UNC Chapel Hill Gets a Pass from NCAA on Academic Scandal

Browder Wainstein report leads to dismissals at UNC

"A singular principle allowed UNC room to make its claims and, ultimately, limits the panel's ability to conclude that academic fraud occurred", the Public Infractions Decision said. The NCAA responded that since the academics in question involved student athletes, it had full authority in the matter. In many cases, athletes were steered to the classes by athletics academic advisers. However, the investigation was focused from 2002-11. Although it was described a lecture course, the class failed to meet regularly and all that was required for a high grade was an occasional research paper. The NCAA's enforcement unit first began investigating academic impropriety at North Carolina as far back as June 2010.

Beyond that, the NCAA also determined that the paper classes were not impermissible benefits. The panel noted the former secretary credibly explained during the hearing that she treated all students the same.

"The courses were generally available to the student body, and non-student-athletes took the courses", according to the NCAA report.

While the NCAA argued that the courses were geared toward keeping student-athletes eligible, the university countered that the irregular courses were available to all students.

UNC fans cheer at a Tar Heels basketball game. The allegations included five top level infractions, including "lack of institutional control", which usually brings severe multi-year penalties.

The men's basketball team is the reigning NCAA champion.

For what appeared to be about 18 years of academic fraud, UNC gets no punishment because the NCAA isn't good at its job. The football program received a one-year postseason ban, lost 15 scholarships over a three-year period and also was forced to vacate 15 wins in March of 2012.

The school had been alleged to have been cycling football and basketball players through non-existent courses in African American studies.

According to investigator Kenneth Wainstein's report, the "paper courses" were "hardly a secret" on campus and predominantly spread by word-of-mouth among undergraduates.

Colleges have set up a system where they require athletes to exchange financial compensation for an education, but in many cases, that education is treated as secondary, much less important than winning games and maintaining eligibility.

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