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Saturday September 18th

UNC releases NCAA correspondence

On the afternoon of July 25, UNC released correspondence between the University and the NCAA following UNC’s release of their response to the NCAA’s third Notice of Allegations on May 25. 

The correspondence, which was released as a response to a public records request, includes a request for Roy Williams, Sylvia Hatchell and Larry Fedora (the head coaches of men's basketball, women's basketball and football, respectively) to attend an NCAA hearing scheduled for August 16 in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Vice Chancellor of University Communications Joel Curran said in a statement that the coaches would attend the hearing.

“The hearing is the next step in bringing closure to this longstanding issue by allowing us the opportunity to address the Committee on Infractions and present the facts,” Curran said. 

“The NCAA has requested certain individuals from the University attend the proceedings. It is standard practice for the current head coaches of programs referenced in a notice of allegations to attend."

Managing Director NCAA Office of the Committees on Infractions Joel McGormley requested the presence of Fedora, Hatchell and Williams, along with Lissa Broome, faculty athletics representative, Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham, Senior Associate Director of Athletics/Compliance Vince Ille and Associate Athletics Director for Compliance Marielle vanGelder. According to the email, the hearing is expected to take two days.

NCAA Director of Enforcement Tom Hosty, sent the enforcement written reply and statement of the UNC-NCAA case to Chancellor Carol Folt on July 17. The document outlined what the case was about, refuting UNC’s claim that the courses were academic and therefore not in the NCAA’s jurisdiction.

“The issues at the heart of this case are clearly the NCAA's business,” the document stated. “When a member institution allows an academic department to provide benefits to student-athletes that are materially different from the general student body, it is the NCAA's business. When athletics academic counselors exploit 'special arrangement' classes for student-athletes in ways unintended by and contrary to the bylaws, it is the NCAA's business.”

The NCAA also highlighted that it is equally important to recognize what the case would not be discussing.

“This case is not about so-called fake classes or easy courses. The institution acknowledges that although the courses at issue did not meet its expectations for academic rigor, the institution did not deem the courses to be fraudulent. Nor is this case about NCAA review of classroom curriculum. The institution continues to argue that the NCAA enforcement staff should not judge academic rigor or revisit classroom decisions.”

The NCAA argues that though the proportion of student athletes in the courses under review was not a technical violation of their bylaws, the "dramatically high student-athlete enrollment" is still significant and shows "preferential access."

"The proportionally small universe of student-athletes could not have enrolled in such high numbers absent the preferential access Crowder provided them through her relationship with (the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes)," the document stated. 

Supplementary material to UNC’s response from an interview with Deborah Crowder, who formerly served as the Department of African-American Studies’ student services manager was also released. 

This is a developing story. Please check our online coverage for updates.

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