UNC uncovers potentially more violations in academic scandal

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) North Carolina continues to be plagued by its long-running academic scandal, uncovering what possibly could be additional violations in women’s basketball and men’s soccer while preparing a response to the notice of allegations received in May.

The school announced Friday the response, due next week to the NCAA, has been delayed. Schools officials say the NCAA will set a new date after a review of the new information.

A release from UNC says officials were preparing to release emails from former U.S. Justice Department official Kenneth Wainstein’s eight-month investigation when it uncovered more examples of possible improper academic assistance of women’s basketball players.

It also discovered potential recruiting violations over two years in men’s soccer that were unrelated to the current NCAA probe.

Under NCAA procedures, if those are determined to be Level I or II violations, the notice of allegations must be amended to include them.

It is unclear exactly when the new possible violations were discovered. The school says they were reported to the NCAA’s committee on infractions on Aug. 10.

Athletic director Bubba Cunningham still hopes the investigation will be resolved in spring 2016.

”I know today’s announcement will cause some to ask when all of this will end,” Cunningham said. ”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 NCAA’s notice of allegations included five charges, outlining a lack of institutional control and four other potential Level I violations, which are described as a ”severe breach of conduct.”

The NCAA regarded issues surrounding academic irregularities within the formerly named African and Afro-American Studies (AFAM) department as potential improper benefits by saying athletes received ”special arrangements” such as access to courses and other assistance generally unavailable to non-athletes.

The lack of institutional control focused on the AFAM department and the academic support program for athletes, including the conduct of a women’s basketball adviser for providing too much help on assignments. No coaches were charged.

The academic investigation grew out a 2010 investigation into the football program, with the committee issuing sanctions in March 2012 in that case roughly nine months after the notice of allegations arrived.

”There is no question this has been a long and challenging process, and it is one we are committed to finishing as we started – by cooperating fully with the NCAA, adhering to obligations under the NCAA’s rules, and working tirelessly to secure a fair and just outcome for Carolina,” Cunningham said.