Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, now with the New York Giants, played his final season at the University of North Carolina in 2008 while ineligible because of "academic fraud," the News & Observer's J. Andrew Curliss and Andrew Carter report.
Curliss and Carter cite NCAA investigation reports that show Nicks had "improper academic help" from a tutor during his time at UNC. As a result, the university will put an asterisk next to Nicks' receiving records, Curliss and Carter report.
Nicks' agent Peter Schaffer denied knowledge of Nicks' ineligibility and called it "low on the totem pole of relevant issues."
Nicks had already been implicated for providing more than $3,000 in impermissible benefits to North Carolina players, but -- like the rest of the program -- he has now been tied to academic improprieties as well.
UNC received a bowl ban for the upcoming season, lost 15 scholarships over the next three years and vacated its wins in 2008 and 2009 because of impermissible benefits and academic misconduct. Head coach Butch Davis was fired in July 2011. The school's academic issues have continued to draw attention, though. An internal investigation by the school found that 54 Afro-American Studies classes were "suspect." Last summer, as the NCAA investigated the school, one summer class featuring 19 students -- all of whom were current or former football players -- required only one paper to be turned in to the department chairman at the end of the term, reports Yahoo! Sports columnist Pat Forde.