The NCAA has found that no rules were broken in the academic scandal at the University of North Carolina that reportedly involved football players taking no-show classes in the school's African and Afro-American Studies department, according to a statement from the university.
The statement reads in part:
“...Based on the joint review, UNC and the NCAA staff concluded there were no violations of current NCAA rules or student-athlete eligibility issues related to courses in African and Afro-American Studies. As a result, the NCAA did not add any allegations or include this issue during the University’s appearance in October 2011 before the Committee on Infractions.
College of Arts and Sciences Dean Karen Gil subsequently commissioned a review of courses in African and Afro-American Studies. In May, the University publicly issued that report and provided it to the NCAA.
On Aug. 23, 2012, University Counsel Leslie Strohm and Senior Associate Dean Jonathan Hartlyn provided an update to the enforcement staff. The NCAA staff reaffirmed to University officials that no NCAA rules appeared to have been broken..."
The apparent findings have been met with surprise by media members on Twitter.
An internal investigation by the university discovered that 54 classes in the Afro-American Studies were “suspect.” Yahoo! Sports columnist Pat Forde reported that one class last summer featured 19 students -- all current or former football players -- and required only one paper.
Among the discoveries made as the school, NCAA and reporters have taken a closer look at the program is that Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks should have been ineligible during his final year at UNC.
The transcript of Bears defensive end Julius Peppers also leaked out and raised additional questions because of three "independent studies" classes that he took.
Faculty members have been outspoken in their calls for reform.
”I was sickened by it as I think most faculty around the campus were,” history professor Jay Smith said. “There is this sense that the institutional integrity of UNC is being eroded over time.”
"...I think it's time we confronted the fact that misbehavior by a handful of individuals is in fact a symptom of a dysfunctional system," Smith added. The program at issue in the scandal has been renamed and given a new curriculum, according to reports. It is now known as the African, African American and Diaspora Studies department.