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UNC Releases Amended Notice of Allegations

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UNC has released the amended notice of allegations it received from the NCAA earlier today. The new NOA can be found here.

A quick perusal of the document shows a few changes from the original NOA UNC received last spring. Unlike the previous NOA, the amended version does not appears to mention men's basketball or football at any point. In the version from last year, both are mentioned as part of the allegation that UNC provided impermissible benefit via access to the AFAM paper classes. In the new version only women's basketball is on the hook for improper benefits related to the AFAM classes.

Here is a quick summary of the allegations.

Allegation #1

Directed solely at Jan Boxill and women's basketball for improper benefits in the form of "impermissible academic assistance and special arrangements to women's basketball student athletes."  While the NCAA doesn't stray very far into the academic realm they do get involved when there is improper academic help given i.e. a tutor providing too much assistance to an athlete. During the football scandal, UNC was hit with this type of charge related to Jen Wiley helping football players write papers.  That appears to be where the NCAA is going with Boxill and as well as dealing with  "special arrangements" she made.

Allegation #2 and #3

Ethical conduct violations for Deborah Crowder and Julius Nyang'oro for refusing to cooperate with the NCAA investigation. This is not uncommon in these cases. John Blake was charged with this during the football scandal.

Allegation #4

Failure by UNC to monitor ASPSA(academic support), the AFAM department and Jan Boxill. This is a fairly broad charge and appears to be directed at UNC as a whole instead of any one program or person save Boxill and women's basketball.

Allegation #5

Lack of institutional control for allowing all of the above to happen. The NCAA is more or less charging UNC with not effectively monitoring these areas or addressing these issues when alerted to them. The NCAA also says UNC did not provide "adequate guidance and supervision" to ASPSA and because of that academic counselors did not know the AFAM courses were inappropriate.

Analysis

It should be noted the first NOA referred to an 18 year window for the AFAM classes going back to 1993 and ending in 2011. The amended NOA puts the window for Boxill's involvement from 2003 to 2011 and for the failure to monitor charge the window is fall 2005 to summer 2011.  Also, this NOA supersedes the first one which is now null and void. As for the men's soccer violations which precipitated the halt in the process last summer, those were dealt with as "level 3" violations and according to Bubba Cunningham penalties have been issued.

The first three allegations are specific to either certain persons or one sports program in particular, women's basketball. With the fourth and fifth allegations, the strokes are broader and leveled at the administration for failing to monitor what was happening in AFAM or providing proper guidance to academic counselors.  In respect to the latter aspect of that, it would appear the NCAA is moving away from direct blame against the academic counselors themselves. The fifth allegation puts the burden on the administration and would seem to indicate individual counselors were not responsible for athletes taking AFAM classes since they were never told the classes were an issue.

Obviously men's basketball and football not being mentioned is a huge boost to both programs on the recruiting trail since it gives a level of validation to notion neither sports will be affected by penalties. That being said, the FTM and LOIC charges are fairly broad so in those two allegations the Committee on Infractions could take any number of actions. Still, those two sports being absent from the new NOA should bode well for both in UNC penalty phase.

UNC has 90 days to respond to the new notice of allegations. UNC will likely take the whole period which means it will be July before the next stage in the process happens.