Eight months ago the NCAA investigation into allegations of academic fraud within the North Carolina athletic department was pushed back, leaving many to wonder when there would be any kind of decision regarding the fate of the men’s basketball program. Finally on Monday the school released an amended Notice of Allegations from the NCAA that replaces the original Notice, and Roy Williams’ program was not mentioned at all in the new report with the same being the case for the football program.
The program mentioned prominently in the new Notice is women’s basketball, which in all likelihood means that Williams doesn’t have much to worry about moving forward.
The Notice cites former women’s basketball academic support counselor Jan Boxill for her knowingly providing those athletes with extra benefits “in the form of impermissible academic assistance and special arrangements to women’s basketball student-athletes.” The use of fraudulent courses within the African and Afro-American Studies department, which at the time of the violations was led by Julius Nyang’oro and included former employee Debbie Crowder (who were both named in the reports), also appeared in the amended Notice but as noted above the men’s basketball program was not cited.
One big change in the report was the NCAA using a more specific “failure to monitor” charge in relation to the academic fraud that occurred within the African and Afro-American Studies department. Another is the start date of the offenses, with those being changed from the fall of 2002 in the original report to the fall of 2005. The end date (summer 2011) remains the same.
North Carolina will also have to deal with the “lack of institutional control” charge, that’s in regards to specific programs as opposed to the athletic department as a whole. But the “impermissible benefits” charge that appeared in the original Notice in relation to the men’s basketball program (among others) is gone.
Obviously this all good news for Williams and his staff, as on the recruiting trail they’ll now have some concrete answers for prospects, their coaches and their families. With recruiting being what it is, other programs could use the lack of concrete information on the investigation to recruit negatively against North Carolina. But with the amended report that’s no longer the case.
North Carolina now has 90 days to respond to the charges in the NCAA’s amended Notice of Infractions.