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NCAA issues UNC an unprecedented third Notice of Allegations

Here we go again.

Virginia Tech v North Carolina Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The NCAA has issued UNC a second amended Notice of Allegations issued on December 13th that virtually returns the scope of the investigation to the NCAA’s original Notice of Allegations from back in May of 2015.

From Inside Carolina:

The NCAA alleges the following five violations:

1. African and Afro-American Studies student services manager Deborah Crowder and department professor/chair Julius Nyang'oro committed extra benefit and ethical conduct violations from 2002-11 by overseeing anomalous courses in the department and giving athletics personnel authority to impact aspects of the courses for student-athletes. School personnel committed extra benefits violation by leveraging the relationship with Crowder and Nyang'oro to provide special arrangements to student-athletes.

2. Academic counselor Jan Boxill provided extra benefits by way of impermissible academic assistance and special arrangements to women's basketball players from 2003-2010.

3. Crowder violated the NCAA principles of ethical conduct by failing to cooperate with the NCAA enforcement staff's requests.

4. Nyang'oro violated the NCAA principles of ethical conduct by failing to cooperate with the NCAA enforcement staff's requests.

5. Allegation No. 1 and No. 2 show school's failure to exercise institutional control and failure to monitor the conduct and administration of athletics programs.

After removing the men’s basketball and football programs from the second notice, both are returned in this third edition. The NCAA cites that “many at-risk student-athletes, particularly in the sports of football and men’s basketball, used these courses for purposes of ensuring their continuing NCAA academic eligibility.”

Pay careful attention to that wording. It’s probably going to be important.

The biggest indicator of this all being a sham put in place to punish UNC at any cost is the fact that all of this was done without any new evidence. In fact, the panel made interviews with AFAM administrators Deborah Crowder and Julius Nyang’oro admissible the second time around by lowering their own standards for what evidence would be allowed. Those interviews were conducted without any representation from the NCAA or UNC present, thus violating the NCAA’s own procedural bylaws.

UNC requested an opportunity to supplement the record for a hearing conducted by the Committee on Infractions to help further explain their position on the claims in question. They were denied by SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, who serves as the COI’s chief hearing officer.

To say that this is all a mess would be an enormous understatement. The NCAA has essentially moved their own goalposts of fair investigation in order to try and punish UNC the way they, and not the investigation, deemed fit. There is a non-zero chance this ends up being settled in a court somewhere with UNC arguing that the NCAA acted outside of their own mandates.

UNC now has 90 days to respond to the new Notice of Allegations, and will likely take the full 90 days to do so. Those only interested in seeing UNC burned to the ground will take solace in the fact that this new NOA puts the Tar Heels’ 2005 championship back under fire. With the NCAA so obviously throwing their own standards to the wind in order to make this happen, you can bet that they are coming after something bigger than probation. Maybe the banner is that something. For now, we wait.