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UNC Faces Off Against NCAA, Again

UNC Chancellor Carol Folt at a BOT meeting in September 2016
Emily Kristina Gabbard

Administrators and coaches from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are in Nashville Wednesday. They are there to face questions from the NCAA over an academic scandal that is entering its seventh year.

The NCAA Committee on Infractions is similar to a court hearing at which UNC officials can answer the latest allegations from the college sports governing body.

Those allegations stem from bogus courses created within the school’s African and Afro-American Studies department.

UNC coaches Roy Williams (men’s basketball), Larry Fedora (football), and Sylvia Hatchell (women’s basketball) have been asked to attend, and will be joined by numerous administrators, including Chancellor Carol Folt and Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham.

After seven years of Notices of Allegations, hearings, reports, and penalties, the issue boils down to this: UNC claims that the NCAA has no jurisdiction over the academic scandal that occurred in the school’s African and Afro-American Studies department.

The University says the improper classes affected all students, not just student-athletes, and therefore does not fall under the NCAA’s bylaws. The NCAA disagrees and has accused UNC of five major violations involving student-athletes, including lack of institutional control.

The hearing starts Wednesday in Nashville and will continue Thursday. A final decision won’t be issued for several months, and will likely be followed by an appeal and possibly a court case.

Dave DeWitt is WUNC's Feature News Editor. As an editor, reporter, and producer he's covered politics, environment, education, sports, and a wide range of other topics.
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