University of North Carolina gets NCAA findings in academic fraud probe

Reuters News
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Posted: May 22, 2015 3:25 PM

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Reuters) - The University of North Carolina said on Friday it has received a notice from the NCAA indicating possible rules violations connected to the school's academic fraud scandal.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association notice comes seven months after an independent investigation by former federal prosecutor Kenneth Wainstein revealed that more than 3,000 students at the university in Chapel Hill received credit for fake classes over an 18-year period.

The "irregular classes" offered from 1993 to 2011 had no class attendance or faculty involvement and allowed many of the students to remain eligible to play sports, Wainstein found.

The NCAA issues a "notice of allegations" after an investigation if there appears to be sufficient evidence to prove a bylaws violation. A hearing panel will decide whether infractions have occurred and what penalties are warranted.

"We take these allegations very seriously, and we will carefully evaluate them to respond within the NCAA’s 90-day deadline," Chancellor Carol Folt and athletics director Bubba Cunningham said in a statement.

UNC said it would release the contents of the allegations notice to the public "as soon as possible" after redacting the document to protect privacy rights.

On Friday, an NCAA spokeswoman said member rules barred it from commenting on current investigations.

(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Doina Chiacu)