The Daily Tar Heel

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Monday May 10th

Academic investigation in honor system's hands

Administrators stressed to trustees the need for patience with the pace of the ongoing football investigations Thursday morning.

The UNC team investigating allegations of academic misconduct has passed its findings to the student attorney general’s office, Chancellor Holden Thorp said. The honor system’s judicial process won’t be complete for awhile.

“I couldn’t imagine circumventing that system under any circumstance,” Thorp said.

In the meantime, UNC plans to continuing sitting out all of the players in question to avoid the risk of playing someone who might later be ruled ineligible. The result is a slow and lengthy investigation that one trustee described as “glacial.”

It’s not clear exactly how many players that means are still out. Eleven were still outstanding earlier this week, but that number includes players accused of academic misconduct as well as those accused of improper relationships with agents. Administrators won’t say which players are part of which investigations, or part of both.

Kendric Burney and Deunta Williams received NCAA sanctions Wednesday for improper benefits they received in connection with agents. They must sit out six and four games respectively, including the two games they already missed. They also must pay back some of the benefits. Marvin Austin is suspended indefinitely for violating team rules.

UNC is unique among many universities for its student-run judicial system. Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Winston Crisp described the honor system process, outlined in the Instrument of Student Governance, as a “series of stages.”

  • When the student attorney general learns of Honor Code violations, his office begins investigating to determine whether to file charges. Guidelines call for charges to be filed within 30 days, although that can be extended.
  • If the office decides to proceed with a case, the individuals are informed of the charges in writing. A hearing is scheduled where the student attorney general will explain the charges and possible consequences.
  • The case then moves on to the Honor Court. The time frame between the investigation and the court case varies but can’t be sooner than five days from that point unless the student agrees to an earlier hearing date or a delayed hearing is requested by either party. Accused students have the right to student counsel.
  • The Honor Court debates the charges. They will find the individual either not guilty, guilty, or guilty of a portion of the charges. They then decide on appropriate sanctions. Academic dishonesty usually results in a one-semester suspension, but the minimum sanctions include a one-semester probation and a failing grade.
  • An individual may appeal the Honor Court’s decision.

Contact the University Editor at udesk@unc.edu.

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