their non-athlete fraternity members took so many AFAM classes that they inadvertently ended up with AFAM minors by the time they graduated". Although it was described a lecture course, the class failed to meet regularly and all that was required for a high grade was an occasional research paper.

Former U.S. Justice Department official Kenneth Wainstein released an independent investigation into the scandal, and by his estimate more than half of the 3,100 students that enrolled in those course from 1993-2011 were Tar Heel athletes. The football program received a one-year postseason ban, lost 15 scholarships over a three-year period and also was forced to vacate 15 wins in March of 2012.

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