University of North Carolina releases NCAA 'notice of allegations'

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 04, 2015 2:21 PM

(Reuters) - The University of North Carolina on Thursday released the notice of allegations from the NCAA concerning possible rules violations connected to the school's academic fraud scandal.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association accused the university in Chapel Hill of providing impermissible benefits to student-athletes between 2002 and 2011.

In some cases, the special arrangements helped ensure the academic eligibility of athletes who were at risk of losing it, "particularly in the sports of football, men's basketball and women's basketball," the notice said.

"Although the general student body also had access to the ... courses, student-athletes received preferential access" and were enrolled at a disproportionate rate, the NCAA said.

The notice said the athletes "received other impermissible benefits not available to the general student body in connection with these courses."

The NCAA notice comes eight months after an independent investigation by former federal prosecutor Kenneth Wainstein revealed that more than 3,000 students at the university received credit for fake classes over an 18-year period.

The school has until Aug. 20 to respond to the allegations.

"We take the allegations the NCAA made about past conduct very seriously," Chancellor Carol Folt and Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham said in a statement.

"This is the next step in a defined process and we are a long way from reaching a conclusion," the statement said.

Folt and Cunningham said they "believe the university has done everything possible to address the academic irregularities that ended in 2011 and prevent them from recurring."

(Reporting by Steve Ginsburg in Washington; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Bill Trott)