"While student-athletes likely benefited from the so-called "paper courses" offered by North Carolina, the information available in the record did not establish that the courses were exclusively created, offered and maintained as an orchestrated effort to benefit student-athletes", SEC commissioner and Committee on Infractions chairman said in a statement. There were also allegations of tutors writing term papers and taking tests for student athletes at the Chapel Hill campus.
Over the course of the investigation, both NCAA President Mark Emmert and North Carolina have argued that the NCAA is in the business of policing the behavior of athletic department personnel but not is not equipped to judge the rigor of classes, meaning the UNC case fell outside the organization's jurisdiction.
Women and men athletes were alleged to have benefited from the courses.
"A singular principle allowed UNC room to make its claims and, ultimately, limits the panel's ability to conclude that academic fraud occurred", the Public Infractions Decision said.
The investigation centered on a system in which a significant percentage of student-athletes took classes that had academic irregularities - and whether that resulted in those athletes receiving an impermissible benefit.
In its report issued Friday morning, the NCAA's Committee on Infractions determined that it could not conclude that UNC had violated its academic rules because the so-called "paper courses" in the AFAM program were made available to the general student body, as well as athletes. This portion of the case took 3 1/2 years to complete. 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.
The allegations included a lack of institutional control, failure to monitor, and extra benefits in association with the courses. He counted athletes who were no longer team members.
For what appeared to be about 18 years of academic fraud, UNC gets no punishment because the NCAA isn't good at its job. It found that former African studies department chairman Nyang'oro and Crowder created bogus classes and enrolled student-athletes to help them remain eligible over a span from 1993 to 2011.