The NCAA said in a statement that it is not legally responsible for any academic fraud that may have been committed at UNC, according to Jon Solomon of CBS Sports.
The lawsuit alleges that student athletes are not getting the education they were promised by UNC and the NCAA. It also accuses the NCAA of negligence, claiming the organization knew of "dozens" of instances of academic fraud by other institutions and "refused to implement adequate monitoring systems to detect and prevent these occurrences."
"This case is troubling for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the law does not and has never required the NCAA to ensure that every student-athlete is actually taking full advantage of the academic and athletic opportunities provides to them," NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy said in a statement.
The NCAA announced last summer that it had re-opened its investigation into alleged academic fraud at North Carolina.
In October, UNC released a report by outside investigator Kenneth Wainstein, which detailed how a lack of oversight allowed Department of African and Afro-American Studies administrator Deborah Crowder and former chairman Julius Nyang'oro to create so-called "paper classes." In these classes, students received high grades with "little regard" for the quality of their work.
Wainstein told reporters that Crowder, who was largely responsible for creating the fraudulent classes, was motivated by a belief that UNC's athletes weren't being supported by the university.
A previous NCAA investigation resulted in a postseason ban for the football team in 2012 and a loss of scholarships.
- Molly Geary