North Carolina has delayed its response to the NCAA's notice of allegations after uncovering what could be additional academic violations regarding the women's basketball and men's soccer teams.
The potential violations include improper academic assistance afforded to former women's basketball players and recruiting violations committed by the men's soccer program over the past two years.
Discovering the new information, which was reported to the NCAA on Aug. 10, will extend an investigation process that has already stretched across five years.
UNC's response was due on Aug. 18, but now the school will be granted 60 days to review the new violations before the NCAA must decide whether to amend the notice of allegations to include the new information. If it does so, UNC will have another 90 days to respond, pushing the earliest date for conclusion of the process to April.
“I know today's announcement will cause some to ask when all of this will end,” Cunningham said in the release. “I want to assure everyone that Carolina is doing all it can to bring these matters to closure as quickly as possible while also strictly adhering to the NCAA's infractions process. While we need to address these new developments, we have already completed the majority of the work necessary to respond to the NCAA's notice.”
The timeline extension is important because it decreases the likelihood that a punishment would be handed down before football's National Signing Day or basketball's NCAA tournament.
The examination of UNC academics was highlighted by an eight-month long investigation conducted by former federal prosecutor Kenneth Wainstein. His report detailed how academic officials created “paper classes” in which students were given good grades with “little regard” for the quality of their work.
- Erin Flynn