North Carolina's long-running academic fraud scandal now includes five NCAA charges, including a lack of institutional control for poor oversight of an academic department popular with athletes and the counselors who advised them.
The school released a 59-page notice of allegations Thursday from the NCAA, which uses the document to specify violations uncovered during an investigation. The charges were more broad-based than focused on individual sports, with the NCAA regarding academic irregularities in the formerly named African and Afro-American (AFAM) Studies department as potential improper benefits by saying athletes received access to courses and other assistance generally unavailable to non-athletes.
No coaches were named in the five allegations, though one dealt specifically with the conduct of a women's basketball adviser for providing too much help on research papers.
North Carolina must file a response to the NCAA within 90 days of receiving the notice, which would likely lead to a hearing with the infractions committee followed by a ruling weeks to months later.
"Everybody wants to bring closure to this," Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham said. "It's not a pleasant chapter in the history of the university."
The list of charges include counselors providing "special arrangements" to athletes by working with AFAM faculty and staff, such as requesting course offerings or obtaining assignments for athletes, over a roughly nine-year period starting in 2002.
In charging a lack of institutional control, the NCAA said the school didn't do enough to monitor the AFAM department nor the academic support program for athletes. That allowed for counselors to use the irregular courses to help keep at-risk athletes eligible "particularly in the sports of football, men's basketball and women's basketball," according to the notice.
All five charges are considered potential Level I violations, described by the NCAA as a "severe breach of conduct." Cunningham said it's too early to speculate on potential sanctions the school could face.