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UNC's NCAA violations released

President Norton informs the campus of NCAA violations

By Dylan Sanchez
On February 13, 2017

After several months of waiting, the NCAA has released its report on the violations that took place last year.

According to the report, head coach B.J. Hill was using camp funds to pay tuition for several online classes for players. He and his assistant coaches then completed the coursework for those classes to maintain the players' eligibility. 

UNC President Kay Norton released a statement regarding the NCAA violations that took place last year. The Men's basketball staff including head coach B.J. Hill were fired following what was described as serious NCAA violations. 

Northern Colorado self-imposed penalties in October. These penalties include a postseason ban for the 2016-17 men’s basketball season, a financial penalty of $5,000 plus 2 percent of the men’s basketball program budget, a reduction of a total of three financial aid awards provided to men’s basketball student athletes during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years. More of the self-imposed penalties include recruiting restrictions over the 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years: Four fewer official visits, a total of eight weeks’ prohibition on unofficial visits, a total of seven weeks’ prohibition on recruiting communications,a total of 20 days’ reduction in off-campus recruiting activities.

"I'm extremely proud of how our athletic department and university responded," said Darren Dunn, UNC's athletic director. We've taken significant steps to address and handle these allegations in an appropriate and responsible manner. Our department expects compliance with NCAA rules, and we communicate this expectation regularly."

The independent Committee on Infractions will review the Notice of Allegations and the responses from those involved in the case, set a date for a hearing, and then respond with the NCAA's final decision. That likely won't happen until the fall.

"It is our hope that the Committee on Infractions will endorse the penalties we self-imposed last October in order to allow our men's basketball program to begin focusing on healing and recovery. We are well positioned to move forward under the leadership of Head Coach Jeff Linder." Dunn said.

 

President Norton's letter included a link to the NCAA's release which included the infractions in detail.

President Norton's letter can be read in full below:

"Dear UNC Community Members,

 

You may recall that I shared with campus last spring that UNC had received serious and concerning allegations of NCAA violations involving our men’s basketball program. We began working with the NCAA right away to investigate, and by October, even though the investigation was still underway, we had learned enough to know that there were serious violations. Rather than wait until the investigation was complete, we immediately self-imposed penalties to demonstrate our commitment to ensuring the program’s integrity. While the NCAA Committee on Infractions will make the final decision about penalties, our self-imposed penalties include a postseason ban for the program this season, financial penalties, and restrictions on recruitment and financial aid awards for student-athletes in the program.

 

NCAA rule violations are very serious matters that affect us all. This is about the integrity of our program and therefore the integrity of our university. From the outset, Athletic Director Darren Dunn and I committed that UNC would fully cooperate with the NCAA. We also pledged that no matter what emerged from the investigation, UNC would not shy away from the facts—that we would take responsibility, do our best to make amends and move forward.

 

The NCAA investigation is now complete, and we received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA Enforcement Division on Friday, Feb. 10. The letter outlines the rule violations by our men’s basketball program under the leadership of our previous coaching staff. We still have to take additional steps in the NCAA process but I wanted to follow through on my commitment to you that we would report on the investigation when it concluded. To that end, a copy of the NCAA’s letter is on our website.

 

As you will see in the Notice of Allegations, the NCAA rule violations are serious. We conducted the investigation jointly with the NCAA and we arrived at the same findings, so we do not contest any of the allegations in the Notice. It is extremely unfortunate that the actions of our former coaches initially went undetected; however, the allegations do not charge that we lackedinstitutional control or failed to monitor our men’s basketball program. The academic misconduct identified in the allegations relates to coursework undertaken by students at other institutions before enrolling at UNC. The Notice of Allegations also notes that UNC provided “exemplary cooperation” during the course of the investigation, that our cooperation is one of several “mitigating factors” to be considered going forward, and that “Northern Colorado’s actions serve as a model for all NCAA member institutions concerning how to conduct an academic misconduct investigation.”

 

Receiving the Notice of Allegations from the NCAA Enforcement Division is an important milestone in an ongoing process. We do not anticipate significant changes in the allegations, but the NCAA Committee on Infractions, which operates independently, ultimately will determine the penalties for UNC. It is our hope that the Committee on Infractions will endorse the penalties we self-imposed last October in order to allow our men’s basketball program to begin focusing on healing and recovery. We are well positioned to move forward under the leadership of Head Coach Jeff Linder.

 

We remain committed to cooperating with the NCAA to bring this process to conclusion. We do this not only to support our men’s basketball program, our student-athletes and Coach Linder, but also because it is the right thing to do. How we as a university respond in the face of challenges like this sets an example for our students and speaks to our values as a university community.

 

As we move forward, please understand that this is an ongoing process that will likely stretch into next fall. Our commitment to cooperate with the NCAA through the remainder of the process includes meeting their expectation that we not comment further at this time.

 

Best,

Kay"

 

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