NCAA does not find academic violations in North Carolina investigation

NCAA does not find academic violations in North Carolina investigation

"While student-athletes likely benefited from the so-called "paper courses" offered by North Carolina, the information available in the record did not establish that the courses were exclusively created, offered and maintained as an orchestrated effort to benefit student-athletes", said Greg Sankey, the Committee on Infractions panel's chief hearing officer in a statement.

One of the largest referrers to these fake courses run by the African and Afro-American Studies department was UNC's fraternity system.

According to a university-commissioned investigation, North Carolina had for almost two decades offered a "shadow curriculum" of fake classes into which athletes were steered.

Ultimately, the NCAA found that there were only two violations - two former staff members failed to cooperate during the investigation. In many cases, athletes were steered to the classes by athletics academic advisers. The irregularities are focused on independent study-style courses misidentified as lecture classes that didn't meet and required a research paper or two while featuring significant athlete enrollments.

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The university faced five Level I charges from the NCAA, including lack of institutional control, in a case that grew as an offshoot of a probe launched in 2010 into the football program.

"While student-athletes certainly benefited from the courses and ASPSA assistance, the record indicates that similar assistance was generally available to all students", the NCAA report says.

Sometimes, members of the school's academic services even suggested grades that would keep athletes eligible.

One of the biggest academic scandals in the history of college sports resulted in little punishment on Friday, when the NCAA decided that it could not conclude that North Carolina had committed academic violations while providing sub-standard academic classes for 17 years. "In fact, they recalled that a number of their non-athlete fraternity members took so many AFAM classes that they inadvertently ended up with AFAM minors by the time they graduated".

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