The NCAA Committee on Infractions announced Friday it could not find North Carolina violated NCAA rules involving years-long academic scandal involving athletes across multiple sports.
"The panel concluded that while student-athletes and athletics programs may have benefitted from utilizing the courses, the general student body also benefitted," a release from the NCAA said. "Based on both the information available in the record and North Carolina’s support of the courses that were offered as not violating its policies, the panel could not conclude that the university failed to monitor or lacked control over its athletics program."
The university faced five Level I charges from the NCAA, including lack of institutional control, in a case that grew as an offshoot of a probe launched in 2010 into the football program.
The academic fraud allegations involved classes taken by athletes in the African and Afro-American studies department between 2002 and 2011 that helped many retain their eligibility. The irregularities are focused on independent study-style courses misidentified as lecture classes that didn’t meet and required a research paper or two while featuring significant athlete enrollments.
In its response to the case, North Carolina challenged the most serious and potentially damaging allegation, arguing that "inadequate academic oversight unrelated to the Department of Athletics" didn't constitute an issue within the NCAA's jurisdiction.