NCAA reopening UNC investigation
The NCAA isn’t done investigating UNC-Chapel Hill after all.
In a statement Monday, athletic director Bubba Cummingham said that UNC received notice from the NCAA that the organization is reopening “its 2011 examination of academic irregularities” at the school.
“The NCAA has determined that additional people with information and others who were previously uncooperative might now be willing to speak with the enforcement staff,” Cunningham said.
The NCAA concluded its initial investigation into academic misconduct and impermissible benefits involving the Tar Heels football program in 2012 and handed down penalties that included a one-year postseason ban.
Since that time, internal investigations by the school have found hundreds of suspect courses in the African and Afro-American Studies Department. Roughly half of the students in those classes were athletes, but the NCAA did not consider it an NCAA violation because the no-show classes also benefited non-athletes.
The former chairman of the AFAM department, Julius Nyong’oro, and his assistant, Debbie Crowder, have not cooperated with authorities until recently. Nyong’oro spoke with federal prosecutor Kenneth Wainstein, who was asked by UNC in February to conduct another investigation into the AFAM Department.
Earlier this month, former UNC basketball player Rashad McCants told ESPN that while he was winning the 2005 NCAA title, he took four AFAM classes in the spring semester that did not meet and only required a term paper, which McCants said that tutors wrote for him.
In a statement, the NCAA said that its enforcement staff is exploring new information “to ensure an exhaustive investigation is conducted based on all available information.”
Both UNC and the NCAA said it would have no further comment until the process is complete.