Academic Scandal Continues; UNC Denies Most Serious Charges Alleged by the NCAA

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It has been more than a year since the NCAA brought charges against the University of  North Carolina after an investigation revealed that athlete students were enrolled in improper courses to receive high grades so they could keep playing sports and avoid suspensions. Although the NCAA removed men’s basketball and football programs from the charges in the spring, this only heightened the scandal against UNC’s women’s basketball program.

The scandal started with allegations that the University’s student athletes’ academic support staff allowed athletes to enroll in “anomalous courses” that required “little if any, attendance requirements, minimal to no faculty interaction, lax paper writing standards and artificially high final grades.” However, the emphasis eventuality shifted towards the women’s basketball program based on allegations that Jan Boxill, the former women’s basketball academic counselor, gave special treatment and extra benefits to women’s basketball student athletes. These allegations worsened for the University when it released e-mails showing that Boxill communicated with professors about changing grades and encouraging that student athletes be enrolled in particular courses.

The scandal continues this week when, on Monday, the University denied the most serious charges brought against it by the NCAA. In its official response, the University takes the blame for some academic failings; however, it claims it is not guilty of any severe allegations, such as lack of institutional control. The University completely disputed the allegations over the “anomalous courses” on the grounds that the NCAA’s authority does not extend to claims against the University for failing to monitor student athlete enrollment in courses that are available to the entire student body. The University also admits some responsibility for failing to adequately monitor Boxill; however, it defends that Boxill did not act with the intent necessary for an NCAA violation.

Ultimately, the University acknowledges there have been some academic undertakings on its campus and declares it has and will continue to take action to correct these issues. As a result, the University requested an opportunity to be heard before an NCAA hearing panel to address these issues.

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