North Carolina announces discovery of new information in NCAA investigation

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With the University of North Carolina having received its Notice of Allegations from the NCAA in late-May, the school had 90 days to respond in writing to the allegations that span multiple sports including men’s basketball. However there is likely to be a delay to the process, as the school announced Friday that a discovery of new information is the reason for this.

According to the release the information relates to “allegations of improper academic assistance,” received by some former members of the women’s basketball program now in the crosshairs of the investigation. There are also issues within the men’s soccer program, with the new information expected to result in a delay to the investigation.

Should the new information (which UNC now has 60 days to review) result in the NCAA amending the Notice of Allegations, the school would get another 90-day period in which to respond. And with that, the chances of the men’s basketball program being punished before the 2016 NCAA tournament (postseason ban) shrink greatly. The Tar Heels are expected to be one of the main contenders for the national title in 2015-16.

“We identified this new information as part of our due diligence in preparing our response to the notice of allegations and materials for public release,” UNC Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham said in the release. “Consistent with NCAA process, we promptly notified the NCAA’s enforcement staff. We continue to work cooperatively and expeditiously with the enforcement staff to complete our review, and we are confident this can be done quickly to allow the NCAA to bring closure to the investigation.

“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.”

The men’s basketball program is part of the investigation into academic fraud as well. But the charges levied against the program weren’t deemed to be as severe as those in which the women’s basketball program were cited.