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The Latest: Coaches eager for UNC to move past NCAA case

FILE - In this Aug. 16, 2017, file photo, former University of North Carolina secretary Deborah Crowder arrives at an NCAA hearing in Nashville, Tenn. Crowder initially refused to interview with NCAA investigators, but later met with them and appeared at the school’s infractions hearing. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski, File)
October 13, 2017 - 2:14 PM

The Latest on the NCAA ruling on North Carolina's multi-year academic case (all times local):

5:10 p.m.

North Carolina men's basketball coach Roy Williams says the school has learned "to be a better university" in the wake of a long-running academic scandal.

The school released statements from Williams, football coach Larry Fedora and women's basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell on Friday afternoon, hours after the NCAA announced an infractions panel found no academic violations in the case. All three had to attend the August infractions hearing, though none were charged with a violation.

Williams, Hatchell and Fedora all said they were eager for the university to move forward and past the scandal that has hovered over the Chapel Hill campus for years.

Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford echoed that in his own statement as UNC's former athletic director, saying the school "can put this case behind them, learn from it and move forward."


3:15 p.m.

The attorney for the retired office administrator charged in North Carolina's NCAA academic case says the ruling affirms his client's assertion that she treated all students equally.

Deborah Crowder was charged with failing to co-operate with NCAA investigators. She had enrolled students, distributed assignments and graded many of the papers in the irregular courses in the formerly named African and Afro-American Studies department.

In a statement, attorney Elliot Abrams called Crowder "a lifetime public servant who treated all students equal." He added: "The truth of these facts is clear and has been affirmed by today's ruling."

Crowder initially refused NCAA interviews, then reconsidered and met with investigators in May. She also appeared at the school's infractions hearing in August.

Southeastern Conference commissioner and chief hearing officer Greg Sankey said the panel "ultimately benefitted" from Crowder's participation.

The panel determined Crowder had committed a failure-to-co-operate violation for her initial refusal to interview, but included no penalty against her.


2:05 p.m.

University of North Carolina Chancellor Carol Folt says this "isn't a time of celebration" after her school avoided major penalties from the NCAA in a multi-year academic case investigation.

An infractions panel announced Friday that it could not conclude academic violations took place at the university, and Folt said it was "the correct and fair outcome."

The focus of the investigation was on independent study-style courses in the formerly named African and Afro-American Studies department.

Athletic director Bubba Cunningham acknowledged that "we had some things . that we haven't been proud of."

But he added that "sometimes the behaviour you're not proud of doesn't quite fit into a bylaw or a rule or something."


12:05 p.m.

The chief hearing officer of the NCAA's infractions panel handling the North Carolina academic investigation case says it's "more likely than not" that athletes received fraudulent credit, but the organization's bylaws leave it to the schools themselves to determine academic fraud.

Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey, the chief hearing officer, said Friday that the panel could not use "those strong possibilities" to determine whether violations occurred.

North Carolina avoided major penalties when the panel couldn't conclude academic violations took place. Sankey says what happened was "troubling." He says the panel "applied the membership's bylaws to the facts" and "couldn't conclude violations. That's reality."

The investigation centred around independent study-style courses in the formerly named African and Afro-American Studies department. The infractions panel says North Carolina supported those courses as legitimate.


11:20 a.m.

The attorney for a former professor and academic counsellor charged in North Carolina's academic case says his client is "obviously pleased" that an NCAA infractions committee panel didn't conclude she committed a violation.

One of the five charges against UNC focused on Jan Boxill for providing too much help on assignments in her role as a counsellor for women's basketball. But the NCAA found only two violations in the case, neither involved Boxill.

Her attorney, Randall Roden, issued a statement saying the multi-year case was "a terrible ordeal" for Boxill. He added that her appearance at an August infractions hearing "gave her the opportunity to tell her side of the story" to the NCAA.

Roden says Boxill "was there to tell the truth and she did."


10:35 a.m.

Only two people at North Carolina ultimately received NCAA sanctions in the multi-year academic case.

Former department chairman Julius Nyang'oro and retired office administrator Deborah Crowder were charged with refusing to co-operate with the NCAA probe. Nyang'oro refused to interview with NCAA investigators after the case was reopened in 2014. Crowder reconsidered and interviewed with investigators in May.

Nyang'oro received a five-year show-cause penalty lasting until Oct. 12, 2022. Crowder was not punished, but the NCAA says it is making note of her initial lack of co-operation.

The school avoided major penalties Friday when the NCAA said it "could not conclude" academic violations took place. The investigation's focus was on independent study-style courses in the formerly named African and Afro-American Studies department chaired by Nyang'oro.


10:20 a.m.

North Carolina has avoided major penalties after an NCAA infractions committee panel "could not conclude" there were academic violations in the multi-year case focused on irregular courses.

The NCAA released its report Friday morning. The panel said it found only two violations out of five charges the school originally faced: a failure-to-co-operate charge against two people tied to the problem courses in the formerly named African and Afro-American Studies department.


9:40 a.m.

The NCAA has announced that the infractions committee panel handling North Carolina's multi-year case will release its public report Friday morning.

It's a long-awaited step for both the school and NCAA. Investigators first arrived at UNC more than seven years ago in a football probe that ultimately spawned this case focused on irregular courses featuring significant athlete enrollments.

While a ruling could provide resolution, the delay-filled case could still linger if UNC pursues an appeal or legal action in response to potential penalties that could include fines, probation, post-season bans or vacated wins and championships.

The school faces five top-level charges, including lack of institutional control, though no coaches are charged with wrongdoing.

The announcement comes roughly eight weeks after UNC appeared before the panel for a two-day hearing in Nashville, Tennessee.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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