NCAA

NCAA hits UNC with 5 violations in wake of academic scandal

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NCAA hits UNC with 5 violations in wake of academic scandal

The NCAA has charged North Carolina with five violations connected to the school's long-running academic fraud scandal, including a lack of institutional control for poor oversight of an academic department popular with athletes.

The school released a 59-page notice of allegations on Thursday that it received from the NCAA, which uses the document to specify violations uncovered during an investigation.

The charges include providing improper benefits in the form of counselors making "special arrangements" with staffers in the formerly named African and Afro-American Studies (AFAM) department to offer courses or obtain assignments for athletes, as well as a counselor working with the women's basketball program providing improper help on research papers.

All five charges are considered Level I violations, described by the NCAA as a "severe breach of conduct."

Chancellor Carol Folt and athletic director Bubba Cunningham issued a joint statement, saying the school takes allegations "about past conduct very seriously" and noted the school has implemented more than 70 reforms since the end of academic irregularities in the AFAM department ended in 2011. UNC has to file a response to the NCAA within 90 days of receiving the notice.

"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," the statement said.

The five charges listed in the NCAA's notice are:

-- There was a lack of institutional control in failing to "sufficiently monitor" the AFAM department as well as the academic support department for athletes, noting athletes received "preferential access" to the department's irregular courses.

-- Academic counselors leveraged relationships from the fall semester in 2002 to the summer session of 2011 with AFAM department faculty and staff to provide athletes with benefits "not generally available to the student body." Those benefits included suggesting assignments to the department, turning in papers for athletes and recommending grades.

-- Academic counselor Jan Boxill, who worked with women's basketball, provided improper assistance by sometimes adding content to athletes' papers. Also, in at least one case, she recommended a grade for submitted work.

-- Former AFAM office administrator Deborah Crowder, one of two department staffers most directly linked to irregular courses in the department, didn't cooperate with NCAA investigators.

-- Former AFAM department chairman Julius Nyang'oro, the other staffer most directly linked to the department's irregular courses, also declined to cooperate with the NCAA probe.

The NCAA reopened an investigation into academic misconduct last summer connected to the AFAM department. The focus was courses often treated as independent studies that required no class time and one or two research papers, with many operating that way despite being scheduled as lecture classes.

An eight-month investigation conducted by former U.S. Justice Department official Kenneth Wainstein stated that Crowder -- not a faculty member -- typically handed out assignments then high grades after only a scan of the work. Wainstein's October report found problems running from 1993 to 2011 and affecting more than 3,100 students, with athletes accounting for roughly half the enrollments in the problem courses.

Both Crowder and Nyang'oro cooperated with Wainstein's probe.

The arrival of the NCAA notice will ultimately lead to a hearing for the school with the infractions committee, which would then issue a ruling and any potential sanctions within a time frame of weeks to months.

The school announced May 22 it had received the notice of allegations, but it didn't release the document publicly until Thursday to redact information to comply with privacy laws.

Wilmer Difo homers but Phillies top Nats

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USA TODAY Sports

Wilmer Difo homers but Phillies top Nats

WASHINGTON -- Rhys Hoskins hit a two-run homer, Vince Velasquez pitched five effective innings and the Philadelphia Phillies snapped Washington's six-game win streak with a 3-1 victory over the Nationals on Saturday.

Velasquez (2-4) allowed one run and one hit in his first win since April 7. He also struck out four, walked four and hit a batter.

Edubray Ramos, Tommy Hunter, Luis Garcia and Hector Neris then combined for four innings of one-hit relief. Neris earned his sixth save.

Trea Turner led off the Washington ninth with a walk and was running when Matt Wieters popped out to short right field. Turner, who slid into second, lost track of the ball and was easily doubled off first.

Wilmer Difo homered for Washington. Third baseman Anthony Rendon went 0 for 2 with two walks after missing 19 games with what the team called a contusion to his toe.

Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark (2-3) tied his season high with nine strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. He was charged with three runs and six hits.

Andrew Stevenson accounted for Washington's other hit, a one-out single in the sixth. Pedro Severino followed with a walk, but Ramos induced a double-play grounder from Rafael Bautista.

Cesar Hernandez opened the game with a single off Roark and Hoskins homered to center on a 3-2 pitch. It was his fifth of the season.

Maikel Franco provided an insurance run when he followed Carlos Santana's one-out triple with a single in the sixth.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Phillies: RHP Ben Lively (lower back strain) threw 20 pitches in a bullpen session. Lively was placed on the disabled list April 27. ... Manager Gabe Kapler said RHP Pat Neshek (shoulder strain) will throw a bullpen session as the next step in his rehabilitation. Neshek has not appeared in a game this season.

Nationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman was scratched from the lineup due to stiffness in his side, according to manager Dave Martinez. ... RHP Trevor Gott, who sprained an ankle in the sixth inning Friday night, is day to day.

UP NEXT

The winners of the last three NL Cy Young Awards square off when Philadelphia's Jake Arrieta (3-1, 3.49 ERA) opposes Max Scherzer (6-1, 1.79 ERA). Arrieta won the award in 2015 with the Cubs and Scherzer, the National League Pitcher of the Month for April, has claimed the honor each of the last two seasons.

Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

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USA TODAY Sports

Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

The pieces are starting to come together for Patrick Ewing.

On Monday the Georgetown Hoyas picked up perhaps the biggest (literally and figuratively) target of the transfer market, Omer Yurtseven.

From North Carolina State, the transfer from Istanbul Turkey will have two years remaining of eligibility. Due to NCAA transfer rules, he is not allowed to play for the 2018-19 season.

MORE NCAA: TOP BUZZER BEATERS IN NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY

Standing at 7-0, the center helped power the Wolfpack to an NCAA tournament bid this past season. Averaging 13.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks a contest, Yurstseven earned All-ACC Third Team honors in the 2017-18 season. He also touted a 58.3 shooting percentage and was not afraid to pull it up from deep either (22 made three-pointers).

NC State lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 8 Seton Hall, but he was limited due to foul trouble with only two points and two rebounds in 14 minutes of play.

Initially, he is the option to fill the void that Jessie Govan will leave, whether that is during this offseason or next. Already the team has lost power forward Marcus Derrickson

Yurtseven will just be another frontcourt talent for Ewing with the Hoyas.

It was widely reported that he was considering playing options, both in the United States and abroad before this announcement. Easily he has the talent to go in first round of the NBA Draft whichever year he declares.

On the same day, the Hoyas also announced the signing of four-star guard James Akinjo.