The NCAA has informed the University of North Carolina that it will release its infraction report surrounding the academic scandal within the athletic program. Last Friday was originally going to be the date for the release before it was pushed back because of a huge fundraising event happening at the school.
UNC appeared before the Committee on Infractions back in August following three Notices of Allegations from the NCAA. Everything basically came down to UNC believing that the NCAA had overstepped their bounds by trying to regulate their academic standards that their accrediting agency had already tended to. UNC made a point to show that athlete enrollment in the irregular classes was not disproportionate, and therefore did not fall into the NCAA’s jurisdiction.
The biggest charge from the NCAA is the lack of institutional control. The NCAA made specific mention in the third NOA that they weren’t especially invested in litigating whether or not the classes were up to UNC’s standards, and the school readily admits that they were not, but rather their belief that there was a system in place to put athletes in those classes in order to keep them eligible and provide an unfair advantage.
Numbers that UNC provided in their response seems to indicate that the classes within the Afro-American Studies department were available to athletes and non-athletes alike, and at ratios that did not seem to favor those needing to remain eligible for athletics. Something has to give here.
Unfortunately, as much as we’d all like this to be the end of it, it may only be the beginning. UNC does not seem willing to take penalties they feel are unfair as a result of the NCAA portraying an academic issue as an athletic one. Many people who aren’t simply blinded by anti-Carolina bias believe that the university has the upper hand when it comes to being on the right side of things and could prevail if the case ended up in court.
That may very well be where it ends up if the university does not like what the NCAA has to say in their report tomorrow. There is probably a limit to what they are willing to accept without further action, and it’s probably pretty low. Carolina will not be receiving the death penalty, regardless of how much fans of some nearby schools would like that to happen. However, if the NCAA tries to come for the championship banners or other drastic penalties, it’s very likely that Friday will only be the beginning of a new drawn out saga instead of the end.