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NCAA charges North Carolina with five Level I violations in Notice of Allegations

North Carolina v Wisconsin

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 26: The North Carolina Tar Heels mascot is seen before the game against the Wisconsin Badgers in the West Regional Semifinal of the 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Staples Center on March 26, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

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North Carolina has posted their Notice of Allegations from the NCAA regarding the academic scandal that has plagued the school’s athletic programs in recent years, charging the athletic department with five Level I violations (the worst kind), including a lack of institutional control.

The men’s basketball and football programs get mentioned throughout the document, but the NCAA was able to dig up the most dirt on the women’s basketball team, and it’s not close. None of the men’s basketball staff members get specifically targeted with allegations -- Roy Williams only has his name mentioned once, and that was in reference to the date he was interviewed -- although they do fall under the lack of institutional control umbrella.

Before we get into some specifics, it’s worth noting that North Carolina was hit with a lack of institutional control charge regarding the way that the African Afro-American Studies department interacted the academic support staffs of the athletic teams, specifically Jan Boxill, the women’s basketball academic advisor. The other part of this that can get murky is that the academic fraud and the placement in so-called ‘paper classes’ were labeled as impermissible benefits not available to other students. In other words, the NCAA is saying that the violations committed by the athletic department were making the athletes aware of the ‘paper classes’ and helping them get into, and pass, those classes.

Here are the five allegations:

  • 1. From 2002-2011, the school provided impermissible benefits to student-athletes in the form of “requesting certain course offerings within the AFRI/AFAM department on behalf of student-athletes, contacting individuals within the AFRI/AFAM department to register student-athletes in courses, obtaining assignments for classes taught in the AFRI/AFAM department on behalf of student-athletes, suggesting assignments to the AFRI/AFAM department for student-athletes to complete, turning in papers on behalf of student-athletes and recommending grades.” The NCAA also alleges that Independent Study classes were misrepresented, allowing 10 student-athletes to graduate with more than the allowable 12 Independent Study hours.
  • 2. From 2007-2010, Boxill provided the women’s basketball team with a myriad of impermissible academic assistance, ranging from adding a conclusion or quotation into an athlete’s paper to turning the paper in for the player and requesting a specific grade.
  • 3. and 4. Deborah Crowder, a former student services advisor in the African Afro-American Studies department, and Julius Nyang’Oro, a former professor in and chair of the African Afro-American Studies department, were both hit with ethical conduct charges as they refused to speak with the NCAA during the investigation.
  • 5. This is the lack of institutional control charge, which specifically mentions the failure of the university to monitor the way that Boxill handled her academic counseling duties as well as the ‘paper classes’ in the African Afro-American Studies department, in which athletes were enrolled in a disproportionate number.

READ MORE: Only way NCAA can mess this up? Banning UNC from the 2016 postseason.

Boxill, Crowder and Nyang’Oro have all already parted ways with the university.

“We take the allegations the NCAA made about past conduct very seriously,” AD Bubba Cunningham said in a statement. “This is the next step in a defined process, and we are a long way from reaching a conclusion. We will respond to the notice using facts and evidence to present a full picture of our case. Although we may identify some instances in the NCAA’s notice where we agree and others where we do not, we are committed to continue pursuing a fair and just outcome for Carolina.”

“We believe the University has done everything possible to address the academic irregularities that ended in 2011 and prevent them from recurring. We have implemented more than 70 reforms and initiatives to ensure and enhance academic integrity. We will continue to monitor the effectiveness of those measures and, wherever needed, put additional safeguards in place.”

The school received the notice on May 20th, meaning that they will have until August 20th to respond.