Local News

NCAA stands firm on allegations against UNC ahead of hearing

Posted October 25, 2016 2:44 p.m. EDT
Updated October 25, 2016 4:01 p.m. EDT

— The University of North Carolina at Chapel released a series of documents and correspondences Tuesday that detail communication with the NCAA and its legal counsel regarding the latest Notice of Allegations and subsequent infractions.

Most notable was the NCAA’s written reply to the university on their response to the most recent notice of allegations submitted Aug. 1.

In a communication dated Sept. 19, the NCAA responded to UNC and addressed their arguments and challenges to presumed infractions. UNC is scheduled to go in front of a Committee on Infractions panel on Friday for a hearing on their motion to dismiss the allegations.

UNC’s stance on the NCAA’s overreach into academic issues while acknowledging misdeeds within the African and African American studies department was met with contention from the NCAA. The NCAA contests that the full scope of academic fraud involving student-athletes was never brought before the Committee on Infractions and that the onus lies with the school to present all the facts.

“It is now clear that the institution did not provide the enforcement staff with the entire body of the pertinent information at that time, and the NCAA relied to its detriment on the thoroughness of the institution’s production,” the NCAA stated.

Former women’s basketball advisor Jan Boxill is alleged to have committed numerous violations by providing impermissible benefits. UNC maintains the violation should be a Level III infraction because Boxill was unaware the assistance was impermissible. The NCAA contests the volume of provided benefits amount to a Level I violation.

UNC also stood firm on its belief that the statute of limitations had expired on multiple charges that pre-dated Feb. 21, 2010. Those questioned charges include “failure to monitor” and “lack of institutional control” – each are defined as the most severe, Level I variety. The NCAA disagreed, saying that UNC did not explain “how the enforcement staff could or should have reviewed” pertinent documents during the previous investigation. The NCAA did concede, however, that no old documents would be brought into the new investigation.

While the NCAA’s reply dated Sept. 19 did bring into question whether the “failure to monitor” should be treated at Level I, or a less severe Level II – as UNC suggests – it did state specifically that the university had a “lack of oversight from campus, within athletics, and within ASPSA itself.”

The NCAA offered a six-page response to the “lack of institutional control” charge, leaving the only outstanding issue before the hearing on whether or not to bar the allegation. If it is not barred, the committee on Infractions will debate whether or not the outlined facts warrant the charge.

The NCAA pointed to the amended Notice of Allegations, a history of violations at the university, a lack of institutional control and “persons of authority” condoning, participating in or negligently disregarding the bylaws as aggravating factors in their arguments against UNC in the five allegations.

They are expected to discuss 11 different individuals during the Committee on Infractions Hearing, including Boxill, former associate director of athletics John Blanchard, and former associate director of the ASPSA, Cynthia Reynolds.